Batman descends into Old Gotham to look for Ra’s Al Ghul. Well, I guess this is Old Old Gotham, since Arkham City itself is already built from Old Gotham. The city is a bit young to have this many archaeological layers, but comic book gonna comic book.
There’s some puzzles and travel and combat and other tomfoolery. At the end Batman is barely holding it together. The toxins are catching up with him.
Batman was dosed with Titan formula at the end of the last game and came out unscathed. Joker has endured this stuff in his blood for months and only now is it really getting to him. Batman got a diluted dose via Joker’s blood a few hours ago and already he’s in worse shape than Joker.
There’s actually an explanation for why the toxin seems to be so inconsistent. The explanation is, “It’s a videogame based on a comic book.”
The Joker Toxin has been wearing him down over the past hour or so. The game even lowers Batman’s max health. I’m glad his weakness is reflected in gameplay and not confined to cutscenes. Also, this is a good way to gently increase the difficulty without needing to introduce new foes. Remember that this is a game where it’s possible to get through an entire fight without taking a scratch. The game is just being a little less forgiving about how many mistakes you can make in a fight.
When Batman reaches the gates of Ra’s Al Ghul’s underground fortress, he collapses face-down on the cobblestones. He sees his parents, because God forbid we get through a Batman story without seeing those two idiots. They beckon him to “come towards the light”, pretty much explicitly calling him to the afterlife. Then Batman snaps out of it and struggles to his feet again.
I’m not a doctor, but I feel safe in saying that if you’re face-down on the cobblestones and having a near-death experience where dead relatives are beckoning you to come into the light, then I think you’re no longer conscious.
Times Batman has been knocked unconscious so far this evening: 5
Batman reaches the end and meets Talia Al Ghul, the daughter of Ra’s. Earlier I complained that the game did a poor job of giving us some context for the Batman and Robin relationship, but this exchange with Talia is a pretty good example of the right way to handle things. She references “The one night” they spent together in Metropolis. She know’s he’s Bruce WayneSo does Ra’s, for what it’s worth. and they haven’t talked since then.
We get it. They’re really hot for each other, but their vastly different lives prevent them from forming a stable relationship. The whole exchange takes about half a minute, and it tells us everything we need to know to understand where these two stand. It’s not an expensive thing, and I’m baffled that they couldn’t give Robin a similar setup.
Ra’s actually has a cool gimmick. He thinks he’s the good guy, and he keeps trying to recruit Batman. Ra’s wants to retire from the League of Assassins and let Batman take over.
Hugo Strange: I want to take Batman’s job.
Ra’s Al Ghul: I want Batman to take my job.
The problem is that Ra’s is a big believer in the death penalty and not so much a fan of due process. Batman has refused the job before, but now he’s here under the pretense of having a change of heart. What he really needs is a sample of Ra’s’s blood. While he’s here, I’m hoping he can discover how in the hell you’re supposed to make the name “Ra’s” possessive without creating the grammatical abomination I left in the previous sentence.
Ra’s is skeptical, but he’s willing to play along. He gives Batman a shot of Lazarus juice to keep him alive for a couple more hours. I thought the Lazarus pit was topical use only, but apparently it’s also drinkable? I don’t know what would happen if I drank from an old man’s glowing Jacuzzi that hadn’t been cleaned out in six hundred years, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t get more healthy.
Batman chugs the Lazarus and goes all Fear and Loathing in Old Gotham. He has a psychedelic trip to Boss Fight City. Faceless mooks made of clay appear out of nowhere and Batman has to bash them up.
In movies, visions and dreams can exist entirely in the character’s head. Even if the protagonist gets in what appears to be a life-and-death struggle, once they wake up it’s clear the it was all a dream and the danger was never real. But in a videogame, the “hallucinations” can kill you. If you screw up this encounter, Batman drops dead and you get sent back to the last checkpoint.
So what kills him? Several of these fights take place while Batman is locked, all alone, in a room the size of a closet. How does that work? Who is he punching? What does this fight represent? Is he punching the assassins? Thin air? Is this supposed to represent his symbolic struggle against the corruption of the Lazarus juice? Sure, Ra’s is here and some of the damage might be coming from him, but it’s clear that Ra’s isn’t the only thing attacking Batman.
(The answer, of course, is “Videogame”.)
