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File:Batman arkham city 5997.jpg

This ain't no place for no hero...

"How does it feel, Wayne, to stand on the very stones that ran with your parents' blood? Do you feel sad? Full of rage? Or does that outfit help bury your feelings; hiding your true self? Oh, you are a truly extraordinary specimen... I look forward to breaking you."
Hugo Strange

"Ring, ring! I was just remembering when it first occurred to me, it was about six months after you left me on that rooftop back at the asylum. As the bones knitted back together, I had plenty of time to think. So, how do you keep a secret from the world's greatest detective? Well, do you know? It's easy! You stick it right in front of him, right under his long, pointy nose... and wait!"

The sequel to the critically acclaimed Batman: Arkham Asylum and the second game based on the Batman franchise to be produced by Rocksteady Studios. Released in 2011.

The game takes place 18 months after the events of Arkham Asylum: Quincy Sharp is now Gotham's mayor, having won the election after taking credit for stopping Joker's assault on Arkham. Sharp has arranged for all of the former residents of Arkham Asylum, as well as the prisoners of Blackgate Penitentiary, to be moved to a walled-off and heavily-guarded area of Gotham City (located in the slums). Psychiatrist Professor Hugo Strange is brought on to oversee the city. In a complicated series of events, Bruce Wayne gets taken into the city, learning that Strange knows the identity of Batman and has a mysterious plan in motion. Escaping and suiting up, Batman dives into the gangs of Arkham City to rescue Catwoman and encounter many of his Rogues Gallery, who have carved out their own territories... including The Joker, who (true to form) has some wicked plans of his own...

Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill return from the previous game to portray the roles of Batman and The Joker. Besides the characters mentioned above, Poison Ivy, Victor Zsasz, Harley Quinn and The Riddler return (Riddler in a much bigger role than he had in the previous game, and is given a physical appearance this time around); newcomers to the series include Robin, Two-Face, Catwoman, The Penguin, Calendar Man, Mr. Freeze, Deadshot, Talia al Ghul, Black Mask and Solomon Grundy.

Rocksteady refined the original gameplay in such a way that it embodies a true sequel, rather than just being a comfortable rehashing of what was already done. The combat includes more options and integrated gadgets, there are more enemy types, detective mode involves more forensic deduction, the Riddler Challenges involve more varieties of puzzles, the battles are more expansive and the environments are much larger... but the story is still in a confined setting so that there is a focus to the game and doesn't require you to wander around aimlessly.

In addition to all of the above, there are more challenge game types with loads of new features. Catwoman is playable with a complimentary campaign mission, she is also available as a character to play in the challenge missions along with Robin and Nightwing.

The game became known for an unprecedented number of cinematic trailers outlining the different features. A Primary Trailer, a gameplay trailer, the Riddler trailer, the Penguin trailer, the Mr. Freeze trailer, the Joker trailer.

An Updated Rerelease called Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition was created for the Wii U that features unique controls specially patented for that system. All DLC for the original release is featured in the game, and Catwoman's role as a character is to be expanded upon. Furthermore, Batman and Catwoman also sport armored costumes.

The game also has several pieces of tie-in media:

  • A comic prequel (also named Arkham City), which was released in mid-2011 and is set between the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum and City. The story follows the Caped Crusader as he works to uncover the truth about Mayor Quincy Sharp's plans for the walled-off Arkham City, and the various villains inside the city walls who are fighting for control.
  • Arkham Unhinged, a digital-exclusive tie-in comic series which follows various characters in the leadup to Arkham City, including Hugo Strange, Arkham inmates, various villains and different plots that occurred before Bruce Wayne was arrested and put into the city.
  • Arkham City Lockdown, a mobile game developed for iOS systems, which pits Batman against a number of enemies and villains (with the addition of Slade "Deathstroke" Wilson) seen in the core game via a series of one-on-one battles throughout the city.
  • Arkham City: Endgame, a six-issue digital comic series that takes place directly after the ending of the main game, and involves Batman coming to terms with the Joker's death.
  • Harley Quinn's Revenge, a downloadable addition to the main game. The DLC takes place "weeks after" the end of the game, and follows Batman and Robin as they head into the now-condemned Arkham City to stop Harley Quinn's revenge plot. The DLC was also included in the special Game of the Year Edition, which shipped on the same day.
Tropes used in Batman: Arkham City include:
  • Absolute Cleavage: Catwoman. Poison Ivy too, for that matter.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Justified this time around by being connected to the subway system (for maintenance access), the Steel Mill (which needs lots of water to keep the furnace cool), the ruins of Old Gotham (which was swallowed up by a sinkhole during an earthquake), and Wonder City (an abandoned Steampunk-style subterranean city built by Ra's al Ghul).
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Almost word for word.

Batman: "Do you want to know something funny? Even after everything you have done, I would have saved you."
Joker: "That actually is... pretty funny!"

