Arkham City Part 20: Theatrics

By Shamus
on Jun 8, 2017
Filed under:
Batman

And so we come to the actual ending of the game. Batman glides down from the Wonder Tower explosion and Clayface-Joker gets on the JumbotronI imagine Hugo Strange had a hard time justifying the cost of his ten-meter outdoor flatscreen TV in the Arkham City Budget. to taunt him in front of all of Arkham City. Joker has his girlfriend, and he wants Batman to come to the movie theater.

First Batman has to work his way to the theater through a nest of snipers who are all covering each other. They’re lining the canyon of dilapidated buildings leading up to the theater entrance. The game is not messing around at this point. Even on easy difficulty, these guys can kill Batman pretty quickly. Nearly every sniper is covered by at least one other sniper, and so if you’re sloppy and try to attack the wrong guy you’ll get shot several times in the attempt. You need to probe around the edges and find someone who isn’t covered.

It`s tough to get a screenshot that shows off all the guys without getting shot in the process. Trust me, there are a lot of guys.

It`s tough to get a screenshot that shows off all the guys without getting shot in the process. Trust me, there are a lot of guys.

It’s not a difficult puzzle, but it’s a slow one to unravel because after you take out one sniper, you often have to travel several blocks, all the way around to the other side of the canyon to get behind the next vulnerable target. The whole time, Joker has a gun to Talia’s head and is taunting Batman. It’s a good thing Joker is so much fun and Mark Hamill is so delightful in the role, because otherwise this would be really tedious.

Once inside the theater, it looks like Clayface-Joker is planning on shooting Talia in front of Batman. Then we get one of my favorite lines of the whole game. Batman stops short and says, “Let’s just talk about this.”

On one hand, this is a really good line because it underscores the fact that Joker has all the power here. Batman doesn’t have any plans, any tricks, or any gadgets to get him out of this. Batman came here because he had no other choice. On the other hand, this moment would be a lot stronger if Batman hadn’t spent most of the night bumbling around with no plans and no idea what was going on. It’s not like he’s suddenly without a plan. He’s still without a plan, only now the stakes are higher.

It’s a good moment, but it’s also where the entire Joker plot unravels. Often I complain about “Fridge Logic”, where something seems fine when you’re caught up in the moment, but later you realize it made no sense. But it’s not as bad as the reverse problem, which is when the story seems confusing and contradictory and doesn’t make sense until you’re able to piece it together later. That’s fine for plot-twisting mystery stories, but in an action adventure story you really don’t want the audience to be baffled during the climax.

I give Clayface-Joker credit: Dude really knows how to put on a show.

I give Clayface-Joker credit: Dude really knows how to put on a show.

“Gimmie the cure!” Joker orders.

And then the player is thinking: Wait, why does he think Batman has the cure? We already know Harley Quinn stole it. And he appears to be cured, so why doesn’t he have it, and why does he still want it?

A second later it’s revealed that Talia stole it. But this doesn’t make sense because she’s been in Joker’s custody since the last time we saw her.

Even if she stole it from him while she was a prisoner, why would Joker think that Batman has it?

The game never explains it, but the truth is that Talia stole it from Harley Quinn before she surrendered to Joker. Talia’s wording is SUPER unhelpful. She says “Harley Quinn stole it for him, I took it back.” Which just makes it sound like she took it from Joker. What she really means is, “I took it back BEFORE HARLEY GAVE IT TO HIM”. Which means that she had the cure in her pocket back at the steel mill, when she left Batman trapped under a pile of rubble and ran off with Joker to give him access to the Lazarus pit.

Hang on, Joker is healthy. Why is he still after the cure?

This is answered a second later when Talia seems to break free and murder Joker. (Which is still really Clayface at this point.) Then we finally have the “two Jokers” reveal and the real Joker shoots Talia from the shadows.

I would love to know how this elephant-size pile of goop shape-shifts into a 170 pound man.

I would love to know how this elephant-size pile of goop shape-shifts into a 170 pound man.

Hang on, wasn’t Talia going to give him the Lazarus pit? Did that happen? Wasn’t that the whole reason he let Batman go in the first place? Did he forget?

This is partially answered a few minutes later. Clayface reveals himself and we get a great big Super Mario Sunshine-style boss fight driven entirely by mechanics where every action Clayface takes can only be explained by “It’s a boss fight.”

