Arkham Asylum EP11: I Wanna Pony Ride!

By Shamus Posted Thursday Jul 9, 2015

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 132 comments

Link (YouTube)

I’m not sure why this game is so obsessed with making sure that the people you rescue end up dead a few minutes later. I guess they were trying to show that Joker was a serious threat, but they just ended up making Batman look careless and dumb. The number of survivors of this night must be pretty small. I could accept a few deaths, like the initial burst of guards and the death of Dr. Young, but this “everyone dies” thing feels like an accidental theme. It’s this ongoing problem that nobody recognizes or talks about.

Paul Dini wrote this game, and he also worked on Batman: The Animated Stuff. I have to wonder if he intended this, or if this is a side-effect of Batman inhabiting a videogame. Once Batman saves someone, their purpose in the story is concluded. In a show, they can just stop appearing in scenes and the audience can assume they’re just off-stage someplace, still safe. But in a game, there is no “off stage”. So then the game developer starts thinking, “Wait, what happens if Batman comes back? I don’t want to have to add more lines of dialog, and it makes no sense to have them always repeat their “You just saved me a second ago!” dialog. Bah, I’ll just kill them off. Easy solution.

I don’t know. I’m just trying to make sense of what seems like a very odd design decision.


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132 thoughts on “Arkham Asylum EP11: I Wanna Pony Ride!

  1. Jokerman says:

    This is an interesting article i read.

    It’s a doctor weighing in on how much damage batman causes in these games, and the chances of the mooks surviving said injuries.

    1. Benjamin Hilton says:

      Relevant to both this post and the notion the Oracle is telling Batman the mooks are just unconscious.

      1. Steve C says:

        Holy blank space Benj-man!

        Edit: My addons blocked the above video and left a blank area for it.

        1. Otters34 says:

          It’s a College Humor video called “Batman Disturbs the Penguin”. It’s pretty good, if slightly bludgeony about its point.

  2. Alex says:

    There is an off-stage, if you can provide a clear line of retreat to the main gate. It’s a good excuse to keep some of the guards alive too: just keep them busy escorting civilians to safety while you do all the heavy lifting.

    1. MrGuy says:

      Or use the docks, which worked perfectly well when you had to get Commissioner Gordon out. Just tell people to go there, and have a few boats offshore that only come in when there’s someone to rescue.

    2. Henson says:

      Or you could just do the Bioware trick: the NPCs say buh bye, walk off-camera, the camera focuses on the player character (Batman) for a second or two, and then when the game returns to over-the-shoulder view, the NPCs have been removed.

      “Thanks, Batman! I’m getting out of here.” *vanishes into virtual memory*

      1. Ledel says:

        Or even just instead of when you reload into the area it’s full of dead bodies, they just disappear. They’ve already got the coding there, it’s just taking away the body for when you get back.

    3. lethal_guitar says:

      Arkham Knight solves this quite nicely: All the survivors end up at GCPD, where they stay for the rest of the game.

      1. Lachlan the Mad says:

        In a similar vein, there is a safe area on Arkham Asylum; the Mansion. After you clear it for the first time (while looking for Dr Young), Cash and all of his friends remain safe, even while Ivy trashes the place. The Mansion could have been this game’s survivor rally point, but they just killed all of the NPCs instead.

        1. Karl says:

          Doctor Young and Aaron Cash leave, but the doctor, nurse and other security guard that you save in the medical building also barricade themselves into a room and stay there.

  3. Benjamin Hilton says:

    This section was the first time in my history as a Bat-fan that I resented Batman for not killing people.
    I think it stems from the fact that I failed a few times trying to rescue the people in the cages. Me. I personally put in work to save them. So when they were just killed anyway it felt like all the work I put in was for nothing was for waste….because Batman didn’t kill the Joker years ago.

  4. Majere says:

    Asshole Superman aka like half of all Superman covers from the Silver Age. Like multiple instances where he took over the world. Or that time he brought reporters into the Bat-Cave. Or when he tries to suffocate Lois Lane in space. Or when he accuses Batman of witchcraft and sentenced him to burning at the stake. Or when he challenges Batman to a pistol duel.

    The moral of the story is the Silver Age was fucking weird.

    1. SlothfulCobra says:

      Superman being a jerk for no reason is his equivalent to goofy silver age batman having a specific gadget for everything. It’s an inherent part of the character’s history that everyone is constantly trying to erase.

      1. Wide And Nerdy says:

        Doing a poor job of it too because New 52 takes Superman back to being a dick in a more serious setting.

    2. Josh says:

      “Or when he accuses Batman of witchcraft and sentenced him to burning at the stake.”

      Wait what.