  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • You have to admit, although the Joker pretty much had his death coming, it's hard not to pity him during his final moments, especially when you see him desperately grasping for the cure, knowing that he only has seconds to live.
    • Whenever Batman carries him out of the movie theater, it's incredibly depressing to watch Harley and the remaining loyal members of Joker's crew go from cheering on their boss to shocked silence.
    • This doesn't count as a death, but Harley's defeat in the "Harley Quinn's Revenge" DLC is also pretty sad as her already unstable mind has shattered nearly beyond repair with the Joker's death, tearfully admitting to becoming a Death Seeker because of it.
  • The Alcatraz: The titular Arkham City itself. It is an interesting example, as there are no major security measures beyond the big wall and the turrets keeping everyone in, no attempt to control or discipline prisoners by the guards, and seemingly no guard presence outside of their security cameras and surveillance choppers. Though Hugo Strange's announcements say otherwise, there is only one real rule in the facility: "Don't try to escape and we won't kill you." It's basically Manhattan from Escape from New York, with both acting as quarantined sections of Metropolises that our lone action hero must navigate. According to the Arkham City Stories, Black Mask was the only person who ever escaped Arkham City. A TYGER taskforce promptly hunted him down and took him back, which led to the inclusion of those turrets which fire at you whenever you try to glide over the walls.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: In the Nonstandard Game Over, this apparently happens offscreen to Wayne Manor. Also, Two-Face bombs Catwoman's apartment near the end of her storyline, and also takes over Penguin's headquarters.
  • Alternate Continuity: While the first game was clearly its own continuity, it was designed to be almost identical with the comics. The sequel makes it clear that certain things will be different, including Talia and Joker's deaths during the final act.
  • Always Close:
    • The church bell-tower always explodes seconds after Batman jumps out the window, regardless of whether or not the countdown finished and Joker finished his monologue.
    • During the Deadshot mission, you find his PDA that lists the exact times of his planned assassinations. No matter when you find it, it will always be only four minutes for easy, three minutes for normal, and two minutes for hard, until Jack Ryder is set to be killed. Once you make it to Jack, you'll always save him a split-second before he's killed, no matter what the on-screen timer says. There are other examples, too many to list.
  • Always Save the Girl: Deconstructed numerous times. First, when Batman puts his mission on hold to rescue Catwoman from Two-Face, then when she returns the favor by rescuing him and abandoning her loot. Later still, Talia puts her own life in danger to rescue Batman, and in a severely emotional (and, as Alfred himself notes, out-of-character) moment, Batman is prepared to risk the safety of thousands just to save Talia.
  • Amazon Brigade: Talia al Ghul has a small cabal of female ninjas at her disposal. It's a good thing this version of Batman doesn't have a problem with fighting women.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: Joker's gang turns Arkham City's industrial district into one, complete with dilapidated carnival rides, ferris wheels, giant toy soldier statues, bright painted wood facades, flashing colored lights and dissonant carnival music. Neon signs in the area even call the place "Joker's Funland". There are even bumper carts inside the Steel Mill itself.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different:
    • With the Catwoman DLC the player switches between her and Batman at certain points in the story.
    • In "Harley Quinn's Revenge", you start off as Robin for a short while before switching to Batman in the flashback, and then back to Robin again before finally getting back to Batman near the end.
  • Another Side, Another Story: The Catwoman DLC campaign lets you see the story from her perspective.
  • Anti-Climactic Unmasking: Defied Trope. The Joker tells Harley not to unmask Batman for exactly this reason.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Batman will automatically glide down to rafts and ice floes if you point him toward one. The game also guides him towards mooks with ridiculously long leaps in combat like in Asylum and gives armored mooks priority when performing instant takedowns, and attempting to perform a disarm on an enemy with no weapon results in an instant takedown instead.
    • If you die enough times or take too long to figure out how to damage Mr. Freeze, you'll get some additional help in form of a checklist of possible takedowns you've done on him already.
    • In addition to tagging trophies to find later, the game also flags and allows you to interrogate Riddler's informants to find out where the secrets are, an attempt to avert the Last Lousy Point.
    • No matter how many trophies you collect, the third Riddler hostage room does not become available until you have the zipline, which is required for solving the room.
    • When you speak to Calendar Man on a holiday, the month in question will be scribbled out with red ink, letting you know that you've acquired that holiday.
    • If you start the Identity Thief side quest but don't finish it by the end of the main story, the remaining victims will be marked on the map automatically.
    • Aside from a certain body of water outside the Iceberg Lounge, there's no penalty for falling into the bodies of water in Arkham City (Batman notes aloud that his suit can't take water for very long); Batman will simply auto-rappel or do a fade-to-black reset to a nearby platform or where you launched from.
  • Anti-Villain:
    • Type-1: Catwoman is largely self-interested and has her own agenda which is cleaning out the Arkham City confiscated valuables vault, but when push comes to shove, she'll rush to help Batman, albeit grumbling about when she somehow developed a conscience. Unless you decide not to, in which case you get a Nonstandard Game Over, and the game resets to the moment just before this to help you make the right decision.
    • Mr Freeze is a Type-4, as the Boss Fight is the only time in the game where he goes against Batman, and it's instigated mostly because of a misunderstanding, not to mention that Batman threatening to destroy his life support system in the museum didn't get him in a good mood (the player may know he was bluffing, but Freeze certainly didn't).
    • Two Face is a Type-1, at least when his 'Good' side is in control. He tries to keep his troops' morale up, shares his loot fairly and keeps Penguin and Calendar Man locked up rather than killing them despite them being former enemies. When his bad side takes over, he's a pure Card-Carrying Villain.
  • Anyone Can Die: By the time the game ends, Talia, Hugo Strange, Ra's and, shockingly, The Joker have all met their ends, though odds are Ra's will find a new Lazarus Pit for himself and perhaps his daughter.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Inverted this time. Since it is Hugo Strange doing these interviews, most of patient interviews end with Strange's manipulating criminals to his own ends or delivering a crushing Breaking Them By Talking that causes them to break down.
    • In the Nonstandard Game Over, which you get if Catwoman takes the money and runs, Oracle gives an apocalyptic log as Joker's forces overrun the city.
  • Artificial Brilliance:
    • Mr. Freeze analyzes the strategies used against him and manipulates the environment to prevent the player from repeating it.
    • The deadliest enemy Batman faces in Arkham City? The lowly mook. While at the beginning of the game they're pushovers, mooks get VERY formidable as the game moves along. They gradually get better equipment, take advantage of their numbers and fight much smarter. You'll see snipers taking high ground to be able to tag you easier, empty-handed mooks scrambling to pick up weapons another mook dropped (or even trash lying around to pelt you with), being surrounded to attack you from all sides (no Mook Chivalry here!), the placement of mines, use of thermal goggles, destroying gargoyles to avoid you stalking them from above, being smoked out by grenades, and much more. By the endgame, seeing a group of mooks carrying riot shields, stun batons, knives, guns and body armor will make you think twice before picking a fight. Of course, you'll pick the fight anyway, since you ARE Batman, after all, but it still won't be a picnic. What makes it even better is that Batman's new and improved gadgets can thwart every single one of the new enemy tactics. For example, the mine-laying mooks? Batman can use his remote trigger to detonate the mine as it is being deployed or whenever someone walks over it. He can also use his stun gun to temporarily disable the jammers, and armored mooks are especially susceptible to it.
  • Artistic License Physics: The Deadshot side mission ignores all the laws of physics to justify the assassin's ridiculous kill shots.
    • When Batman is hunting Deadshot, his second victim is sniped through a full water tower. Even assuming there was a gun that could still be lethal after shooting through 6 feet of water (and MythBusters confirmed there is not), the bullet's trajectory is completely unaffected.
    • All of Deadshot's bullet trajectories follow straight lines instead of parabolic arcs like they do in real life.
    • Deadshot's bullet trajectories are determined using only a single point of impact, which is impossible. Indeed, the trajectory of Joker's bullet can only be traced using the bullet hole on the floor and the hole in the window.
    • One of the victims is killed by a bullet ricochet, something the MythBusters also proved to be impossible. It's Deadshot. He probably did it because MythBusters told him he couldn't.
  • Art Shift: The playable characters have alternate skins based on their designs from various comics and Batman: The Animated Series.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: In-universe, this is why Clayface agreed to act as the Joker's body double. In his own words, this is "THE ROLE OF A LIFETIME!".
  • Baby Got Back: Catwoman, Talia and Harley all get quite a bit of focus on their rather ample butts, not helped at all by their clothing choices of a skintight jumpsuit and tight leather pants respectively.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Batman and Bane pull this off.
  • Backstab Backfire:
    • What ultimately does the Joker in. He stabs Batman in the arm to steal the cure from him after Clayface has been defeated, but it causes Batman to drop the vial, shattering it.