At the end, we see that Joker has wired the floor to explode. The resulting hole leads straight down into Old Gotham. In fact, it leads down into the chamber with the Lazarus pit.

Just… what? Is this what Talia told him? She told him the pool of immortality was directly under the movie theater and he 100% believed her without making any effort to verify? Not only does he believe that a pool of immortality exists, he also believes she’s willing to give it to him. And he believes that it’s directly under the theater. And he knows blowing open the floor will grant him access to it? Even though he was dying, real Joker sat around NOT using the miracle pit. I mean, why not use the pit and THEN face Batman? He sacrificed his entire plan in exchange for this thing, and now he’s putting off using it?

I’m not saying everyone will get stuck on the same points as I did, but I’m willing to bet most people went through the scene with a vague sense that something was off.

Batman beats Clayface and recovers the cure. You might remember that at the start of the Joker plot, Batman was fine with the idea of dying along with the Joker. It wasn’t until he found out that Joker had poisoned Gotham that he was motivated to seek this cure. He then spent most of the game fighting to obtain it. Aside from the little detour up the tower to stop Protocol 10, he’s spent the entire night fighting every supervillain in Arkham City to obtain this cure. A few hours ago Robin phoned him up and let him know that many innocent people are in Gotham’s hospitals, dying of Joker toxin. The first of them will begin dying by morning. Finally, after an entire night of fighting, Batman is holding the means to save Gotham.

Batman pops the top off and drinks half of it.

*glug* *glug* *glug* I can`t help but imagine that he`s holding up one finger like Sterling Archer.

*glug* *glug* *glug* I can`t help but imagine that he`s holding up one finger like Sterling Archer.

Hey asshole, what about those 2,000 innocent civilians? Is this something you’re even supposed to drink? Maybe this is an intravenous drug? Do you even need that much? Considering the fact that you’re still in pretty good shape, shouldn’t you get this to the hospital and see what can be done with it and how many people can be saved? Hey, I think Ra’s Al Ghul is still stuck on the top of the Arkham sign. Maybe you could go out and get a little more of that magic blood to make more cure? Isn’t it worth TRYING to save some of those 2,000 people? Isn’t SAVING EVERYONE the entire core of your character, which we just reinforced at the end of the last chapter when you tried to save two different super villains? And now you’re going to dismiss all those innocent people, who originally were the only reason you began this stupid quest to begin with?

Just after Catwoman freed him, Batman had that big moment where he wanted to let Protocol 10 run wild so he could save his girlfriend. Alfred even said to him, “Batman must save Gotham!” So that was Batman’s big turning point, when he put aside his own needs to “save Gotham”. But here he is, NOT saving Gotham again. Batman is known for extreme focus, foresight, and placing the safety and survival of innocents above his own life. These are core tenets of the character. It’s a little iffy to have a character arc where he seems to compromise on themSure, you CAN do it. But it needs to be rare and it needs to be for a really good reason. If the hero compromises on their core beliefs too often, they will simply stop being their core beliefs., but it’s flat-out wrong to have a story where he compromises his beliefs, repents, and then later compromises on an even larger scale without the story taking any notice at all.

Joker crawls down through the hole, trying to reach the Lazarus pit. Batman takes Talia’s sword and throws it at an electrical transformer in the wreckage, which causes a bunch of electrical shit to fall down into the pit and explode.

Yeah. I guess he knew those four tons of electrical wreckage were one good sword-bonk away from falling. Whatever, man.

Batman wakes up after the explosion…

Times Batman has been knocked unconscious so far this evening: 6

…and looks at the vial of cure. It’s technically still half-empty, but the animators have bungled this cutscene so that in this shot it looks like the vial is totally empty. This is yet another layer of confusion in a scene that really doesn’t need more.

Did Batman spill it all during the explosion? No. They just didn`t bother to properly depict this stupid McGuffin that`s been driving the entire plot. The vial is still half-full.

Did Batman spill it all during the explosion? No. They just didn`t bother to properly depict this stupid McGuffin that`s been driving the entire plot. The vial is still half-full.

Joker is out of time. Choking out his last breaths, he demands the cure. Batman looks down at the half-empty vial, pondering whether or not to give it to him.

“Every decision you’ve ever made ends with death and misery. People die. I stop you. You’ll just break out and do it again.”