      1. Otters34 says:

        Don’t worry, it’s only half as ridiculous as you’d think. Most of those old comic books have a premise that makes them sound way better than they actually are. It’s like most movies, video games and books, really.
        Except for the one where Superman makes his statue come to life to stop a fleet of disintegrator satellites attacking Metropolis.

        1. Majere says:

          It’s actually even more ridiculous than it sounds.

        2. Slothfulcobra says:

          They always set these things up so that the cover would be shocking to readers. “Super!an would never do that!”

          These days to get the same shock value they’d kill off a bus full of children or something like that.

      2. Majere says:

        It was in World’s Finest Vol 1 Issue 186 so aptly titled “The Bat Witch!” Supe’s takes him and Batman back in time to the Revolutionary War and then frames Batman for witchcraft by dyeing his costume and flying around on a broom and using Super Ventriloquism to make it seem like a black cat is talking to him resulting in Batman being locked in stocks prior to execution by inferno.

        And that’s when Benjamin Franklin shows up with a plan to break Batman free by tying a kite string to the lock and getting it struck by lightning. Superman foils this plan by blocking the lightning and then the issue ends on a cliffhanger.

        1. Henson says:

          I love the Silver Age.

          …Hey, wait, let’s make that into a video game. Superman flies around colonial America framing people for witchcraft and other hilarious hijinx. The goal is to get the colonies to fear you enough so that they can declare independence from Britain. It’s the future of god games.

          1. That sounds AWESOME! Of course I can’t see the major studios doing it, but an indie studio with a good sense of humor (and obviously Batman and Superman look-alikes since they’d probably never get the rights to the heroes themselves) could make bank.

            1. Syal says:

              Brood Man and Splendid Man, Pranksters In Time.

        2. Darren says:

          Wow, Silver Age Superman really wanted Batman to die horribly.

    3. DeadlyDark says:

      I believe, there is a site about this. Found it

  5. Riley says:

    Do my ears deceive me? Is it the long-awaited return of Chris’s demon voice?

    1. Henson says:

      No, your ears are working fine, I heard it too. Though it’s feels more ‘Andre the Giant’ voice to me.

      Hey, maybe instead of Titan mooks, we can have Batman fighting multiple Andre the Giant clones instead. Modders, get on this pronto.

    2. I think it happens when his Jurassic Park fandom rises, specifically any mention of Dennis Nedry.

  6. Benjamin Hilton says:

    After exiting the Poison Ivy conversation is a great opportunity to “not” kill people by using the bat-claw to pull those newly spawned mooks forward into the bottomless pit. In the devs defense they accounted for this by playing a splash sound after they disappear into the pit.

    1. McNutcase says:

      I never realised you could do that. Mainly because I had a new toy, and the perfect opportunity to use it to plough through a pile of dudes like a Bat-wrecking-ball.

    2. Bropocalypse says:

      Ah, so, being unconscious in a pool of water deep enough to cushion their fall, they drown.

      1. Ledel says:

        Nah, they’re fine. Killer Croc is down there. He’ll take really good care of them.

        1. Thomas says:

          It’s not killing if you make someone else do it!

  7. SlothfulCobra says:

    I think the neckbeard version of the Riddler is the Cluemaster.

    1. Volvagia says:

      Only on that The Batman cartoon. In the comics: Arthur Brown was permanently cured of his knockoffitis in a 1993 story that introduced his daughter. Afterward (after that but pre Flashpoint), he’s MOSTLY defined by his relationship with his daughter. The daughter who was admired by fans and writers enough to, for a time, be their outward presentation of “Batgirl” to the world.

  8. MrGuy says:

    Hey, I’ve got an idea, guys! In the next game, let you pilot the Batwing everywhere around town. Maybe you can even do dogfights against, like, robo-planes or something! It’s genius! Everyone will love it!

    1. Alexander The 1st says:

      Bonus: The planes don’t actually have to be un-manned – the pilots can just eject when they’re about to go down. And then Batman’s Batwing can make sure they’re tethered to the Batwing so that they don’t escape, but they also don’t die.

      1. Syal says:

        “Did Batman just slam that ejected pilot into a building?”

        “He’s wearing seat belts, it’s fine.”

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Look!I can see their parachutes!Theyre ok.

        1. MrGuy says:

          As the parachute clips through a building that’s on fire…

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Thats why they are made of asbestos.Duh.

            1. MrGuy says:

              Batman doesn’t kill people. Parachute lung cancer kills people.

    2. Incunabulum says:

      And he can do strafing runs against ground targets – don’t worry, all the batbullets are equipped with battasers to batstun the battargets before they’re batperforated.

  9. McNutcase says:

    Man, there were some HARSH maims this episode. I saw at least one spine being broken over Batman’s knee.