    • Harley tries to stab Batman with something resembling a retractable stake at the end of "Harley Quinn's Revenge", but a well-timed shuriken from Robin knocks her out cold.
  • Badass Grandpa: One of the downloadable skins is 60+ year old Batman from The Dark Knight Returns. He is no less capable in combat than his younger iterations and, amusingly, his flirtatious banter with the now much younger Catwoman and Talia doesn't change... making him look like a Dirty Old Man. Which is kind of ironic since Talia's actually older than he is. There's also Ra's al Ghul as usual, being a particularly old example as he's over 600 years old thanks to the Lazarus Pits.
  • Badass in Distress:
    • The game starts off with Catwoman being held hostage by Two-Face.
    • Later on, Catwoman gets to return the favor by rescuing Batman when he's buried under rubble.
    • Again, Talia by the Joker. First chance she gets, she actually manages to stab her capturer. Too bad it's all an act.
  • Bad Boss: Well, this applies to most of the villains: Joker has his Comedic Sociopathy (though his mooks are somehow still loyal anyway). Riddler can't stop being an Insufferable Genius even to his hired help. Hugo Strange is so dispassionate he doesn't really care one way or the other about his men. Penguin's got a more down-to-earth "fail me and I'll throw a temper tantrum and maybe kill you" line of thinking: he's actually so bad that his are the only minions to immediately jump ship after their boss is taken down.
    • Strangely, not Two-Face. His henchmen are clearly loyal, and he seems to have a "campaign" to take over Arkham City. He does have his... episodes when the coin lands on the wrong side.
  • Bag of Spilling: Played with. Batman starts the game with most of the gadgets he had in the previous game, and obtains several more gadgets and upgrades in the main story. The only gadgets he never gets a replacement for are the multi-batarang and the multi-batclaw (the former is no longer strictly necessary since Batman can spam Batarangs one after another now).
    • Also, a Freeflow Focused Batarang seems to throw multiple Batarangs at once.
    • Also Lampshaded and Justified: when he requests a piece of equipment he had in the last game, Alfred snarks that he should consider a bigger belt. Batman said he had one, but it was too bulky. And seeing as he can have the Batwing drop off gear anywhere in Gotham, it isn't really necessary. Not to mention that this old gadget is the Line Launcher, which isn't as useful for most outdoor activities when you can glide around and the insides of most buildings should be little more than hallways.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Talia, Harley and Ivy all have this going on.
  • Bat Deduction: When Protocol Ten starts, Batman somehow knows that one of the helicopters will contain the security codes he needs to crack TYGER encryption protocols. Why is the helicopter carrying it and how does Batman know this will be the case? Shut up, we have a plot to resolve!
    • By this point, the Deadshot side mission, unless you've been totally ignoring it, has almost certainly already provided Batman with the clues that Protocol Ten was involved with a special network of wireless transceivers on Wonder Tower and something to do with military ordnance. Add in the appearance of a chopper fleet armed with military weapons doing a coordinated bombardment, and it's not that hard to figure out that one of them is going to be a command-and-control helicopter.
  • Batman Gambit: Appropriately played entirely straight in one of the sidequests. At the resolution of the Bane/Titan quest, Batman reveals that he knew full well Bane just wanted the drug for himself and that he let Bane collect his half anyway so he could dispose of them in one go.
  • Batter Up: Other than some of the enemies in the game, Harley Quinn also whacks Batman with a baseball bat when Joker ambushes him, even dropping the trope name.
  • Bench Breaker: In the intro scenes, Bruce Wayne rocks back and forth in a chair he's been tied to, and then escapes from his bonds once he (and it) topples to the ground.
  • Benevolent Boss: Two-Face seems to be one of these, oddly enough; barring some unfortunate mooks we hear about who apparently had his coin land scarred-side up when he was deliberating what to do with them, unlike most of the other crime bosses we encounter in Arkham City, he seems to be relatively fair, reasonable and concerned with keeping the morale of his underlings up. He's also one of the few bosses that we hear who for the most part doesn't try to 'encourage' his mooks to do his bidding by threatening various painful deaths upon them if they screw up. The Bat-computer even notes that he's approaching his campaign for dominance in Arkham City as if it were a political campaign (fittingly given his past as district attorney) and, of course, an essential part of politics is buttering up the people you depend upon... It also earns him the distinction of being the only crime boss whose mooks follow him not out of fear, but out of true loyalty. This is affirmed from several mook conversations where they state that Two-Face is still their boss despite the fact that he's gone into hiding and they could have easily jumped ship over to either Penguin or Joker (although the fact that said minions would know of Joker and Penguin's "treatment" of their minions probably would explain why they didn't jump ship to them anyhow).
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Most of the major villains spend the game jockeying for the Big Bad position, with Joker, the Penguin and Two-Face having a gang war over who gets total control over Arkham City.
    • Strange and the Joker more or less serve as the two main Big Bad's in the story. Most of the stuff you end up having to do relates to thwarting either one of their plots. Ra's is The Man Behind the Man to Strange, but it's established that Arkham City is entirely Strange's idea.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: The prequel comic shows Batman was only able to slip into and out of Arkham City once. In-game, there are security cameras everywhere, which must be destroyed to satisfy Riddler Challenges. The inmates will even comment they find the fact they are constantly watched creepy.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • Batman saves the day. Unfortunately, Talia is dead (for now), Catwoman's apartment got bombed by Two-Face, it's left unclear whether any of the people Joker poisoned can be saved, and Batman actually intended to save the Joker, despite the latter's evil nature, and failed.
    • The "Harley Quinn's Revenge" DLC ends with Harley's plan a resounding failure, but Bruce is still even more emotionally closed-off than usual. Not even the brief prospect of losing Tim gets him to open up... he just grapples away, leaving a very concerned Gordon in his wake.
  • Black and White Morality: As far as the prisoners are concerned, the subtitles helpfully divide them between "inmates" and "political prisoners". Most of the inmates will fight Batman even if they were saved by him seconds ago, while political prisoners never attack. Occasionally, inmates will run into a corner and cower when they see Batman, though this usually doesn't happen with the inmates who are part of one of the villain's gangs.
  • Black Dude Dies First: When Bruce is first brought to Arkham City, a TYGER Guard shoots a black inmate. Although you can see the man writhing around on the ground, clutching at his stomach and knee, making a "tap-out" motion with his hands, suggesting it may have been a rubber bullet that hit him. Subverted with the Precinct 13 cops: Although the first (and only) death of the 10 man squad, Officer Best, was a black man, it really nullifies the trope when there are three other black men in the squad (Elvis Jones, Forrester, and Southwold) who all make it out alive (With Officer Jones being the first one you meet).
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: How the upgraded quick-fire Batclaw Disarm works (yanks weapons out of the hands of enemies).
  • Blood From the Mouth: Batman starts coughing up blood when the disease starts to affect him.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Like Arkham Asylum, Arkham City has a ton of bloodless violence, except for Hugo Strange's death.
  • Blown Across the Room: Hitting an armored henchman with the REC will result in this, and getting him to collide with another thug is a Riddler challenge.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: Played straight with the Armor upgrades you can get, which extend your life bar. Interestingly, they are two separate life bars which protect against either melee or gunfire attacks, so you take damage from your normal health bar if you get hit by a baseball bat with 0 Combat Armor, but full Ballistic Armor.
  • Body Double: Joker uses this trope in order to get the drop on Batman early on. Though it's later revealed to be more complicated. In order to keep up appearances while he's sick, Joker has Clayface stand in for him at several points. The one you thought was the real Joker was actually Clayface, while the apparent Body Double was the real Joker.
  • Body Horror:
    • By the end of the game, Joker is a coughing, disease-ravaged wreck sporting a disgusting rash, and he can barely stand.
    • Solomon Grundy's body is eventually set on fire and burned by the electric currents powering him during the course of his boss fight. Not to mention he's constantly releasing supernaturally huge maggots. Plus, by the final stage of his boss fight, his ribcage is exposed.
    • When we first find Mr. Freeze, he's not in his suit, and he does not look well. Like someone undergoing chemo. Not to mention the coolant device plugged into his chest. His fingers look badly frostbitten. His ears are gone. Some of the original concept art for Freeze openly showed him lacking ears and a nose: it could be that this made him look a little too close to the comics mob boss Great White Shark, whose frostbitten extremities were actually referenced in Arkham Asylum's morgue.
    • Ra's al Ghul's initial appearance. That trip to the Lazarus Pit looked like it was long overdue for him.
    • While Joker has a fully-formed Titan thug in his employ (likely due to his gang stashing more of what remained), Penguin only managed to obtain the unrefined formula, meaning that his thug has the alternately bulging and atrophied limbs of the "prototype" fought at the beginning of Arkham Asylum. In "Harley Quinn's Revenge", Harley has one too, due to Batman having destroyed all known samples of the Titan compound during the events of the game.
  • Bond One-Liner: Near the end, after Ra's falls from Wonder Tower, impales himself and smashes onto an iron fence:

[[spoiler:Oracle: Are you okay?
Batman: I'm fine.
Oracle: And Ra's?
Batman: Let's just say he's gonna need another trip to the Lazarus Pit]].

  • Bond Villain Stupidity:
    • Hugo Strange captures Bruce (whom he knows is Batman), then just dumps him into the City. No part of his plan required Batman to do anything, and indeed he hires Deadshot to kill Batman, which means he could and should have killed Bruce when he was unconscious and shackled. Strange was working for Ra's and Talia, who hold Batman in much higher esteem, and indeed reacted quite poorly when Strange tried to kill Batman.
    • When Batman confronts Penguin outside the Iceberg Lounge, Penguin uses Mr. Freeze's gun to freeze Batman's arm and leaves him briefly stuck to the wall, but instead of just killing him then and there, he tells him to come meet him in the Iceberg Lounge so he can "kick his arse again".
    • Averted by Mr. Freeze and the Joker in the latter half of the game: they adapt their tactics accordingly, but Batman is prepared for them before hand.
    • Once you infiltrate TYGER's base, Hugo Strange will appear on a video screen with a hostage, forcing Batman to stand still while his thugs surround him and tries a Hannibal Lecture. Once he actually orders them to kill him, he's moved away from the hostage. Nice scene Strange, but any particular reason you didn't keep that weapon pointed at the hostage? Batman wouldn't have fought back if it meant that the hostage would die.
  • Book Ends: Cross-media example. The site of the final battle? The same movie theater the Waynes left the night Bruce's parents were killed. Hammering the point home, their Chalk Outlines are still there, behind the building, in the helpfully-indicated Crime Alley, originating Hugo Strange's quote atop the page and allowing you to "pay your respects" (which also gives you an achievement).
  • Border Patrol: If Batman tries to glide over the perimeter wall of Arkham City, he will turn around while escaping gunfire from turrets.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: Clayface, whose arena is covered in TNT. If you stand right in front of it as he rolls towards you, he will blow up and take at least almost half his health.
    • Subverted by Mr. Freeze. He didn't expect the lab to become a boss arena, but every time Batman gets the drop on him, Mr. Freeze will make sure the Bat can't do it the same way a second time. Pop out of a vent? He'll freeze the vent covers shut. Attack him from the air? He'll humidify the room so that gliding is impossible. Use the Line Launcher? He'll recognize the noise the next time it's used and counter it.
  • Bound and Gagged: While exploring Joker's hideout the second time, you come across Harley, taped to a pole and gagged. It's not explained who did it at first, but Talia reveals during the final boss fight that she stole the cure from Harley, so presumably she's the one who tied her up. For added bonus, you can regag Harley, if you take it off again, Harley yells at you she will get back at him if he keeps doing that.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The henchmen under Poison Ivy and Mad Hatter. It's also revealed that Strange has used the Mad Hatter's methods at brainwashing and has used it on both the TYGER guards into serving him and on Quincy Sharp; however, the latter does not fall into this trope and fits the Brainwashed trope more.
    • One of the Arkham City Stories establishes that the lunatics from the first game were TYGER guard recruits who didn't take to Strange's Brainwashing. He had them lobotomized and dumped in cages to be forgotten.
  • Break the Haughty: After mortally wounding him, Ra's takes a second to casually dash Strange's dreams and crap on an entire game's worth of boasting, coldly stating that he's once and for all proven himself inferior to Batman.