Batman gets his head straight and swipes some blood from Ra’s using the blood extractor he keeps on his belt. Yes, all the time. Of course he does, don’t give me that look. You know how he is. He keeps it between the can opener and the FireWire adapter.
Save Us, Batman!
Batman was in radio blackout while in Ra’s’ lair. When he comes out, he gets a report from Robin. One hospital has about 30 people infected with Joker toxin. Another hospital has 50. Then Oracle jumps in and says that according to her simulation, “That number is expected to climb to 2,000 by morning.”
This makes it sound like the number of infections is climbing, which is confusing. Is the hospital continuing to give out Joker’s infected blood? I guess this is supposed to mean they’re discovering new cases, not creating new cases, but it’s confusingly worded. In any case, this poison / disease / whatever the writer says it is supposedly kills people in one day. How did 2,000 people become infected all at once? Why is this the first we’re hearing about it? Why is the city performing 2,000 blood transfusions in one 24 hour period? More importantly, how in the hell did Joker donate enough blood to infect 2,000?! Was he the only donor in the entire city? How did he keep them from giving out his blood until now?
This is just nonsense.
Worst of all, none of it matters. With 2,000 innocent people on the line, this problem should be the #1 priority for Batman. Instead this entire plot thread dies here and he’ll make no further effort to save those people or even find out how they’re doing later.
Mayor May I?
When Batman returns to the surface, he finds out the mayor – who approved the construction of Arkham City – has been thrown into Arkham City. Batman saves the mayor from the goons waiting to kill him. Then he interrogates the mayor by way of hanging him over a ledge, which I think Batman is contractually obligated to do to someone at least once per story.
It turns out the mayor’s election was paid for by Hugo Strange, who is in turn backed by some secret (at this point in the story) power. They put mayor Quincy SharpHe was the warden of Arkham Asylum in the previous game. in power specifically to get Arkham City approved and built.
I’ll bet you forgot all about stupid Hugo Strange by this point, didn’t you? We haven’t seen him since the opening credits.
The Batman Who Knew Too Little
Later we’ll learn that Ra’s Al Ghul was the real mastermind of Arkham City. He was the hidden power hiding behind Hugo Strange. Since Batman has always refused the position, Strange is being given a shot at it. The game doesn’t reveal this until the very end, so at the time it felt like Ra’s was just another secondary supervillain to round out the collection of random boss fights and fan service.
This means the previous chapter had to be really odd from the perspective of Ra’s. He’s sitting in his fortress, patiently waiting for updates from Hugo Strange to see how Protocol 10 turns out. This is the big night for him. He’s been bankrolling Hugo Strange, Mayor Quincy Sharp, and Arkham City for all these months. If the plan works, they’ll get to slaughter a bunch of criminals (always a win for Ra’s) and he’ll finally have the successor he’s always wanted. It’s just five more hours until every-
Suddenly Batman staggers in.
Oh shit. Batman has figured it out and he’s here to… no? He’s been poisoned and he finally wants to join? Well, I’ve kind of got my hands full tonight but… sure. What the hell?
And then Ra’s loses the fight. But Batman just takes some of his blood and leaves.
Apparently Batman is working on some totally unrelated bullshit? He’s not here to stop me? He doesn’t even KNOW? Okay then. I guess I’ll just put a cold compress on these bruises and get back to work.
 So does Ra’s, for what it’s worth.
 He was the warden of Arkham Asylum in the previous game.
Even allegedly smart people can make life-changing blunders that seem very, very obvious in retrospect.
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56 thoughts on “Arkham City Part 13: Old Old Gotham”
How did Quincy get elected anyway? I get that he had a lot of money but who the heck voted for him? He must be the least successful warden of all time. I wouldn’t trust him to control a school yard much less an entire city.
*Looks at recent events*
Yeaahhhh I don’t think Quincy getting elected is unrealistic at all
Because complaints (subtle or outright) about Trump have to be spread literally, not figuratively, everywhere on the Internet. Thanks. I was worried there might be someplace I could get away from US politics.
Dude, you have to admit it’s a pretty relevant response to any and all “How could they elect (X)?” questions.
If we can all agree to NOT talk about Trump, I think this is an interesting point.
I think this sort of proves Rivlien’s point. Yes, unusual candidates sometimes get elected. Porn star Ilona Staller was elected to the Italian parliament back in the 80’s. Arnold Schwarzenegger was Governor of California. The thing is, these events were a BIG deal. People talked about them for years. More importantly, there’s usually a reason why the unusual person made it into office. But we’re never given a reason why people voted for monumental failure Quincy Sharp.