    Also: wow, you can destroy those plants? I always just snuck past and dodged the spores.

    Asylum definitely suffered in its bosses, although there kind of was a decent story reason for all of them being basically the same “charge and eat a batarang” gameplay. City did better at bossfights, although the reliance on quickfire gadgets and the horrible way that’s done on keyboard (double-taps of 1-5, for ‘rangs, claw, boom gel, zap, and freeze grenades) made it a fair bit harder.

    1. Izicata says:

      You can bind the quickfire gadgets to their own keys in the pregame loader menu thing.

  10. Nidokoenig says:

    Those big Titan bosses, they’re going to charge at you, so you can paint some boom on the ground and the wall, then set it off once you get them to run into the wall, right?

  11. Bropocalypse says:

    See, everyone says batman has no superpowers(limitless wealth notwithstanding) but this is untrue: His superpower is to do literally anything to a person and it won’t be lethal. If he ever DID use a gun, he would discover his power, since the bullet would strike the mook in the head and put him to sleep.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Super unlethality!

    2. Grudgeal says:

      That would actually be an extremely useful superpower if you knew the clearly defined limits. It doesn’t matter how much overkill you bring to a fight; you’ll never do worse than a hospital stay and some collateral damage.

      Or better yet, if your superpower also worked if you used nerve/sleeping gas. No need to worry about dosages, everyone goes right to sleep.

      1. MichaelGC says:

        “I used to be a Joker mook like you, but then I took an intercontinental batlistic missile in the knee.”

      2. Wide And Nerdy says:

        Yeah the question would be how directly do you have to be involved in the attack for the superpower to work. And how do you test that?

        1. I’d say it works the same way the Doctor’s morality works. The Doctor doesn’t kill people… directly. He can push a button that wipes out a planet of baddies. He can set a bomb that will kill all the baddies so long as he gives fair warning (and usually if the bomb accomplishes another goal). That sort of thing, you see.

          Were I designing this non-lethal power, I’d also give it a kind of down side (depending on the situation) using a comic book concept of the law of conservation of energy. Any energy above and beyond the incapacitation level of the target is channeled into the surrounding environment, still following the non-lethal rules. So if Captain Nonlethal uses a nuke to stop a bank robber, all the energy from said nuke would wipe out the city, incapacitating everyone until the energy was consumed by destroying the buildings and landscape. This non-lethal effect might not apply to what happens soon after, like falling into the crater that’s suddenly beneath you or the remains of a building toppling over onto you.

          Non-standard power sets are fun!

          1. Bropocalypse says:

            A hydrogen bomb would be a better pick, then.

        2. Grudgeal says:

          I actually designed a superpower slightly like that for a Mutants & Masterminds game to explain in-universe why my character only ever hit for stun. The short version was basically that his super-invulnerability aura was ‘contagious’: Every time he hit someone that character got partially shielded by his aura, so no matter how badly it looked (like, say, punching someone into the lower stratosphere and then spiking them down again) they’d always get away from it with the effects of a light pummelling and end up conscious but badly bruised all over. In his case it only worked via touch so he could use a lot of fancy kung fu and wrestling moves but he could never throw a rock at someone.

          His powers were fueled by his self-confidence and since he thought that he was too awesome to have to resort to lethal force, he never had to. He was a fun character.

  12. Dreadjaws says:

    I’m sure Dini didn’t intend to write those deaths, but, to be fair, what’s the alternative? There’s no place to go. There’s no way to leave the island for the Asylum staff. Granted, Batman could be a sport and hide them in the batcave, assuming he can use the shortcut to bring people at least one by one, and that the cave is not booby-trapped to instantly knock out people who are not him, but that could generate a whole different set of problems (not to mention that at a certain point in the game Ivy’s plants tear up the place.

    In the city, people have (relatively, this is Gotham) safe places to go, but there’s no such thing in Arkham. The entire place is brimming with armed mooks and escaped lunatics, and security was crippled by having a major player be on the Joker’s payroll, so the staff don’t even have access to protective equipment. Batman is just one guy, what’s he going to do? Have the staff follow him everywhere? Leaving aside the impossibility of that task, it could put them in even more danger.

    There’s really no avoiding most of these deaths. All Batman can do is to stop the Joker’s plan as soon as he can.

    1. guy says:

      There’s two obvious ways to avoid the deaths:

      1. The survivors get evacuated. A bit of a narrative complication in that it raises the question of why reinforcements can’t show up by the route used for evacuations, but there are possible explanations. The Joker might let people escape by boat but threaten to detonate bombs if any boats approach, for instance.

      2. Rescued guards could secure a building somewhere on asylum grounds and then Batman could send the survivors there to hole up.