"Ha ha, Batman don't stand a chance!"

    • After:

"Don't hurt me! *sobs* Please!"

  • Break Them by Talking:
    • Hugo Strange makes a lot of these.
    • Joker gets in his fair share, of course.
  • Brick Joke: The stage for the press conference that Bruce had set up at the beginning of the game is still there at the end.
  • Brother-Sister Team: In the comic, the Trask brother/sister duo.
  • Bruce Wayne Held Hostage: The opening, except it's more like "Bruce Wayne Held In A Super-Prison On Trumped Up Charges". Perhaps subverted, as the person responsible knew full well that he's Batman and used that knowledge to make capturing him easier.
  • Bullet Catch: If you throw a batarang at Azrael, he just snatches it out of the air. There's actually an achievement for it, and one of the Riddler challenges requires Batman to catch one of his own remote-controlled ones.
  • Bullet Time: A minor version in form of Freeflow Focus, which slows down all enemies slightly and is activated by getting a high enough combo multiplier without using any special attacks. The Bullet Time appears to increase the more combos one racks up.
  • Bullying a Dragon: If the Mooks spot Batman, but can't reach him, they'll taunt him, calling him "chicken" and the like. Yeah, that's a great idea. Taunt the guy who takes down supervillains on a regular basis. Not as stupid as you might think, if you dig deeper. The thugs live by a dog-eat-dog hierarchy; the tough rise up, and any weakness shown will drag you down. They have to make threats and get alpha male on everyone they can, unless they lose face and therefore status. The clincher though is the fact that if you look at their vitals in Detective Mode, as soon as they spot Batman, they are nervous. No matter the weapons, the armor, the numbers of the home turf advantage, they are not exactly eager to face the Dark Knight.
  • But Thou Must!: In Catwoman's third chapter, you get the choice to either save Batman or leave Arkham City with the loot. Taking the second option, however, leads to the end credits complete with Oracle begging for help over the radio due to Batman dying and Joker's troops overrunning Gotham, only for time to be rewound so you can go back and make the 'correct' choice.
  • Butt Monkey: Arkham Asylum had "Razor", a minor Joker goon who got into a pickle a few times, and he's mentioned again in this game. He still seems to keep getting into trouble.
  • Cain and Abel:
    • The Abramovici Brothers, conjoined twins who separated over political differences and now act as high-ranking members of opposing gangs. The Playable Epilogue has a scene where they make up and decide to be sewn back together.
    • When playing the game with the Catwoman DLC, the opening shot is of a picture of Cain carrying Abel, titled "The Duality of Man". In the same pose as when Batman carries The Joker later on.
  • Canon Foreigner: In addition to Quincy Sharp returning from the first game, we get the Abramovici Twins, a pair of Russian Siamese twins who literally split up and joined the Joker and the Penguin respectively after a political falling-out.
  • Cardboard Prison: The back-story for the game has Quincy Sharp recognizing this as the reason for moving the criminals to the new location. It also helps that the first game ends with both Blackgate and Arkham ravaged.
    • Arkham City itself, however, is anything but: the perimeter has turrets, and helicopters with guns patrol regularly. It's all needed to keep them all in until Protocol 10, however.
  • Ceiling Cling: One of Catwoman's abilities: she has to use this to get Catwoman-specific Riddler trophies and can use it to her advantage both as an additional hiding spot and as a way to take out any mooks walking above or below her.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Due to the way the story is told, its possible to miss it until after it goes off. In the backstory, Joker fakes his own death to escape a hospital. Early in the game, he fakes his own death in the Steel Mill to allow Clayface to get the drop on Batman.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: In the end of the "Harley Quinn's Revenge" Downloadable Content, the previously inanimate Wonder City automatons are the last opponents in a straight on battle.
  • Cliff Hanger: With the Catwoman DLC installed, Batman's story cuts away to Selina's exploits as soon as he is captured by Joker and Harley. Then that episode of Catwoman's tale also ends with a Cliff Hanger.
  • Climax Boss: Ra's al Ghul, Mr. Freeze and Clayface.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: After Penguin captures Mr. Freeze, his freeze gun becomes Penguin's new favorite toy. While Batman is trying to figure out how to get to him and save the two undercover police that he's taken hostage, he freezes one of the cop's fingers one by one and then takes a hammer to them, all over the loudspeaker so Batman can hear it. Then he just decides to freeze his whole hand and smash it all at once.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: At the end of Catwoman's second episode, the green arrows lead back to Arkham City, where Catwoman saves Batman and allows him to save Gotham. The red arrows lead into Gotham City, Batman's death and the fall of Gotham City at the hands of The Joker.
    • Almost everything associated with the Riddler is--of course--green. This makes it easy to spot switches, trophies and question mark symbols against the more muted background coloring. If you have the Catwoman DLC, her Riddler trophies (which will shock Batman if he tries to pick it up) will be colored red, while his are the normal green.
    • Just like in the first game, Batman's detective vision differentiates between normal mooks (blue) and those holding guns (orange). This is actually intentional from Batman's part.
    • Again, like in Batman: Arkham Asylum, when an enemy is about to attack Batman, a symbol appears over his head to make the player know how to proceed. A blue symbol means you can simply counter-attack. A yellow one means it's going to be a blade attack, so it has to be dodged. A red one means it cannot be avoided, so you have to jump out of the way.
    • Armored mooks's costumes come with large patches of white or red to easily differentiate them from the rest.
  • Composite Character: As with Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman is once again based on the comics version, has the voice of his DCAU incarnation, and wears body armor with a glider cape. Likewise, The Joker is again based on the comics version, has the voice of his DCAU counterpart, wears a suit in poor condition similar to Heath Ledger's, has a face similar to Jack Nicholson, and mugs like Cesar Romero.
  • Conjoined Twins: The Abramovici Twins used to be, but had themselves separated over political differences. The Communist brother went to work for Joker, the Capitalist brother joined up with Penguin.
  • Conservation of Detail: The Hugo Strange trailer stands out in that it is the only one of the trailers that wasn't put together out of a combination of gameplay and cutscene footage. The interesting part is that the TYGER guard he interrogates and kills can actually be found in the game itself and is also the answer to one of the Riddler's riddles.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: There are a few places where Batman will remind you what you need to do if you spend too much time poking around. This is most noticeable in the church, where if you try to listen to everything the medical workers and guards have to say, you'll be told several times that you need to go to the top of the church.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • As seen in this video at the 90 second mark, Batman stops Harley's attack the same way he did in the last game.
    • You can see Arkham Island from the bay and it's still covered in giant vines.
    • The centerpiece of the final room converted into a shrine in honor of the Joker's death in "Harley Quinn's Revenge"? A giant Joker robot.
    • The outlines of Bruce's parents behind the theater is the same position they were in Bruce's nightmare by Scarecrow.
  • Crapsack World: What kind of world must the inhabitants of Gotham City live in, where a whole district of their city can become a dumping ground for criminals? Worse yet, a lot of the prisoners just plain don't belong there, but were thrown in for political reasons or because Strange wanted to get rid of them. Bruce Wayne gets captured and thrown in without warning for organizing a protest rally.
  • Cutscene Boss: Bane and Hugo Strange. Some people believe the latter would be justified because he couldn't stand up to Batman in a fight, but the truth is that Strange is trained to physical perfection, as evidenced by his bio in both games and the profile picture in Arkham Asylum.
    • "Trained to physical perfection" does not mean "expert in hand-to-hand combat". Batman is both, Strange is only the former.
  • Cutting the Knot: You can easily rescue the first Riddler hostage with the Line Launcher or by running across the floor and absorbing damage. If you do, the Riddler condescendingly says he knew you would "cheat".
    • You're required to do this on the Riddler's Shell Game, since he will cheat.
    • You can do this in the third room instead of solving the magnet block puzzle by dive-rolling from the pressure switch to the door, although there's no text for it suggesting it's a glitch.
    • If you have enough health upgrades, you can use the Line Launcher to skip deactivating the electrified floor at the start of the fourth room. Doing this means that the game doesn't realise you've beaten the first area and Riddler will continue to mock you for being unable to beat it even while you're talking to the hostage you just rescued!
    • Apart from the Riddler rooms, you can Disrupt the firearm of a hostage-taker, eliminating the need to sneak up on him from behind.
  • Damsel in Distress: Catwoman is briefly Two-Face's captive. And we do mean "briefly": as soon as it looks like he's actually going to kill her, she cuts herself loose and slashes his face. Overlaps with Badass in Distress.
    • Talia is taken captive by Joker and used as a motivator to lure Batman into the final battle, but given how easily she breaks free of his hold and disarms him it's likely she was just leading him on. The women in this game do not mess around.
  • Dance Battler: Catwoman's move set is a lot more fluid and ballet-like than Batman's, who uses more brute strength than acrobatics or gymnastics.
    • Nightwing is another example, having once been an acrobatic himself.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: At one point, Harley Quinn leaves Batman held at gunpoint by four goons. Only one of them realizes the gravity of the situation.