Hey dumbass. What about the civilians? Whether you choose to save him or not, shouldn’t he AT LEAST have to get in line behind everyone else at the hospital? Your mandate is to “save EVERYONE, including supervillains”. Not “everyone, ESPECIALLY supervillains”. Ass.

While Batman is staring at the vial, Joker backstabs him and he drops the vial on the ground. It shatters.

You’re not the hero Gotham deserves. You’re the hero Gotham has to settle for. Loser.

Yes, Joker’s dialog is brilliant all through this scene. But that doesn’t change the fact that this entire sequence is a disaster that confuses the audience, muddles Batman’s values, and ends with more cutscene incompetence.

Anyway, Joker dies. We’ll wrap this series up next week.

Enjoyed this post? Please share!

Footnotes:

[1] I imagine Hugo Strange had a hard time justifying the cost of his ten-meter outdoor flatscreen TV in the Arkham City Budget.

[2] Sure, you CAN do it. But it needs to be rare and it needs to be for a really good reason. If the hero compromises on their core beliefs too often, they will simply stop being their core beliefs.


20209Feeling chatty? There are 49 comments.

From the Archives:

  1. Jonn says:

    You weren’t kidding about the plot not understanding Batman, huh.

    Something to fix:

    On one hand, this is a really good line because it underscores the fact that that Joker has all the power here.

  2. Metheos says:

    The issues with the ending of the story partly stem from the problem Shamus mentioned in Part 5: how the Joker’s popularity has led to more importance being placed on the ‘bond’ between him and Batman, and almost no importance on the innocent civilians Joker kills and endangers. Because of his popularity, writers kept using the Joker and expanding on his relationship with Batman. At some point, they came up with the idea that Batman and Joker actually cared about each other, and that their interactions are a game to both of them. Thus, Batman’s refusal to kill the Joker was partly because Batman wouldn’t know what to do with his life. Fans, with their impressive ability to believe and parrot back nonsensical ideas, took this to heart (much as they do with the explanations of why nobody in Gotham has killed the Joker yet). Sure enough, on Youtube videos and message boards talking about this ending, you can see people going on about how Batman and Joker understand each other like no one else, how they’re two sides of the same coin, how they need each other. At the risk of going ahead of Shamus, I’ll mention the game’s ending. Batman carries Joker’s body bridal style, apparently forgetting about Talia, who was supposedly important enough for him to consider leaving everyone else in Arkham City to their fate. On said sites, tons of people were gushing about how fitting it was that Batman cared more about the Joker than the supposed love of his life. Basically, the Joker’s popularity has resulted in a ton of fanboys who demand that he appear in every Batman story and that his relationship with Batman be front and center. Predictably, when it seemed like Arkham Knight would actually keep the Joker to the side for once, there were plenty of Joker fanboys that whined incessantly.

    As you can guess, I despise this concept, partly for the reason Shamus said: it makes it impossible to consider Batman a hero, and arguably makes him a villain. Furthermore, I find the Joker overrated as a character. While his sense of humor does make him entertaining, he is utterly lacking in depth, and attempts by his fans to explain his thematic importance sound like prime “I am fourteen and this is deep” material.

    The point about Batman’s non-concern for the poisoned civilians is another issue that regularly arises in Joker stories: the innocents that he harms are rarely if ever characterized in the slightest. Even a Joker fan noted how the people he kills are more like cardboard cutouts than characters. The stories simply make no attempt to give audiences a reason to care about the people the Joker kills, and so they don’t. The rub is, it shouldn’t even be that hard. The animated adaptation of “The Dark Knight Returns” has a scene where the Joker goes on a killing spree in an amusement park, and Batman snaps the Joker’s neck in response. Whereas the comments in a lot of videos bringing up the subject of whether Batman should kill the Joker usually bring up some “Batman cares about the Joker too much to kill him” comments, here there’s nothing of the sort; viewers wanted Batman to kill. All it takes is the tiniest effort showing the people that the Joker kills, instead of them being an anonymous hypothetical.

    • Arakus says:

      To be fair about Talia, the League of Assassins usually retrieve the bodies of Talia and Ra’s for Lazarus revival very soon after they die, so it’s possible Batman was assuming they’d take care of it and Talia would be revived. (Then again, there’s some dialogue in Arkham Knight implying that Batman really thinks she’s dead, so maybe the writers are just idiots and I’m giving them too much credit.)