      1. Syal says:

        3. They get captured, like they did the first time around.

        They could have made it a running joke; Batman rescues a couple of staff members early on, then spends the rest of the game rescuing the same couple of guys because they keep getting captured and put into new deathtraps.

      2. Wide And Nerdy says:

        There’s no way the Joker would release hostages without doing something nasty to them. For one thing, how would you bargain with him? In this scenario there’s nothing that he wants that we’d be willing to give him unless it was something like the entire world’s supply of lederhosen.

        1. Otters34 says:

          What ‘hostages’? He would surely know that the longer Batman spends on the island the more invested he’d be in just finishing this and getting things back to ‘normal’. He doesn’t need hostages when he can be brewing super-mutants and turning Poison Ivy into even more of a plant controller, making himself an obvious threat Bruce would feel compelled to stop.

      3. Lachlan the Mad says:

        I said this earlier in these comments, but to be brief; the Mansion remains safe after you clear it on the Doctor Young quest, and Cash and his friends remain safe. Why couldn’t that be the designated survivor evacuation point?

    2. That’s another thing about Arkham: They really need something like those preservation pods from Fallout 3. When the inmates get loose, there are these booths that open via employee ID and can only be unlocked from the inside or when the police show up and use a counter-ID. There’s food, air, and water, and maybe they even sink into the floor, adding more protection.

      I’m just sayin’, it’d be nice to have an “in case of Joker” panic room handy, like every 15 feet or so.

      Say, has anyone ever tried to survive an Arkham breakout by dressing as a patient? That might make an interesting story, where a visitor, guard, or doctor dons the mook getup to try and hide among the insane until Batman beats them all up, and they try to avoid getting beaten up as well.

      1. Dreadjaws says:

        Yeah, clearly the Arkham staff isn’t very good at preventing these kinds of problems. Then again, the Joker had people inside, so they might be sabotaging every security measure. For all we know, some of those rooms were supposed to be “In case of Joker” and they weren’t supposed to be accessible to everyone.

      2. PeteTimesSix says:

        A tiny room that by design has to be clearly labeled as a panic room that once you lock yourself in you have no way of getting back out without taking the obvious exit. After Joker sets up a takeover of the whole Asylum that was clearly planned well in advance. Thats the definition of a deathtrap, right there.

    3. Bropocalypse says:

      I dunno, the game seems to have no problem teleporting baddies IN, why not teleport victims OUT?

    4. ? says:

      That’s circular logic. There is nowhere for people to go because writers didn’t think it’s a problem and didn’t write something in. As soon as Batman finds 2+ guards he could tell them to focus on establishing a safe house while he deals with the riot. He could evacuate them via Batboat or Batplane since they are clearly able to operate without pilot and can come and go as they please. Joker’s take over could be not 100% successful with one wing remaining in control of the staff (since clowns goal is Titan formula, not becoming a new warden of the asylum). Anything. It’s not like they are recreating ‘real Arkham’ brick by brick and adding panic rooms for the staff would mess up a layout from the comics because there is no such thing. But writers didn’t care that by killing every hostage Batman rescues they screw up basic themes of the character and create plot holes (why do you get a game over if a hostage dies, if it doesn’t faze Batman if they die 5 minutes later? why do you bother rescuing them in the first place?). Asylum being completely controlled by Joker with no way out except for Commissioner Gordon is a writers creation, any problems that arise from this situation are their fault.

    5. Thomas says:

      I don’t think Dini wrote a lot of these deaths because I don’t think he was that involved with the game, but I think the developers did.

      It’s not just fridge logic where you realise everyones dead, the developers go out of their way to highlight it. They string dead guards up on lines and make you walk through that area again, they place a quest encounter where you save someone and then they place a corpse where that person was standing once you exit the area.

      The aim of the game is “Batman’s night from hell” so I think they’re emphasising the descent into chaos, making it feel like Batman is fighting against the tide. You’re not meant to feel good about yourself as the game progresses, you’re meant to believe Batman is pulling out every last stop to try and get through the night (Have I talked about how the XP system is the one system that doesn’t work in the game and actually fights against the rest of it yet?). Ultimately you’re meant to feel like Batman is at a point were any normal person would have gone mad and you’re questioning whether Batman has gone made too.

      So I kind of appreciate what they do, but as I said under the previous video – I don’t actually enjoy having to play through it and you do feel really unhappy that Batman isn’t saving people.

      I wish they’d thought of a way where the people would be in increasingly more peril but ultimately saved at the end of the day. Maybe if there’s on place in the Island that the Joker doesn’t control and it’s steadily besieged – first losing the guards outside, and then the first set of doors are ripped off etc – and then have the climax take place by there so Batman is kind of fighting to save those people.