If the author wanted to address this, they could suggest that Quincy was (say) appointed as Deputy Mayor, and then acting mayor died. (Secretly assassinated by Ra’s.) Something like that. Or Ra’s used his Illuminati powers to bury the standing mayor in scandal, leaving a power vacuum… etc.
I’m reasonably certain that in one of the unlockable entries on Sharp, it talks about how he managed (somehow?) to claim the credit for subduing the supercriminals during the Asylum riot and combined that notional credibility with a panic over any more problems and rode it to victory. Basically, he campaigned on a single issue (building a wall around Old Gotham and sticking all of the criminals in there), convinced people that he was the best person to handle the problem despite being the worst person and rode people’s fear to victory. Yes, I know that sticking important plot into dossier stuff stuck deep in a part of the interface most people are going to go is a sin. But it’s there.
EDIT: Yeah, second page of the Arkham City Stories: Title is Election Time.
Quincy Sharp claimed to have been instrumental in stopping the riot at Arkham Asylum, stirring a tide of public admiration. Throughout his mayoral campaign, Sharp repeatedly told votes that he would never allow their safety to be threatened by criminal scum.
His victory was assured when announced that he would create a new, high-security prison that would forever separate the good people of Gotham CIty from the bad. Once elected, his first move was to put the relatively unknown psychiatrist, Hugo Strange, in charge of the whole facility.
So basically the Rudy Giuliani route, then. That makes a certain amount of sense.
Yes, I know that sticking important plot into dossier stuff stuck deep in a part of the interface most people are going to go is a sin.
I don’t think that counts as important plot info. “The mayor is corrupt” is the important bit, how they became mayor is absolutely Codex-level stuff.
I’m willing to go with this as figuring Sharp out is not in any way central to the game. Most people would probably just allow it under the superhero comic book+videogame logic and for those who have issue with it there is the justification in the dossier, which some may still find flimsy (mileage varies) but shows that writers had an answer prepared.
The problem is that what is unusual is only unusual in perspective. If, in the future, celebrities are regularly elected, it will cease being unusual. That’s the problem with precedents.
Our current and last presidents are both considered unusual NOW, for different reasons by different people, but in the future that very much may not be the case (Which some people dread and other hope for, for both candidates, for different reasons)
Allow me to present a case:
(Definitely not an actual quote)
“I have lead Arkham Asylum as a warden for a long time and I have often warned the city administration about the constant risk of a breakout. The infrastructure was ramshackle and it was known to often fail to contain especially its most dangerous inhabitants. Despite my warnings, nobody acted and granted me the necessary funds and responsibilities to improve and install proper escape prevention measures. As a longtime warden, I know what is necessary to provide the city of Gotham with a high security prison for our highly dangerous criminals and can present elaborate plans to make Gotham’s metropolitan area safe. The only precondition is the ability to be granted access to the city’s administrative power.
My rival does not have the security of Gotham’s citizens at heart and is an agent of the city’s corrupt administration which hesitated to make Arkham Asylum a safe facility.”
In a city generally as corrupt and crime-infested as Gotham these might sound like way more rational arguments than they might appear to us in the real world, wouldn’t they?
And dodging responsibility for one’s own failure by claiming someone else is to blame, even in the real world, is not actually a rare trait.
Also: I believe that most people would probably not know the actual extent of Sharp’s responsibilities and might be easier convinced of his innocence in Arkham Asylum’s failures.
Keep in mind also that the events of Asylum all occurred there. Which made it for all intents and purposes a mass breakout that DID NOT succeed. Usually when there is a breakout in the DC Universe the criminals go to the city and torment the citizens. In this case it all stayed there. I can see how he could easily spin that as “We stopped them from getting off the island.” Which probably technically makes him one of the most successful wardens in Arkham’s history.
One of the few things that annoyed me about Arkham City is that they retconned all the stuff about the
Spirit of Arkhamfrom Arkham Asylum. I thought that was really cool, and it was a nice nod to the inspiration comic Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth. But in Arkham City is turns out there was nothing supernatural going on at all, it was just Hugo Strange manipulating Sharpe. Disappointing.