    • guy says:

      Wait, people seriously argue that Batman doesn’t kill the Joker because of a bond between them? Even insofar as there is one rather than it being a sign of the Joker’s madness, it’s not something that motivates Batman. He doesn’t kill the Joker because he doesn’t kill people period.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Its also the reverse.The joker is the one who doesnt want to just kill batman because of the bond.Its him who needs batman,not the other way around.

        • Retsam says:

          That one’s plausible at least. Joker’s motivations tend to be all over the place, but “Joker thinks of this whole thing as a game and doesn’t want the game to end” fits pretty well with how his character is often depicted.

    • Crimson Dragoon says:

      I know its besides the point, but in Dark Knight Returns Batman doesn’t kill the Joker. As a final joke, the Joker snaps his own neck to make it look like Batman killed him, thereby framing him for murder and getting the cops (and Superman) after him. But your point about characterizing the innocents is a good one. Its hard to care about some off screen patients in a hospital that are only ever mentioned in passing. The Arkham games have always had this issue. Every map in every game is only populated by criminals, so we rarely get to see the citizens our superhero is supposed to be saving.

      As for the relationship between Batman and the Joker, the Dark Knight (the Nolan movie) got it right. Batman won’t kill the Joker out of some sense of morality. Joker won’t kill Batman because he’s too much fun. Anything more is overthinking it.

      • ZekeCool says:

        This particular dynamic works best when it’s one sided. I think Joker is most interesting when he feels like there’s this heavy, important bond between them and Batman treats him like an annoyance. I prefer for Batman to think that Joker absolutely deserves death, but that he can’t be the one to give it to him. If the people say that he deserves to go to the electric chair then Bats would shrug and go on with his day.
        This is something I think the Nolan films did very well. Joker’s not his rival, the other side of his coin, or a puzzle to be figured out. Maybe others see the relationship that way, but Batman doesn’t. To Batman, Joker’s just another criminal to beat.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Yup,I like the “batman doesnt kill,but wont go out of his way to save a villain”.Its the best interpretation of the character.

          • Sleeping Dragon says:

            A bit late after the original post but still.

            While I agree with the general sentiment in this thread and I think guy above pointed out perfectly that it’s the Joker in his madness who perceives some kind of bond between them and goes out of his way for Batman I think what you’re saying here is also something against the core ethos of the character.

            Now mind you, I have not really been into Batman lore for a loooong time but far as I remember he sort of considers the villains he fights to be under his “protect from death when possible” way back in the day leaving a villain for dead (or “for fate to decide”) was a big no-no when the Azrael kid temporarily took over as Batman during the Bane storyline when Bruce had his spine broken (he got better). Spoilers just in case for what is I think ancient history in Batman lore. That said I’m fairly certain he would not attempt to interfere with a death penalty from the actual legal system.

            Actually, has there ever been a storyline where someone expects Batman to testify or something along these lines?

            • ZekeCool says:

              Man that would actually be really interesting to see Batman’s thoughts on a legal death sentence or someone attempting to get evidence from him. I’d be really into seeing a comic exploring this.

    • Shen says:

      Thank you! I’m glad someone said it. I’ve been baffled since “The Dark Knight” as to why Joker is suddenly Batman’s reason for living and the greatest evil in the DC pantheon. “He’s an agent of chaos” is fine characterisation for a one-shot villain but loses a lot for a recurring one.

  3. thak says:

    Another great analysis as always.

    A few fixes:

    Jumbotron

    We already know Harley Quinn stole it.

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Isnt the whole “infected hospitals” thing resolved in arkham knight?

    • Zekiel says:

      Well yes, but it really really should be resolved in this story! Absolutely fine for Arkham Knight to use this as a plot point, but no excuse for Arkham City not tying up the thing that is supposedly Batman’s primary motivation for the biggest plot in the game.

  5. Darren says:

    They really retconned the hell out of the Joker blood element in Arkham Knight. In that game, they explain all of this away by saying that they managed to prevent any of Joker’s blood from being used in transfusion except for five people (plus Batman), and it turns out that there actually is no cure for it (also it doesn’t do what it seems to do in City, but whatever).

    I’m not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, Asylum and City have hidden Easter Eggs that clearly show that Rocksteady was hard at work on sequels. They weren’t making these games in strict isolation and were giving thought to how they’d fit together in a larger continuity, and I want to praise them for making a standalone Batman continuity that manages to build a narrative in a relatively straight line from the rather uninspired starting point of “super soldier serum,” one of the weakest video game plots there is. But the individual narratives are all really rocky and seemingly cobbled together at points, and that makes it harder to look past individual games to the larger story.