    6. Ledel says:

      The only olive branch I can offer this is that it helps set up for Arkham City. The mayor sees how often the inmates get free and just kill randomly. So he decides to institute a form of marshal law where they are somewhat free, and the guards are free to just shoot them if they even suspect any funny business going on or trying to escape (and, yes, I know the real reason for City is because of brainwashing voodoo nonsense).

      The problem I had with it is because everyone was dying on the island I didn’t really feel like Batman was winning with anything he did. No matter how many mooks and psychos I knocked out, all of the innocents I found kept dying. Even at the end of the game, I didn’t feel like Batman “won” I felt more like Batman had nothing left to do on the island, so he might as well go home. If anything it was a Pyrrhic victory.

    7. Incunabulum says:

      “There's really no avoiding most of these deaths. All Batman can do is to stop the Joker's plan as soon as he can.”

      Which is why its kinda idiotic that Batman is wasting time saving these *individuals* when everyone would be better served by going right after the source of the problem.

      Its just dumb writing – Batman has to save people, so we give him people to save, but we don’t want to bother with these people once they’ve served their *gameplay* (not *narrative) purpose, so kill them off, make the player resent having to waste time rescuing people and, above all, ensure the player has no agency by never allowing him to skip this stuff and make his own way.

      It was mentioned in one of the above replies that you could have the same couple of guys constantly getting recaptured and rescued – it would have had the same effect and might at least been *funny*.

  13. Slothfulcobra says:

    I keep thinking of Okami and want to circle those plants to open them up.

    1. Henson says:

      Goddamn do I want a PC release for that game.

  14. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Ok,lets try an experiment:



    1. 4th Dimension says:

      How dare you talk like that about Superman, he is the greatest comicbook superhero. It’s probably because you like all that grimdark nolan shit so you can not enjoy some fun at all.

      How about that? Or does it need more snering insults?

    2. Wide And Nerdy says:

      Were you trying to get my attention?

    3. Ledel says:

      What? You’ve got to be kidding me. They clearly revealed in the very next issue that he was being controlled by red kryptonite. That whole event shouldn’t count against Superman.

  15. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So riddler is making youtube videos.But does ivy make vine clips then?

    1. Josh says:

      Goddamnit, Daemian.

      1. Ledel says:

        I heard the Penguin was on Twitter.

        1. MrGuy says:

          Firefly is on Tinder.

  16. Spammy says:

    So I don’t know how controversial this will be, but having watched Tim Burton’s Batman with modern eyes a few months ago… It’s not a good movie. I won’t deny it’s historically significant for helping set up the modern superhero boom, but it’s still not a good movie.

    It’s not sure whether it’s a Batman origin story or not (At the start of the movie no one knows if Batman is even real, but the Batcave is running at full speed and he has the Batplane. And he and Alfred have the “You’ve done this long enough you should retire” talk from The Dark Knight Rises like crimefighting is something Batman’s been doing forever). It’s not sure who the protagonist is (Arguably Vicki Vale is the protagonist- Which would be cool if I thought they were actually going for that). I’m really uncertain in a bad way about how “sane” the Joker is supposed to be. Not to mention the often times wasteful filmmaking, like the three minute sequence of nothing but Jack Nicholson dancing around an art gallery.

    Again, I’m aware of how historically significant the movie is in terms of superhero movies… but it’s still not a good movie after I’ve seen Batman Begins/The Dark Knight and the MCU.

    1. Shamus says:

      I vividly remember being in a group of 20-somethings in 1992 and complaining about what a mess the movie was, and everyone was looking at me like I had 3 heads. Sure, it was the best Superhero movie in over a decade, but that didn’t make it good.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      but having watched Tim Burton's Batman with modern eyes a few months ago… It's not a good movie.

      Did the same some time back(after the dark knight),and I disagree.

      It's not sure whether it's a Batman origin story or not

      Its not.Unlike other batman stories in which we know all about batman and nothing about joker,here we know all about joker,and nothing about batman.Its a role reversal.

      It's not sure who the protagonist is

      Batman is.Vicki is just audience insert,someone who we follow the story with.

      I'm really uncertain in a bad way about how “sane” the Joker is supposed to be.

      He isnt.At least not after the acid bath.

      Not to mention the often times wasteful filmmaking, like the three minute sequence of nothing but Jack Nicholson dancing around an art gallery.

      Not every scene in a movie has to be either action or exposition.You call it wasteful,I call it a nice moment of peace and insanity.

      1. MichaelGC says:

        I even liked the oft-criticised ‘let’s get nuts’ scene. I’m possibly/probably/definitely reading too much into it, but there you have Michael Keaton pretending to be Batman, who is ‘pretending’ to be Bruce Wayne, who is pretending to be an unhinged tough-guy. And Bruce Wayne doesn’t do a very good job of it, which comes across in Keaton’s performance. However, Batman (arguably) is an unhinged tough-guy, and that undercurrent also comes across in the performance.