So much this. I thought the Asylum story for sharp was really interesting, and I really wanted to see where it went in City. Surely tracking down the Escaped Sharp would be a big deal. I didn’t even need it to be supernatural, Sharp just being crazy and thinking he was the Spirit would have been interesting. My problem is that they did absolutely nothing with it. And having so much track back to Ra’s didn’t make him seem more interesting, it makes everyone else seem less.
Lex Luthor become president for a bit.
He’s rich. Not only wouldn’t that be unusual, it’s the basis of American democracy.
Wow that was sweeping, generalizing and entirely to political. Nice Hat Trick.
I don’t think “American Presidents are almost always rich (because of systemic flaws)” is particularly generalizing or inappropriate.
I think the “American” thing is the problem. Like, the problem of governments being run by the rich and powerful is probably older than the written word. So instead of it being commentary on human nature, the comment can sound like America-bashing.
Not just that, Lex Luthor is a competent evil genius businessman. A man who can stand up to Superman with nothing more than an incredibly large amount of money? That’s a man you can vote for.
Lol! I actually never thought about this events from Ra’s’ perspective before. To be fair, I completely forgot that he was behind it all.
Do you think that the clay assassin fight is a subconscious nod to
Huh,that would be interesting.Batman didnt pick up on the clues,but his subconsciousness did,and now is trying to point it out to him via this dream sequence.Thanks for that great moment of fridge brilliance.
As someone who never played the game, I pretty much assumed that was the case the moment I read that sentence above.
This segment of the game always annoyed me somewhat. As Batman is entering the dreamscape – video game code for “time to do something weird” – Ra’s says something to the effect of “Touch nothing, no matter what you may see…”.
A little spoiled by how good these games have been with this sort of thing in the past, I was expecting either a strong character moment (“Your parents are dying, Bruce! Can you just stand there and watch it happen? Again? Wait, no – don’t touch anything!“) or a clever subversion of expectations (“Okay, I’m in a dream level. Hey look a Riddler Trophy in an easy-to-reach – Gaaah! Touched something! You got me!”). It seemed reasonable enough at the time.
What I got was… a gliding segment. Where you can’t touch… the walls. Truly riveting.
This is one of my favourite bits of the game. I liked the whole aesthetic of Old [Old] Gotham, I liked the weird dream section (in spite of its videogameyness), I liked Ra’s’s temptation which was a nice nod to the comics… and I liked the fact that the massive coincidence of Ra’s happening to be in Arkham City just when Batman needed him to be turns out later to not be a coincidence at all.
I think I’ve said it before, but Rocksteady’s approach to Joker across City and Knight strongly suggest that they view Joker Blood + Titan to be something quite a bit different and unique. Joker has survived for about a year now, but his blood has reached a uniquely toxic stage and time is running out. Batman is going to die within a day because he got a full-blown blood transfer from late-stage Joker/Titan blood, which is different from early-stage Joker/Titan blood.
The game makes it clear that Joker has been saving up blood for a long time specifically to do this, although I can’t remember where and they certainly don’t discuss how the timing works. They also never address the fact that in Knight the blood turns people into Joker pseudo-reincarnations rather than killing them. Perhaps this is supposed to be a result of mixing with the Lazarus chemical in the cure? I dunno. I think Rocksteady was really ambitious with their world-building in this series and more successful than I would’ve expected, but it’s not perfect.
Well, part of the problem is that the whole Titan idea is pretty silly, but it’s a good way to drive the plot and have super mooks in Asylum. Deciding to make such a weak element a keystone of your world building, maybe not such a great idea. I don’t know that it was intended to play this role initially
One other thing: you mention that the game drops the Hugo Strange plotline for an extended period. This is true, but mook banter and public announcements keep Strange (and the other plotlines, to be fair) on the player’s radar. We can debate how effective it is, but I think the game does a decent job of making the player aware that Strange is in charge and that Batman is basically waiting for a break in the case.
This is another time where a player who is completing the Riddler challenge and reading the Arkham City Stories is going to be getting a lot more background information and some extra context for what’s going on.
I never did buy that Talia would be stupid enough to believe Bats, when he suddenly says he would now totes want to join the League of Assassins. That felt more like: “The plot needs this to happen, and I don’t know how else to make it happen, so I’ll just make this character dumb in order for it to happen”.
I am all over the place in regards to Arkham City’s writing. It bounces back and forth between grand and dim-witted. It’s a bizarre tug-of-war, and I’m still not sure which side “wins”.