  6. Mousazz says:

    I might be confused by some intricacies of the English language, but this sentence:

    You might remember that at the start of the Joker plot, Batman was fine with he and Joker dying together.

    Shouldn’t that ‘he’ be replace with ‘him’?

    • Cinebeast says:

      I’m not 100% sure, but I think “he” is actually correct in this instance. It did throw me off, though. It’s kind of like the old “who VS whom” thing. Say you ask, “To who/whom does this batarang belong?”

      “Whom” is technically correct, but most people won’t blink an eye at “who” instead and, in all likelihood, will get tripped up by “whom.”

      • Kylroy says:

        Because “whom” is the last remnant of a case (I think the term is “accusative”) that has otherwise completely vanished from the English language. I’d say it would be gone in 50 years, but the case itself has been gone for at least a century while “whom” persists.

        • MrPyro says:

          It has not entirely disappeared from English, but you only really get it in pronouns.

          The accusative case is used when describing the object of a sentence (i.e the thing the verb is acting on).

          So in English, you get ‘I’ (nominative) going to ‘me’ (accusative). ‘You’ stays as it is, but ‘he’ becomes ‘him’, ‘she’ becomes ‘her’, ‘we’ becomes ‘us’ and ‘they’ becomes ‘them’.

          • Philadelphus says:

            The second-person pronoun in English used to have distinction between nominative and accusative too, or as many modern English grammars have taken to calling them, “subjective case” (nominative) and “objective case” (accusative & dative), plus a “possessive case” to cover the genitive. It also had distinction between singular and plural, but it’s all been subsumed into what was originally the plural objective form. So for reference, “thou”: singular subjective, “thee”: singular objective, “ye”: plural subjective, “you”: plural objective.

            Some dialects of English have pushed back against this overwhelming homogeneity and come up with their own variant forms to better distinguish things such as number, such as “y’all” for the plural in the southern U.S.

    • Redingold says:

      I think the proper grammar here is “his and Joker’s dying together”. The -ing suffix denotes a gerund, which acts as a noun, meaning that you use a possessive pronoun.

    • Matt Downie says:

      My rule of thumb is that it should still sound right with the ‘and X’ bit removed.

      “Batman was fine with he dying…” sounds wrong.
      “Batman was fine with him dying…” is better, but makes it sound like someone else is being referenced.
      “Batman was fine with himself dying…” – maybe?

      • Shamus says:

        Dangit. Now everything sounds wrong.

        Okay, I’ve re-worded the sentence, which was probably easier than trying to find a solution that was both technically correct and also SOUNDED correct.

  7. Scampi says:

    Wow…you really managed to break me here, Shamus.
    I was about to try and excuse the hell out of several aspects, when you began your tirade about the innocent victims.

    Thinking back, I thought: “But if Batman has to save ALL of Gotham…WHY shouldn’t he first go after the man who has the cure for the innocent people in the hospitals of Gotham BEFORE ending the bombing of murderers and ne’er-do-wells in Arkham? Goddamn, Batman. Priorities. Unless he believed the bombing to be quicker to be stopped than Joker in the first place.

    On the other hand, concerning Joker and the Lazarus Pit…hasn’t the one who got told about the Pit by Talia the Clayface-Joker? I always assumed Clayface and Joker work together in general for different reasons but don’t necessarily share goals, so Clayface being massively interested in the pit might result in a indifferent shrug from the real Joker?

    I would love to know how this elephant-size pile of goop shape-shifts into a 170 pound man.

    Maybe he’s hollow inside?

    • Syal says:

      Or the opposite of hollow; he looks 170 pounds but he’s, like, double-layered or however you call it where he’s actually 340 pounds.

      Rock-solid abs is what I’m saying.

  8. Retsam says:

    At the end, we see that Joker has wired the floor to explode.

    Didn’t the Penguin already pull that trick? Was the guy who wires explosives into floor having a sale that week? A two-for-one special, maybe?

    • guy says:

      The Joker knows the Rule Of Three but Scarecrow cancelled at the last minute so they couldn’t make Batman flee in terror from a segment of perfectly normal and unwired floor.