        Genius, I say!

        1. Wide And Nerdy says:

          Keaton was pretty good. Certainly better than Bale. But thats the only part of the Burton movies that I would hold over the Nolan series. Sadly, I’m not sure if Keaton would be allowed to do a good Batman in a Nolan movie.

            1. Wide And Nerdy says:

              “Scarecrow you have the board.”
              “I’ll take potent potables.”

              1. MrGuy says:

                I was sure you’d take therapists.

                1. Wide And Nerdy says:

                  Doh! Good catch. Completely missed that one.

    3. Merlin says:

      Batman is preeeetty rough and Batman Returns is straight up bad (and weirdly, a feature-length adaptation of one of the episodes from the Adam West series). But the latter features Christopher Walken delivering the line “Bruce Wayne! Why are you dressed up like Batman?” which might be enough to make me prefer it.

      Also, they remembered to put goddamned lights on the goddamned set in Returns, so you can actually see the wonderful set design.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Thats one of the reasons why Keaton is the best batman.When unmasked,the reaction should be “Holy fuck!Bruce wayne is the batman!”,and not “Yeah,I can see that” like with many other incarnations.

        1. MrGuy says:

          It was Old Man Wayne in a scary mask the whole time!

    4. Peter H. Coffin says:

      Man…. I love that gallery scene. It’s got about half the best lines in the movie in it, and Jack Nicholson dancing about to a Prince soundtrack with spraypaint is some kind of Dadaist wet dream.

    5. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      I do not concur. While I may prefer the Nolan movies as action epics, the original Batman still holds up as, basically, a story about how dysfunctional Batman really is, and how dysfunctional the city has to be for Batman to be necessary. Joker is, likewise, the necessary villain. Keaton was great in the role, as has been noted even by the detractors, for playing a lunatic keeping it under control. His foil is a lunatic who decides one day that there’s no need to keep it under control and so he goes to the art gallery.

      The difficulty Bruce has hanging out with, let alone dating, Vikki, is part and parcel to the story.

      To go with our host’s previous line on the bent nature of comic book worlds, Arkham doesn’t do anything for me. Batman as a fist punching crime in the face? Whatever. But Burton’s Batman -Batman as a loon holding it all together by rules and appearances -that speaks to me.

    6. MaxieJZeus says:

      Yes, it’s a mess, but that didn’t matter in 1989. Burton’s visual style was revolutionary (we’d only gotten a hint of it in “Beetlejuice”), and it stunned everyone. To watch it on the big screen was like being lost in a lucid dream. Even the “The New Yorker” fell back in raptures: “Tim Burton’s powerfully glamorous comic-book epic, with sets angled and lighted like film noir, goes beyond pulp. It has a funky, nihilistic charge, and an eerie, poetic intensity. … The movie is underwritten, but it has so many unpredictable spins that what’s missing doesn’t seem to matter much. It’s mean and anarchic and blissful.”

      But time has worn away the visual novelty, exposing a shambolic storyline. Is it good? It depends less on the meaning of “good” than on the meaning “is”: It was good at the time; does that go into the scale when judging it out of its time?

  17. Ivan says:

    Aw come on guys, the boss fights weren’t so bad… I mean you got a piggy-bat ride!

    1. Wide And Nerdy says:

      “Wheeee . . . I am the night . . ” Yeah I love that episode too.

      1. Ledel says:

        I just imagine Batman thinking “This reminds me of when I did this with my dad.” and crying a little on the inside.

  18. Ranneko says:

    My favourite thing to do in Predator mode is do an inverted take down, then drop the body on one of their friends when they go look at them. For some reason no one else every seems to take it that far, has no one else thrown a batarang to cut the ropes?

    Also did Chris’s microphone do the weird ultra deep voice thing again right at the end of the episode?

    1. MichaelGC says:

      has no one else thrown a batarang to cut the ropes?

      Sure, although not every time. Only, like, 95%-96% of the time! :D

    2. Jokerman says:

      I did it all the time too, i was actually going to say you can cut them down a few episodes back :D

    3. Merlin says:

      The thing that boggles my mind about Predator mode is that you can be a Bat Troll to make goons panic, but it always seems to be counterproductive. The more scared they are, the more actively they look at their surroundings and the itchier their trigger fingers get. It just shrinks the number of blind spots you can attack from.