Indeed. Even given the circumstances (Talia removes the mask, sees his face, is startled, Batman proclaims something along the lines of “Do I look as if I had a choice?”) it’s hard to believe that Talia would believe the outrageous claim that now, all of a sudden, Batman would take the title (I usually assume it’s a title, not a proper name) of Ra’s without any good explanation except: “I can save my life by acting out of character and betraying my own principles.”
It just doesn’t exactly sound believable to me in the first place, considering Batman regularly risks his life and is not new to the idea of dying for his beliefs.
Actually, earlier in the same game, Batman is presented with his infection by Joker and when confronted with the prospect of them both dying reacts by saying he’s totally fine with it, only changing his attitude upon hearing there are innocent lives at stake as well.
Villains can have character flaws too. The man she loves is dying, and he came to her for help. It’s not sensible to believe he’s telling the truth, but it’s understandable that she’d want to believe.
Or even that she doesn’t believe him, but realizes that if she plays along, she might save his life.
I'm not a doctor, but I feel safe in saying that if you're face-down on the cobblestones and having a near-death experience where dead relatives are beckoning you to come into the light, then I think you're no longer conscious.
I’ve seen multiple sick relatives have detailed conversations with dead people while fully awake. It’s a brain state thing, no need for unconsciousness.
For hallucinations killing you, I’d say either that’s representative of your body fighting off the hallucinogens, or your mental state when you come out of it; if you can’t beat the illusions then Batman will wake up with crippling self-doubt and not be able to continue.
It’s not the Titan; it’s the blood they diluted it with:
It amuses me to think that the Titan is perfectly powerless, but giving Bruce the Joker’s type A when he’s a B might have exactly this effect…
Or, more accurately, Joker’s type “Chemical Soup” to anyone else’s type “actual blood.” Seriously, is Joker a reasonable donor for anyone, even before Titan?
I was just thinking this. It’s not the Titan (since Batman survived that fine before), it’s getting the wrong blood type transfusion.
Of course then getting the Titan cure wouldn’t magically fix things, but eh…
The one thing that I’ve never understood about either the plot of this game is this: are there no lawyers in Gotham? Are there no lawyers in the United States in which Gotham resides? No state Attorneys General? No federal Department of Justice? Because in a world with lawyers, the number of lawsuits that something like this would inspire would be utterly, unspeakably vast, to the point where I cannot imagine it would ever be built. And, hey, there are lawyers. Two Face is a lawyer, for crying out loud . . .
. . . ah, forget it, John. It’s comic books. I will say this for Arkham City, though. At least it’s less ridiculous than No Man’s Land, the story arc in the comics in which all of Gotham is given the Arkham City treatment and by the federal government no less. Although if I remember correctly, in the comics Gotham was supposed to be evacuated before it was walled off and not actually intended to be a prison of the damned. (Though you’d never have known it by the type of people who could not or would not evacuate.)
Too bad Daredevil/Batman crossover can’t happen.
It would be too confusing anyways, since both are secretly Ben Affleck.
Also: The crossover DOES exist, as you may know. Unless you exclusively talk about a videogame crossover…
No Man’s Land was set up gradually over the course of something like a year of prior stories in Batman comics. I forget the order, but there were 2 big disasters afflicting Gotham immediately beforehand: in the Contagion event, some kind of engineered plague broke out in the city, killing a whole bunch of people before Batman & Co. were able to find a cure and deliver it to everyone; and in Cataclysm a massive earthquake wrecked much of the city’s infrastructure. The city’s emergency services were completely overwhelmed by the twin disasters, and they called for federal assistance. In response, the state and federal governments declared Gotham not worth saving, and told everybody to evacuate. They sealed off the one still-sorta-intact bridge (Gotham is an island like Manhattan, but more so, since it’s almost entirely contained on the island, unlike NYC, which has 5 burroughs that are basically all part of the city), after a defined period of time, and anyone still inside the city at that point was on their own. Mostly criminals (and a handful of overly dedicated crime-fighters, or people too stupid or poor to get out) stayed behind, to establish little fiefdoms in the wreckage.
The whole premise of NML is still very comic-book-logic, but it does actually hold together better than Arkham City‘s justification, frankly.
The possessive form of Ra’s is “This dude’s”.
Ever since we had that fiasco a few entries ago,I started seeing that name as Ross.So the possessive to me translates to Ross’s.
Ross All-Gull, the Drab Bird King.