"Because it's not like he has a reputation for breaking free of traps and then smashing people's face in. Oh wait! That's exactly what he does!"

  • Darker and Edgier: They actually managed to trump Arkham Asylum, and that's saying something.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: When you first meet Harley Quinn in the church, she implies the Joker had one recently.
  • Dating Catwoman: Interestingly, it's not just with Catwoman, but with Talia as well.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Catwoman and Alfred. Batman actually does it once to Catwoman in an Ironic Echo, but Catwoman tells him to "stick to brooding".
  • Death by Secret Identity: Hugo Strange finds out Batman's identity before the events of this game, and dies at the end of it.
  • Death Seeker:
  • Death Trap: The Riddler's contraptions. Even a few clusters of Riddler trophies are set up in such a way that you will die in the attempt without a couple gadgets given to Batman during the storyline, thus preventing the Riddler from anticipating them.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: This title is surprisingly introspective. Over the course of the narrative, it deconstructs Batman's overall effect on actually deterring crime in Gotham (as opposed to just fighting it), the Joker's own sense of invincibility and mortality, Batman's overall love life and how far he's willing to go to protect the women he cares for as well as how far they're willing to go for him as well, how much Batman's allies will let him get away with before calling him out, how practical Thou Shalt Not Kill really is, and ultimately, whether or not even the most despicable and deplorable examples of humanity are worthy of basic human rights.
  • Demoted to Extra: A lot of the returning villains from Arkham Asylum don't have exactly big parts. Poison Ivy only shows up in the Catwoman missions (very, very briefly), Bane sends you on a sidequest and that's about it, and Croc is completely absent aside from an Easter Egg. And while obviously not a villain, Commissioner Gordon has only one in-game appearance and a few short audio ones, only getting slightly more of a part in the "Harley Quinn's Revenge" DLC.
    • Scarecrow is an interesting example. He actually does not appear at all in game. However, a boat with his latest experiment is found floating in the harbor, and three undocumented radio frequencies continually replay messaged from him. Plus, it's been revealed that he's the apparent main villain in the upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight.
  • The Determinator: Ra's was so determined to prevent Batman from saving his life yet again, that he stabbed himself through his chest to make sure Batman let go as they were falling, finally fulfilling, in his own way, what he had wanted all the time: to be killed by Batman.
    • Or it was a case of Taking You with Me, or maybe trying to stab Batman forcing him to take a dip in the Lazarus Pit to save himself.
    • Again, Batman. Spends an entire night fighting supervillains while dying of blood poisoning.
    • Batman's determination to keep with his code of not killing (or allowing to die) is really pronounced throughout the game.
    • Two-Face's reputation as one keeps his men from deserting the gang after his initial defeat, citing his refusal to stay down even as half his face was being burnt off. And while he takes a couple whoopings, and long stretches go by where nobody knows where he IS, once everyone else's theatrics are concluded he's holding half of a now-unmanned prison city.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything:
    • Unfortunately, their thoughtfulness is a huge spoiler, as if you turn on Detective Mode while fighting the Joker, you'll see he has no bones... because he's Clayface.
    • Depending on whether you finish the Bane sidequest before or after you beat the game, his hideout is ambushed either by TYGER guards who want to confiscate the TITAN or a group of Joker mooks who want to either use it for themselves to have a chance of survival now that their boss is gone or just take it back since it was Joker's to begin with.
    • If you manage to destroy all of the Tyger cameras before Protocol 10, one of the Tyger guards will mention over the radio they are completely blind.
    • In the beginning of the game, after beating up Penguin's mooks, the player could just leave Penguin alone without knocking him out and go up the ladder. The Dev team anticipated this possibility, so they had Penguin say something specifically for that occasion, which is where he taunts Bruce Wayne about him always knowing that Wayne was a coward.
    • If the player decides to stick around during the "countdown" on the clock tower, Joker will end up basically summing up the final events of the game before telling Batman that he really needs to get out of there.
    • Catwoman has a surprising number of lines that play in specific circumstances. You can go back during the epilogue and visit any of the villains that are locked up or incapacitated (Bane, Mad Hatter, Ivy, etc), where you will get special one-off conversations where they ask her to release them (which she refuses every time, for various reasons). In addition, she will have a unique conversation with Calendar Man if you visit him, where she says she won't release him after "what happened with the Falcones" (a likely reference to Batman: Dark Victory).
    • If you activate one of Harley's mannequins in the steel mill, you can hear random comments. If you activate it after the end of the game, you will hear her crying. If Batman is killed on the Joker's turf during the epilogue, Harley will say "You were supposed to save Mistah J, Batbrain!" to you. Actually, she says it before he's killed too, when you're trying to find the cure.
    • When The Joker does his Break Them by Talking on your second trip through the steel mill, notice that the cameraman coughs and shakes the camera during the broadcast. Because it's the real Joker filming it, and he's not cured.
    • One notable aversion: the Mad Hatter interlude is a side mission and hence can be done after the main mission is complete. However, the post-hypnotic suggestion still says that a cure has been dropped. Batman still injects himself with it despite already being cured and in the cut scene the Mad Hatter talks about Strange as if he was still alive.
    • Also they clearly figured out the question how Mr. Freeze could get over to his wife after you tell him where she is. After doing so, you will find behind the GCPD a long ice walkway in the water leading to the warehouse.
    • In the New Game+, during the first Riddler room you can bypass most of it by using the line launcher. Riddler will remark on it, and mock you for cheating. He'll also do so if you just choose to run across parts of the electrified floor to skip most of it.
    • Averted during Protocol 10. Despite the constant air strikes all over the city, if you chat with any character inside a building, they will act as if nothing is going on. Strangely, after Protocol 10 you can go talk to one of the cops holed up in the Iceberg Lounge who will ask if Batman was the one that stopped the explosions, when he acted oblivious to it not too long ago.
    • Averted with the DLC outfits. In any of the cut scenes it will have him change back to his default outfit, despite having him wear another outfit.
    • To prevent the player from destroying all of the Titan before talking to Bane, as in doing so would give Bane no time to find his 6, the Titan Container by Joker's hideout does not appear until after you talk to Bane.
  • Dirty Coward: The Penguin loves to act like he's hot stuff whenever he has Batman at his mercy or is berating a cop or one of his mooks, but whenever Batman turns the tables he'll quickly beg for forgiveness or run away screaming for help.
    • As they were in Arkham Asylum, the standard mooks tend to be this during predator mode, as they'll quickly begin to abandon each other when things start going south and will beg for Batman not to hurt them if they're the last one standing.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Seems to be a tactic Catwoman can use to her advantage, as one of her counters involves kissing a mook right before tossing him to the ground with a Judo throw.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Ivy, as fitting her character. She tries to kill Catwoman, and then later pledges to go on a homicidal rampage throughout Gotham. Why? Apparently because Catwoman was housesitting for her and forgot to water her flowers, all of which died except one (which Catwoman later destroys and blames on Strange). Granted, from her perspective, Catwoman just let her children starve to death.
    • Joker also has his moments. The Arkham City Stories detail an Escalating War between him and Penguin, Joker's side is rife with this. Spraying a waitress with acid when she spilt a drink on him was just the start.
  • Doing It for the Art: Clayface, who apparently has been using every trick up his sleeve to avoid being put in Arkham City, eventually willingly enters when given the opportunity to play "The role of a lifetime."
  • Domestic Abuser: Strange suggests that even before becoming a villain, Harvey Dent had a violent side.
  • Don't Go in The Woods: In the prequel comic, Catwoman advises Ivy not to go wandering into the park around her hangout at night, presumably because it's where one of the creepier inmates reside. Considering Catwoman is talking to Poison Ivy, who can control plants, and a park will most likely have plants, this may not really be necessary.
  • Downloadable Content: Challenge maps, extra characters (Robin and Nightwing), alternate skins for practically every player character, Catwoman DLC... you name it, this game has got it.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The blueprints for Arkham City can be found in the first game, in a secret room in the Warden's office accessible by detonating three gels on one of the walls. However, the developers had to tell the community the location of this easter egg/cameo.
  • Easter Egg: The Calendar Man is basically a living easter egg: he's sitting in a cell in the courthouse, and asks you to come back to him on various different holidays so he can spin a yarn about a crime he committed on those days.
    • You can find Leslie Thompkin's clinic near Poison Ivy's hangout. Strangely, it's not part of a riddle.
    • Big Head Mode.
    • Throughout the game are scattered teddy bears that look like the giant one on top of Krank's Toys. Most of them are changed to reflect the environment they're in. For example, a bear in a Riddler death trap room will be in its own miniature death trap.
    • In the caged in area where Bruce Wayne is being processed and has to save Jack Ryder, if you look upward, you'll notice that Azrael is watching the whole thing.
    • All the Easter eggs you could ever want.
  • Elite Mooks:
    • The Tyger security force has been specifically trained to counter and apprehend Batman, even proving wise to most of his gadgets. They're also impossible to completely frighten: in Predator challenges, they're never above being "nervous". None of that still doesn't stop Batman from repeatedly beating and/or evading them though.
    • Talia's guard also counts, as their weapons can't be destroyed, they randomly Smoke Out of the way of an incoming attack (which thankfully doesn't break your combo), more of them can spawn in the middle of some combat challenges, their attacks have two different counters and the one that needs to be evaded hits 4 times instead of 3 (unlike any other enemy with a bladed weapon), and they get up immediately after being knocked down, making them immune to Ground Takedowns.
    • Harley's reprogrammed and repainted Wonder City robots are also a minor example: since they're machines, Batman can't read them as well as humans, and thus they have no counter prompt. Makes you wonder why the miniature versions of himself Clayface spawns have one though...
  • Empathy Doll Shot: There is a commonly re-used model of a stuffed bear to be found all over Arkham City. In a Funny Background Event, you can find one in Thomas Elliot's hideout that has had its face cut off and bandaged over, like his victims.
  • Enemy Chatter:
    • An overwhelming amount of it. They always have something to say about what's going on, and Batman's wearing a device that lets him hear everything someone's saying within a city block's distance of him.