      The number one fix here would be to actually track ammunition for the guns – troll them into blowing all of their ammo and you can just punch them in the face like any other goon. Beyond that, you could make them more easily distractable (to reflect them directing all of their focus at the loudest noise rather than retaining composure) or do something like shortening their sight radius (i.e. they’re so focused on the 2 feet surrounding them that they aren’t pay attention to the catwalk across the room). Or trigger sloppier decision-making, like splitting up by accident. Always seemed like a missed opportunity to me.

      Number 2 missed opportunity: I remember Detective Mode in both AA and AC pulling up something like “Identity Unknown” when you looked at random goons. That’s not how Batman’s world works, especially when you’ve got a direct uplink to the Batcomputer! They should really come with randomly generated names and rap sheets. And maybe even little hospital notes like “Needs hip surgery” that feed into which unnecessarily brutal takedowns get triggered for them.

      1. Slothfulcobra says:

        They do have something like that. Goons are much more easily distractible when they’re frightened, they’ll spend ten seconds blindly firing in the direction of a sudden sound. The best part is that you don’t even really have to sneak around them, since if you appear suddenly they will just flinch and not attack you right away.

        I’d like if there was a surrender system, but I don’t think Batman would like leaving people uninjured.

    4. Dreadjaws says:

      I never not cut the ropes. It’s practically a reflex now, sometimes I cut them as soon as I catch them, so as a new goon comes to investigate I catch him in the same spot.

    5. MaxieJZeus says:

      One time, in the medical facility, I took my long, sweet time doing inverted takedowns on the mooks, until they were all strung up like sides of beef.

      Well, not all of them. I left one mook free.

      Him, I let wander all around the room, never touching him, never throwing batarangs, never swooping on him. Left him gibbering and shrieking and crying for help.

      And every time he passed under one of his friends, I’d cut the rope and drop a guy at the survivor’s feet.

      Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom.

      When all the guys were on the floor again, I swooped down behind the survivor, walked in his footsteps until he turned around, and punched him in the face.

  19. This “not killing mooks” is going to make me mention a game that will likely also summon Krellen: City of Heroes.

    You spent the game punching, crushing, slamming, shooting, and dousing with exotic energies all of the baddies in Paragon City until they stopped moving. It was said in the game manuals somewhere that you were “arresting” them. This was kind of funny since nobody came to pick them up, and I had more than a few mobs wind up “arrested” face down in water over their heads with no bubbles visible. :)

    You could also “arrest” ghosts who would vanish with a scream when you were done beating them up, but I suppose you can’t “arrest” someone who’s already dead…

    1. Grudgeal says:

      I suddenly got reminded of this comic strip

      1. I like the cut of your jib, good sir. :)

    2. Aulayan says:

      The handwavy was that when they’re beaten, they get teleported away to jail.

      It was ridiculous, of course, but given how it ended, you *could* roleplay that you killed them.

      Alas, I miss that game.

  20. Grudgeal says:

    Oh yes, Batman, threaten the deadly super-villain who’s humoring you by squeezing a vine and then… Walk away and tell her to lock herself up again. Which you know she won’t do. And then the magical cure just so *happens* to grow right under Arkham for no explicable reason, requiring you to go down there to get it.

    This is not exactly the game’s strongest moment storywise.

    1. MrGuy says:

      Let’s talk about that for a second if it’s not too late

      First, seriously? He squeezes the end of a vine a bit and it dies? That’s not how plants work.

      But more importantly, that scene establishes that hurting the plants she’s connected to causes Ivy actual, physical pain. Killing one minor vine hurts enough to make her fall down in agony.

      Batman: “I’ll do the same to every plant on the island if you don’t tell me what I want to know.”

      That’s…awfully dark. He’s casually threatening to massively and repeatedly torture someone in a way that would take hours. And not torture her to GET information. No, he’s threatening to torture her as payback if she doesn’t cooperate, because he’s in a rush.

      Batman doesn’t kill people, but he apparently is ok torturing them for vengeance?

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Batman doesn't kill people, but he apparently is ok torturing them for vengeance?


  21. BeamSplashX says:

    i’m glad that dc is going to put out a batman ’66 animated movie, and a lego batman film

    like, to the point that i really don’t care if batman v superman is dark and gritty all over again (but ease up on the color correction so we can see the damn costumes, christ)

  22. silver Harloe says:

    23:00 or so “so basically we just come in here to tell Cash what we’re doing.”

    actually, you go to Cash because you know Croc has something you need, but don’t know where he is (because he’s in a off-the-map holding area), so you ask Cash where they keep Croc and how to get there.

  23. squiddlefits says:

    In hindsight Ferngully isn’t very good. It does have one immense plus though:

    Toxic Love. Ah, Tim Curry, you make pollution so very, very sexy.