  9. Christopher says:

    I was looking forward to some Clayface talk. I guess this is my fault(it completely is, I went back and looked at the wording), but when the series began and you lead with the “gameplay first” thing I was expecting gameplay to be the most important(“first”) part of the discussion. Not to get it out of the way first and then do the regular story nitpicking. I like that stuff, too, but it’s not as important for me that it’s good in Batman Arkham City as it is in Mass Effect, or in Final Fantasy. I think the Borderlands 2 analysis is next? If that’s mostly about the plot too then I think that’s even less relevant, in a 4-player co-op loot shooter. I can’t remember a thing about that game’s story besides Handsome Jack being a dick and one sidequest that had a good Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles gag.

    • Abnaxis says:

      I don’t think it’s too off topic to say I thought the Rakkman gag was the real comedy gold in Borerlands 2

    • Ninety-Three says:

      but when the series began and you lead with the “gameplay first” thing I was expecting gameplay to be the most important(“first”) part of the discussion. Not to get it out of the way first and then do the regular story nitpicking. I like that stuff, too, but it’s not as important for me that it’s good in Batman Arkham City as it is in Mass Effect, or in Final Fantasy.

      I’d like to echo this. Some of Shamus’ story analysis is quite good, but overall it feels like there’s just too much of it for how little the game cares about its own story.

      “Tearing apart the internal logic of something with shoddy internal logic” can be its own fun exercise, but I had the impression this series was meant to be more of a general analysis than a cathartic shredding of terrible writing.

      Although I understand how it might have ended up this way: It’s a lot easier to write twenty thousand words on a game’s story than its mechanics.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      or in Final Fantasy

      Wait,you mean to tell me that final fantasies have good stories?

      • Dreadjaws says:

        The sixth game has an excellent storyline. The seventh one is pretty good too, though certainly not on the level its annoying fanbase props it up to be. Everything else ranges from correct to hair-rippingly idiotic. I haven’t played the last game, and I don’t play the MMOs, but they do seem to get worse with each game.

  10. Cinebeast says:

    This has been a fascinating series. I only played Arkham City the once, and frankly, the story didn’t stick with me. I’ve replayed the first game at least seven times, though.

    I’m not sure if this retrospective has made me more or less likely to replay City. It’s certainly been a good time either way.

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      It really makes me want to replay City and also Origins but I just got Dark Souls 2 and Ashes of Singularity from Humble Monthly and I have several games of TW:Warhammer started and… my backlog is getting ridiculous at this point to be honest.

  11. Philadelphus says:

    Wait, so the location of this “Lazarus Pit” is now known (at least to Batman), so those 2,000 civilians dying of Joker blood poisoning can just be resurrected tomorrow, right? Just set up a winch and tackle to lower ’em in and set up an assembly line. Maybe that’s why Batman’s so blasé about the cure.

  12. Fade2Gray says:

    Total aside: I’d love to hear Shamus’ opinion of the story in the Mad Max game. Especially the ending. It seems to have divided the 3 dozen people who played it all the way to the end and cared to write words about it online. I don’t think I’ll forget that ending any time soon.

  13. Dreadjaws says:

    “Hey asshole, what about those 2,000 innocent civilians? Is this something you’re even supposed to drink? Maybe this is an intravenous drug? Do you even need that much? Considering the fact that you’re still in pretty good shape, shouldn’t you get this to the hospital and see what can be done with it and how many people can be saved? Hey, I think Ra’s Al Ghul is still stuck on the top of the Arkham sign. Maybe you could go out and get a little more of that magic blood to make more cure? Isn’t it worth TRYING to save some of those 2,000 people? Isn’t SAVING EVERYONE the entire core of your character, which we just reinforced at the end of the last chapter when you tried to save two different super villains? And now you’re going to dismiss all those innocent people, who originally were the only reason you began this stupid quest to begin with?”

    I actually think this is a perfectly reasonable course of action. Just like when before a plane flight starts and they tell parents to first take care about themselves and then their children in the case of an emergency, it’s important that you find yourself in a good enough state to help others or else things could get worse.

    If Batman hadn’t drank the cure, he might have died long before getting it to a hospital, and even if someone managed to get inside the prison, the cure could have been stolen or destroyed, or taken by the Joker, which means he’d be free again, lots of people in Gotham would be poisoned and there would be no Batman to defend the city. Like it or not, Batman’s first step was correct to be making sure that he was in condition to take the cure to Gotham.