  • They'll also change their chatter when fighting Catwoman, Robin and Nightwing. Some of the dialog during the Robin "Predator" missions are pretty funny. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Robin and Nightwing themselves, both of whom are completely silent during their intros for whatever confusing reason.
  • Enemy Mine: Batman and Bane join forces to rid Arkham City of the Titan drug. In the in game profile, it states that he has dedicated himself to hunting down Venom and Titan in an attempt to prevent other innocents from being subjected to the same addiction he suffers from. Of course Bane betrays Batman, he wanted all the Titan for himself and used Batman to make sure none could be used against him. Which of course Batman knew.
  • Epic Fail: In the backstory, Joker and Harley break out of the prison hospital where he is recuperating from the boss fight of Batman: Arkham Asylum to avoid a transfer to Arkham City. In the ensuing speedboat chase, they manage to break into Arkham City by accident.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Averted twice. When you go down the elevator shaft in the steel mill. One of the mooks tells another that he killed his mother by forcing her to eat a poison birthday cake. And Calender Man tells Batman that he killed his mother on Mother's day.
    • In the "Harley Quinn's Revenge" DLC, you run into a few mooks talking about how they're unsatisfied with Harley's leadership. One of them claims he could become a supervillain, but the others tease him by pointing out that the only thing of note he's done was killing an entire family and stealing their Thanksgiving turkey to give to his own mother. They suggest the name "Turkey Man".
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Catwoman (who is, admittedly, more of an Anti-Hero) refuses to enter Zsasz's lair if you try it, saying he gives her the creeps. There's also various criminals who hang around Arkham City, who despite being rather unpleasant themselves, are still quite disturbed by the behavior characters like Joker, Penguin and Zsasz indulge in.
  • Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: The museum features a rather large area filled with water, with a thin layer of ice at first that gradually melts down. The Penguin has let loose a huge shark in it that will attack from time to time and devour Batman if he falls in the water. If only he had some shark repellent...
    • Lampshaded in the last Riddler hostage room where you hear the Riddler musing on whether or not Batman would have a gadget to help, were he to steal Penguin's shark to use in a trap.
  • Evil Gloating:
    • Hugo Strange likes to do this.
    • Riddler, especially in his game-over scenes. There are villains more evil and dangerous than him, but probably no one the player wants to punch so much.
  • Evil Phone: Victor Zsasz's side mission involves answering several ringing payphones throughout the city in order to track him down.
    • Likewise, the back story reveals that as soon as he got put in the City, Zsasz started playing with the phones, calling them at random and killing whoever answered. He did this only because 1) he was bored and 2) he knew Batman would eventually track him down for it.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Hugo Strange's forces set up shop in Wonder Tower.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Arkham City is divided into gang territories, with Joker, Two-Face and the Penguin's gangs in constant warfare. Hugo Strange usually just lets them do what they want, but he will intervene if he sees fit. And that's not getting into the various independent villains. And then of course, there is Protocol 10...
  • Exposed to the Elements: Many of the characters, male and female. The men at least complain about it.
  • Eye Scream: The Penguin's monocle isn't actually a monocle but the bottom half of a glass beer bottle shoved into his eye.
    • The 12 minute video, seen here, has Catwoman slash Harvey in the face. Pay close attention to his right eye.
  • The Faceless: Kind of. Miller, one of the members of Precinct 13 that was taken hostage by Penguin's gang, never shows his face. All of the angles either show the back of his head, or Batman's head blocking his face.
    • It sort of applies for the Riddler too, as most of his promo images show his back and even his character bio image doesn't show his face. Though in the screenshots, and once you actually start finding his challenge rooms, you can see his face plain as day.
    • Hush, having already replaced his face with Bruce Wayne's by the time he takes the bandages off.
  • Fake Difficulty: Not much, but it subtly exists when fighting against max-difficulty thugs such as in the bonus mission at the end of the main story (the one where Catwoman confronts Two-Face). Communication between them becomes instant; as soon as one (conscious) mook knows where you are, they all do, even before the thug that spotted you speaks.
    • The second half of Augmented Reality training also counts. The controls are much too sensitive and the precision required much too high in order to get one of the best, quickest ways to move around the city and an absolute requirement in order to meet the "get to the phone" parts of Zsasz's side mission.
    • The same can be said for the Predator challanges, which come in two flavors: Normal and Extreme. The Extreme difficulty variations of maps equip all thugs with thermal googles [1], ludicrous weapons [2], and the ability to alert others instantly. To make things even more unfair, there will always be a thug with a detective vision jammer thrown in, who always either a)has an incredibly awkward route that overlaps with other mooks and/or goes to a difficult to reach area; or b) must be taken down last for all level medals.
  • Fake Longevity: Arguably, Challenge Campaigns. While Challenge maps are a fine way to lengthen the gameplay, Challenge Campaigns require you to beat the exact same levels again with a few modifiers. Basically, to reach 100%, you need to beat all 24 challenge maps at least twice as Batman. And if you want the trophies, with Catwoman, Robin and Nightwing as well.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Quincy Sharp took the credit for saving the day in the first game, which let him become mayor.
    • It appears Strange's goal is to become this, to be seen as the hero after killing off everyone who ever gained a criminal record in Gotham.
  • Fat Bastard: Calendar Man's bigger than he used to be.
    • The Penguin, of course.
  • Female Gaze: Most character trophies zoom into the face, Nightwing's zooms into his groin while his animated skin zooms into the face, so it’s clearly not an accident.
  • Fetus Terrible: Harley and Joker's unborn child.
  • Feuding Families: The Waynes and the Cobblepots were rivals for decades, and Penguin blames the loss of his family's fortune on the Waynes. It certainly explains his hatred for Bruce.
  • Fight Clubbing: Bane's turf in the digital comic prequels.
  • Final Exam Boss: More like Midterm Boss in this case. Mister Freeze cannot be hurt by the same trick twice and will activate a countermeasure each time you hit him with one of your moves (either by freezing part of the scenery or by activating a new countermeasure in his suit). You're going to need to pull out a lot of different tricks to defeat him. Depending on the difficulty, the number of times Batman has to trick Freeze increases from three on Easy to five on Normal, to eight on Hard and to nine on New Game+. Additionally, on New Game+, Freeze will deploy a permanent jammer if Batman keeps his Detective Mode on for too long.
  • Final Solution: Protocol Ten, for criminals and people that know too much.
  • Find the Cure: Much of the plot involves Joker's search for a cure for his fatal disease. Just to improve his chances, he has his now-toxic blood donated and transfused into Batman and several innocent people, thereby ensuring that Batman looks for a cure as well. Batman's the only one who gets cured in the end, though, although more cure could be created for the innocents after the end of the game.
  • Fingerprinting Air: Not as bad as some versions of Batman, but he still has to perform some highly-detailed forensics tests in the game, particularly when trying to track down Deadshot. We do get the tried-and-true Batman technique of analyzing some paint residue and narrowing it down to a ridiculously specific point of origin to determine what products that paint was used on.
  • Fingore: Penguin captures Bruce Wayne right when he's first transferred to Arkham City intent on settling their old family feud by introducing Bruce's face to a set of brass knuckles. Bruce responds by blocking the punch and breaking Penguin's hand. Penguin spends the rest of the game with his fingers in bandages that coincidentally make his hand look like a flipper.
    • Also, one of the torture techniques Penguin applies to an undercover cop, involving Mr. Freeze's ice gun, a hammer, and the victim's hand. We never actually get to see it, but Penguin's narration of it and the victim's screams are bad enough.
  • Five-Bad Band:
    • The Joker's crew.
    • Also the Arkham City/Protocol Ten plot:
      • Big Bad: Ra's al Ghul, the obvious true mastermind behind it all.
      • The Dragon: Hugo Strange, who is backed up by "Friends in high places" but is the most involved threat among the group.
      • Evil Genius: Mad Hatter, who actually made it possible for Strange to brainwash his soldiers into serving him.
      • The Brute: Deadshot, who Strange has tracking down and killing political prisoners as well as Batman himself.
      • Dark Chick: Talia.
  • Flat Earth Atheist: An early on scripted conversation between Joker thugs in the steel mill occurs between two men: one of whom was beaten up by Batman in the first game and the other who thinks that Batman might just be an urban legend. Of course, there's plenty of evidence of Batman's existence... if nothing else, then the news footage of him from the first game. The first thug is appropriately incredulous.
  • Flatline: Happens to The Joker during his (supposed) death scene in the first act.
  • Flat What: The Riddler's reaction when Strange tells him that he knows Batman's true identity.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: The Penguin's shark's name is Tiny.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Batman is seen with his nose bleeding in some of the promotional posters. It shows that Batman is infected with the Joker's disease.
    • The developers have said it's not necessarily the Titan that is causing Joker to become sickly. But it is.
    • The memory card Catwoman steals from Two-Face and inserts into her smartphone-like device displays a map of Park Row, otherwise known as Crime Alley; the place where Bruce Wayne's parents were murdered. When Batman visits this location in the game, Strange has left an audiotape for him to listen to.
    • It gets worse: if one walks from the Monarch to the chalk lines, you can hear two gunshots followed by screeching bats.
    • If you don't jump out of the church when Joker reveals that he's wired the place with bombs, he drops a few hints about the ending.
    • The very first thing seen when launching a new game is a painting called Cain and Abel, the duality of man. Sure enough, the final cutscene has Batman and Joker emulating exactly that painting.
    • After Harley Quinn locks you out of Joker's office, you can hear Quinn say "Oh, Mr. J, you look perfect! Oh, wait, it isn't you..." to which Joker's voice can be heard telling her to shush. That's because she briefly mistook Clayface's Joker form for the real Joker.
    • Using Detective Vision during the fistfight with Joker later will reveal that what you're actually looking at is a humanoid form without bones.
    • During one of the Joker's broadcasts when he reveals that he has taken the cure, the actual Joker holding the camera coughs.
    • Deadshot, sans gear is in front of you in the line during the opening sequence.
    • Hush (sans trenchcoat) is on one of the beds in the west side of the Chapel the first time you visit. When the radio mentions Bruce Wayne's name, he becomes visibly disturbed in his sleep.
    • Azrael can be seen watching you from the rooftops when you enter Arkham City as Bruce Wayne.