  24. Sleepy the Bear says:

    The discussion about retro Batman features made me wish for “punch-bubbles” to be an option. There must be a name for this feature of comic books. Every time you hit someone a jagged bubble appears at the point of impact saying “Pow”, “Zap”, “Biff” , etc. Sure it might interfere with the smooth flow of the combat system, but I would love to play as Adam West Batman with that feature on. Unfortunately, as someone who primarily games on console these days, any mods that might do this aren’t available to me. Apologies if this has already been hashed out.

    1. Syal says:

      You could tie it to the combo meter; the higher your combo, the bigger the punch bubble and the louder the accompanying musical sting, until it takes up the entire screen and drowns out the rest of the game.

      Maybe the bad guys start covering their ears for a second because of how loud it gets.

  25. Ledel says:

    Does anyone else feel weird watching how fidgety Batman is when he’s using his hacking device? It’s like watching an 8 year old play a racing game turning the controller to make the car turn.

    1. Decius says:

      Mario Kart Wii fixed that problem.

  26. Ledel says:

    These counts are coming in a little later than usual, but the bodies are still piling up.

    K.O.ed: 207

    Maimed: 30

    Killed: 11

    That poor guy at 18:53, he may never be able to walk again. Luckily I hear Dr. Young was working on a steroid supplement that may be able to help him…Hold on…I’m just now receiving news that Dr. Young died earlier tonight at the hands of the Joker. Oh well, he was just a nameless mook anyway, right?

  27. Bubble181 says:

    Completely off topic, I don’t know if this is linked to this website or to gravatar or my browser, but there’s a weird little bug with the loading of info cards.
    If you mouse over someone with a gravatar, it’ll load up a…I dunno, business card? Info card? Small biographic thing? Anyway, if you move your mouse over one *quickly*, not giving it time to load, it can’t/won’t load anymore afterwards for that same picture. It’ll still load the same user’s info on another post, but *that* post’s avatar becomes a static picture instead of a frame loading device. I really don’t know how to properly explain, but replicating the bug should be fairly easy. I’m using the latest Chrome in Win 8.1, for the record.

  28. hborrgg says:

    Hey Josh, when trying to perform the inverted takedown you should try to be over where the mook is going to be, not where he was.

  29. Thomas says:

    Hey Josh, if you read this, next predator section please could you take out one of the guards with collars and then place Bat-Explosive by his body?

    I really want to see if that works =D

    1. MrGuy says:

      It does. the problem with it is it stuns them and lowers health, but isn’t a knockout on its own. Reasons. But you can swoop in and punch them while they’re down if you get everyone. Alternately, doing this twice will knock out a mook. Each blast takes half their health.

      1. Lachlan the Mad says:

        I’m honestly surprised that Josh hasn’t grabbed the proximity mine gel upgrade yet.

        1. MrGuy says:

          I’ve actually found that upgrade problematic, especially for this case.

          If I’m using explosive gel as a trap, I want to get as many mooks as possible in range before I blow it up. But when the mooks come running because a collar went off, they don’t arrive at the same time, so you wind up popping only the first mook. I want to wait until everyone arrives to set it off.

          I do find the multi-channel upgrade (where you can blow up three separate charges at different times) to be highly useful. But the proximity upgrade can be super frustrating in setting your trap off at the wrong time. Personally, I think it solves a problem I don’t have – setting up a trap that I don’t have to watch. Usually, if I’m setting up an explosive trap, I want to watch it.

      2. Isaac says:

        That’s why you make sure to knock out mooks while they’re next to ladders. That way, once the other mooks go over to check the body, they’ll get blown off the top of the ladder and get knocked out.

  30. Decius says:

    Isn’t anyone going to question why Killer Croc is being held in a sewer, rather than in some kind of secure area?

    1. silver Harloe says:

      I think at some point early on someone explains that, but it may just be implicit. It has something to do with enough cells destroyed and guards killed that they just gave up and decided it was easier to throw meat down a sewer drain and at least he’s stuck in the island’s sewers and not out on Gotham proper.

      1. MrGuy says:

        That would make sense, but it’s ALSO made explicit earlier (in the opening sequence) that they move Killer Croc around via the elevator system (since they’re moving him WHILE you’re arriving with Joker). Which sort of goes against the “we just leave him in the sewers and shrug” explanation.

      2. Lachlan the Mad says:

        Right, because the Arkham Island sewers are obviously completely unconnected to Gotham City’s sewer system and from the surrounding natural water :/

        1. Volvagia says:

          Connected? Most definitely. Connected in a way that something as massive as the Killer Croc of this game could get through? Nope.

          1. Lachlan the Mad says:

            The Killer Croc of this game can also apparently smash through steel bars (see his cell in the main room of the medical building). I think that if the connection was too small for him, he’d damn well make it bigger.

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