    There is, though, absolutely no excuse for that not being his immediate next step. As soon as he took the cure, he should have rushed off to the hospital, Joker be damned. Or, you know, to Freeze to get him to make more. But clearly the writers were yet again cheating to avoid to making Batman “kill” by inaction. At least they didn’t try to pull that BS again in Arkham Knight’s DLC.

    Also, uh… did the old lady make it?

    • Retsam says:

      Yeah, while a lot of this – that the cure is drinkable, and that Batman knows its drinkable and the knows proper dosage, which just happens to be enough for two – seems like pure writer’s convenience to setup the “save Joker or not?!” moment, the idea that Batman would drink the cure doesn’t seem unreasonable.

      If the disease is weakening him, or if there’s a chance it’ll incapacitate him, it’s better that he drinks it so that he can actually survive to deliver the cure. Certainly if there’s only 2 doses, they’re going to need to replicate the cure to save everyone, anyway, and there’s probably no reason they couldn’t do that from half a vial.

    • Shamus says:

      “Also, uh… did the old lady make it?”

      I just walked in the house, coming back from the funeral home. She actually passed just a few hours after Monday’s post went up. :(

      • Dreadjaws says:

        Wow, sad to hear this. I’m really sorry. :(

        I feel like a cynic, though, because an old woman died and my worries are more with your family than with hers. But then again, I don’t even know if she had a family. In any case, hope everything turns better for you all.

    • Xapi says:

      Sorry is this is a bit crass given the subject matter, but when reading Dreadjaws’ comment and before seeing Shamus’ reply, I was like, “There was an old lady in this game? And why would she make the cure? I thought it was Freeze. I have been reading 20 entries of this and missed an entire character?”

  14. King Marth says:

    Every time I see a glass vial of macguffin-fluid shatter on the floor, I just sigh and wonder why no-one uses plastic containers for mission-critical potions.

    Sure, glass is better for long-term storage and it’s chemically inert enough to handle most nasty reagents better than plastic, but just once I want to see an undercover villain reveal themselves, taunt the heroes, dramatically drop the vial, and awkwardly look down as the vial bounces and rolls around harmlessly.

    • guy says:

      They had a bad experience with a team of Japanese schoolgirls who can manipulate petroleum products once.

    • Dreadjaws says:

      To be fair, them being inside a walled-off prison city probably doesn’t really give them much of a chance about buying their choice of containers. Freeze probably had to make do with what he had inside the police lab.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      The glass isnt the problem,its the fact that in fiction glass shatters as soon as the wind picks up.But Ive seen a bunch of glass vials,glasses and bottles fall from heights without shattering.They usually just end up chipped,or maybe their tops break,but very rarely do they shatter completely.

      • Matt Downie says:

        Alternative ending:

        The vial falls. It bounces off the floor. Batman catches it. “No! The rim of the vial is chipped! Someone could get a nasty cut on their mouth if they tried drinking from this.” He carefully wraps it up in newspaper, then throws it in the bin.

    • Scampi says:

      Actually it’s been quite possible to produce immensely robust glass containers for a long time.
      I remember a soda company which prided itself for their bottles’ robustness so much they called them “unbreakable”.
      A guy I knew used to drop them from high places repeatedly to find the height at which it would shatter. I spent 2 weeks with him, at the start of which he began his experiments. At the end, he still used the same bottle because he had barely managed to get the surface splintered at all.
      The height he’d drop the bottle the most often from was the upper floor of a 4 story building, but he also found higher places, such as rides in an amusement park and such (he was kind of an irresponsible jackass) to throw the bottle of with great momentum.
      Maybe this is the kind of glass people should use for their very important scientific vials?

      • ehlijen says:

        While that is true, test tubes for lab use tend to be designed more for being cheap than tough, at least in my experience. Odds are, you’ll throw them out before too long anyway as they get gunked up and you’ll want a lot, rather than a few really good ones.

        And nothing conveys ‘SCIENCE!’ better than a strangely coloured liquid in a test tube, bonus points if it’s steaming or smoking.

        Of course, in the real world few people keep anything of true value in a test tube for storage, but the idea that thin glass cointainer = science = fragile is a fortified trope by now. See also crashing through sugar glass windows in movies. That doesn’t work in the real world, even though movies and games have taught us that windows are just really loud doorways.

Leave a Reply

Comments are moderated and may not be posted immediately. Required fields are marked *

*
*

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun.

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>