On the off chance you don’t visit accursed farms, it seems Freeman’s mind 2 will be continued in May.
English being my second language, shouldn’t it be Ra’s’, similar to how you form possessive on plural form?
EDIT: I’ve actually only been half right. If we follow Queen’s English, then if you pronounce it [Rases], it’s really spelled Ra’s’s; if you pronouce it [Ras], it’s spelled with apostrophe only Ra’s’. Do you ever hear it in game? Then you’d have your lead.
How can you be so insensitive?Dont you care that some parents diedâ„¢?!
Weeeeellll…..While most near death experiences are the result of falling into unconsciousness,conscious hallucinations due to a neurotoxin arent impossible.Also,our bodies can be trained to achieve things even if our minds completely fails us.Swimming out of the freezing water after we black out,walking to safety after we black out from dehydration,etc.In fact,sometimes it is possible to achieve such feats without any training.
So whether bats was just hallucinating there or actually blacked out and reached the end sleepwalkingly is a mystery.
Not necessary.The toxin is titan serum+joker blood,and apparently it creates hallucinations,so its most likely a neurotoxin.Those things are dangerous in small quantities(some snakes can kill thousands with just a few milliliters of venom).So if the joker was slowly draining himself over a month,he could give out lets say a liter of his blood(enough to kill tens of thousands).More if he had a bunch of other people donating to him.
In fact,having constant complete transfusions would be a great way to explain why he is still alive AND still able to infect practically the whole city.See,if the titan accumulated in his tissue(liver,most likely),having new blood pumped into him while draining the old blood would mean that the spread of titan through his body would be slowed down,while the drained blood could be used to infect others.Its actually a thing that you could do in real life if your liver got saturated with some toxic substance,for example.That is,if you had inexhaustible amounts of money,skilled doctors at your disposal,and dozens of volunteers that shared your blood type.
And it makes perfect in character sense for Joker to demand large blood transfusions from his thugs + enemy thugs + people they kidnap. He’s ALWAYS doing crazy stuff, who would question it? (And not expect to be killed afterwards)
I’ve read your complaints about Titan poisoning and I still don’t get them. To me it’s patently obvious that the only reason Titan has become poisonous is the reaction it had with Joker’s blood, which is most definitely not normal (he is, for instance, completely immune to his own smilex formula). That’s why Joker himself is the only one affected by it despite dozens of people being injected with Titan on the first game.
Also, while I absolutely hate this, Joker’s origin story in the comic (and the games if we follow Arkham Origin) implies that everyone who comes in contact with the formula that turned him into who he was becomes nuts, so clearly it’s some kind of neurotoxin. I’d wager that injecting yourself with Joker blood would be already a bad idea even without the Titan mixed in.
Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re going to say. It’s comic book science. Well, yeah, it is, but it’s there, so please stop acting as if there’s no explanation. Granted, they don’t say this out loud, but frankly, they probably figured it was obvious enough.
“Granted, they don't say this out loud, ”
Then that’s the problem. While I haven’t read the comics in 25 years, I have read some. I’ve seen a couple of episodes of the shows and watched the movies. And I’ve never gotten the impression Joker’s blood was filled with science magic. At any rate, I think the writers could have spared one line of dialog for such a monumentally important detail.
Im pretty sure the game does say it at some point.Though it may have been one of the side collectibles you can find rather than something in the main story.
It’s me again. I feel kind of like a jerk replying three and a half years later but only now just noticed that in this and a previous entry you talk about Batman being infected with Titan in asylum and shrugging it off… except that Batman takes an antidote right before the Joker fight. Joker even makes a point of mocking him for it (“You wasted the antidote on yourself?”). So it’s really not as inconsistent as you describe.
It’s really pointless to argue this now, since this series is so old, but here I am.
Is it? I was always under the impression that it was a very old city (by New World standards), and a quick read of the wiki page places its origins in the early 17th century.
Granted, I have no idea how long it takes cities to accumulate layers like the ones being shown in the game.
The city I live in is over 2000 years old, was founded by Romans, went through Dark Ages, Middle Ages and Renaissance. It does not have a whole city under the current city, just some old walls and castles, mostly from the post-Napolenic times (because they built the newer castles on top of the old ones).
That’s a flaw with many Americans; we tend to think of 100 years as being a long time. When we grow up in such a relatively young country, it’s easy to lack a certain perspective for the age and extent of human history.
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