    • There's also Azrael's grim little speech to Batman.
    • The museum has posters for Wonder City.
    • Most of the villains mentioned in the Enemy Chatter get appearances later on in the game.
    • The giant poster of Solomon Grundy you find in the subway, the mooks looking at it practically state Penguin has him in the Iceburg Lounge.
    • A couple of Easter eggs:
      • The boat filled with cockroaches and a screaming man you can find in the middle of the flooded downtown district, that was supposed to be delivered to Scarecrow.
    • Let's not forget the foreshadowing to this game from Arkham Asylum: the Spirit of Arkham chronicles, Ra's' disappearing corpse, and of course the blueprints for Arkham City in Sharp's secret room.
    • The ice cream truck Harley uses to crash into the church has "Mind the child" written on the front. This is the first hint in the game that Harley may be pregnant (which it's later revealed she isn't).
    • "Harley Quinn's Revenge" gets in on the act too. During a radio broadcast near the beginning, Commissioner Gordon cuts an interview with Vicki Vale short when she asks why no one has been allowed to see the Joker's body. In the flashback, when Batman is about to infiltrate the steel mill, talking to Gordon reveals that after the hostage situation is resolved, he needs Batman's help with, "that other problem", which is left ominously unexplained. Finally, when Batman enters Harley's hideout, he overhears her goons discussing the possibility that the corpse Batman carried out of the theater with him could have been Clayface pulling another body swap. Joker might not be as dead as everyone thinks, though this is highly unlikely due to how far apart Clayface and the Joker were from each other in the ending when the Joker died.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul:
    • This incarnation of the Riddler wears glasses.
    • Hugo Strange, exemplified by getting Catwoman to co-operate by ordering Tyger to shoot a 13 year old girl.
  • Fragile Speedster: Catwoman is explicitly faster than Batman, but also not as heavily armed or armored, and requires more stealth tactics.
  • Funny Background Event: When Penguin sends his goons after you in his "initiation" pit, he accidentally whacks one of his lieutenants in the groin with his umbrella.
  • Gambit Pileup: Of epic proportions. Hugo Strange and Ra's al-Ghul plan to gather Batman and all of Gotham's criminals in one place and slaughter them all, with Strange intent on breaking Batman's spirit in the process. Joker has Clayface impersonate him to keep up appearances, kidnaps Mr. Freeze's wife to force him to make a cure for his disease, then infects Batman and thousands of ER patients to get him looking for a cure for good measure. Penguin kidnaps Freeze himself for his "collection", as well as to prevent his hated rival from getting said cure. Two-Face is building up his gang and preparing to go to war with Joker and Penguin. Riddler's once again out to prove he's smarter than Batman, and is willing to kill to do it. And to top it off, Catwoman plans to loot the prison's confiscated goods vault and escape. To cap off Hugo's scheme, Ra's is also running this as a test to see if either Batman or Hugo is a worthy successor, and is more than willing to execute both if they fail. And that's not even counting the smaller-scale schemes being run by Bane, Hush, Zsasz and Mad Hatter. In short, this game gives the dubious honor of having nearly every A-list Batman villain participating in a scheme worthy of their comics legacy (although some do get left out). Nearly every one of them is playing against the others, and the villains are arguably larger impediments to each other than Batman is; his job is to mostly keep the chaos contained.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • A minor example with Catwoman. If the player tries to make Catwoman walk into one of the Riddler's hostage rooms, Catwoman will say something like "Oh Edward, when will you learn I don't have time for your silly little games?". Of course, the player might have already found all of Riddler's Catwoman trophies by this point, making her claim ring a little hollow.
    • Riddler is convinced that you can't get through the beginning of the third Riddler room, saying that he has studied your gadgets and you have nothing that can beat the room. This is despite the fact that both gadgets you can use have their own Riddler challenges, meaning Riddler must be aware of their existence.
    • As an inversion of that, some challenges and trophies require gadgets that Batman hasn't obtained yet. Even if Riddler were to know about gadgets Batman owns but didn't bring (such as the Line Launcher), there's no reason for him to know about gadgets Batman makes on the spot (such as the gun disruptor) or is given by someone else (such as the freeze grenades).
    • Mostly adverted, but according to her character bio, Talia has an elite personal guard around her at all times, each one capable of fighting against 100 men and winning. They are nowhere to be seen while she's being held hostage by the Joker, and it sounds like one of them was taken down after killing less than ten of the Penguin's men. Not so much an issue of this. She deliberately let herself be captured so Batman could get the cure, as indicated by her showing that she put the tracer he used on the assassin on her lapel.
  • Gang of Hats: Mooks now have uniforms indicating the villains to which they're affiliated:
    • Unaligned inmates wear orange Blackgate prison uniforms, similar to those worn by the High Security Henchmen in the last game. Some also seem to have the Arkham logo branded onto their chests or backs.
    • Joker's men either wear spraypainted hoodies and clown masks or sweaty undershirts and facepaint, while armored ones resemble toy soldiers. The Joker Titan Henchman wears a striped purple coat and brown Magic Pants, and has clown makeup and dyed hair.
    • Penguin's men have urban camo pants and winter jackets, as well as a black outlined penguin insignia somewhere on their clothes or body. Some of them wear black and white balaclavas. Armored Penguin thugs wear top-grade red and black padded armor from the military. The Penguin Titan Henchman resembles a normal one, but with ripped clothing.
    • Two-Face's men wear white prison jumpsuits, with one side burned. Some of them also appear to have half melted rubber masks.
    • The Mad Hatter's Mooks seem to wear white rabbit masks (with mind-control devices in them).
    • Riddler's men are in fact moles and plants he's bribed to inform on their bosses to him: they appear glowing green to Batman but otherwise are unremarkable.
    • Like the Hatter, Poison Ivy doesn't have henchmen of her own. She just poaches them from the other gangs by using her pheromones to brainwash them. In Arkham City Lockdown, her mooks are brainwashed policemen.
    • Some of the mooks also change allegiance during the game either willingly or forcibly, which is also reflected on their outfits by having their new boss' main uniform features crudely spraypainted, as can seen from the ingame trophies. They may also wear gang-affiliated masks.
    • Harley's mooks from "Harley Quinn's Revenge" share her normal outfit's color scheme and face paintings, and generally have a diamond motif somewhere on their torso, while armored ones wear armor plates and football helmets.
    • During Protocol 10, it's possible to find a few dead "Scarecrow Thugs", which are just reskinned Joker hoodie thugs.
  • Genre Blindness: As Batman climbs the tower, the guards say they can no longer see him. The man upstairs says, "Good. He probably fell. Move your search lower."
  • Genre Savvy: The enemy chatter after completing the game shows a lot of the inmates doubt that Joker is gone for good. "How many times has he died already?"
  • Ghost City: The ruins of Old Gotham, as well as Wonder City, Ra's al-Ghul's failed underground Victorian utopia powered by a Lazarus pit.
  • Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: Solomon Grundy is a bit of this. There's some lead up, but it's all in the Enemy Chatter and backstory materials. He basically is there just so there's a climactic boss fight to finish off Penguin's segment. Clayface also counts, though he is a bit foreshadowed in his Arkham City story. Also, if you use Detective Vision when you're fighting the Joker, the lack of a skeletal structure may clue you in.
  • Go Out with a Smile: An incredibly dark and twisted version of this trope with the Joker.
  • Greek Chorus: The comments made by the goons Batman eavesdrops on have this effect.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Dripping from Oracle anytime she brings up Talia.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body:
    • Just like in Arkham Asylum, Titan infected enemies will throw unconscious bodies at you.
    • When attacked by three enemies simultaneously, Batman's counter animation tends to grab one and use him to beat the other two around the head.
    • When using the full speed glide boost attack, Batman will use the targeted mook as a flail in a massive overhead swing, instantly knocking out anyone unfortunate enough to be in the same place.
    • Batman's Remote Electrical Charge sends armored enemies flying, who may collide with another enemy, stunning them both.
    • One of Robin's special attacks involves grabbing a mook by an arm and a leg and swinging him around to then throw him away. This can harm other mooks in the way.
  • Groin Attack:
    • Batman pulls one on a Tyger mook in the Hugo Strange trailer.
    • Penguin also does one on one of his own mooks possibly by accident.
    • Catwoman kicks Two-Face in the crotch early in the game, once Batman has subdued him.
    • Like in Arkham Asylum, using a ground takedown on an enemy ends up with Batman punching them in the head or the crotch, depending which way the enemy is positioned.
  • Half the Man He Used To Be: According to Enemy Chatter you can hear outside the courthouse, some unfortunate Mook called Bailey upset Two Face and was strapped to an industrial saw, one of the thugs you hear talking had to clean up afterwards.
  • Handicapped Badass: The Abramovici twins, a pair of Elite Mooks each working for Penguin and Joker, are both missing an arm. Enemy chatter involves the rumor that they were Conjoined Twins working in a circus freakshow before being separated (which is confirmed in the Arkham City Story about them).
  • Hand Wave: When Catwoman finds Poison Ivy during her second story chapter, Ivy looks perfectly healthy. This is perplexing, as she received a heavy dose of the Titan formula during the events of Arkham Asylum, yet she isn't suffering the same blood poisoning disease as Joker. One of the Arkham City Stories you unlock gives a very hurried reason for this, saying that Ivy used some special pollen on a priest's clothing along with her own pheromones to create a cure (or something to that effect). This is unnessecary considering immunity to poison is part of Ivy's schtick, and the Joker has various toxins in his body anyway that would intermix with the Titan formula.
  • Harmless Freezing: One of Batman's new gadgets can freeze mooks. Others can break them out and they rejoin the battle. As usual, this is averted by Mr. Freeze. Basically, what makes the freezing harmless is that it's a relatively thin layer of ice coating the victim's torso and some of their limbs. Their heads are uncovered, so they don't suffocate, and they're not being frozen solid. It's still really, really uncomfortable.
  • Hellhole Prison: Arkham City itself. The only enforced rule is to stay inside, and as a result, the inmates join armies lead by the super-criminals, who hoard the food supplies for themselves, and go to war with top-notch military equipment and weaponry, while innocent prisoners inside the city get beaten up or held hostage by the murderers and rapists. There is also little food, little regard towards the medical center and its staff, and winter clothing doesn't seem to be provided to the inmates.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: In a very strange, dark, twisted way, Batman and Joker.
    • This can be especially seen through Joker's voicemails. Example, especially the very last one.
  • High-Class Glass: The Penguin's monocle... but not really. It's actually the bottom of a glass bottle.
  • High Altitude Interrogation: Batman can interrogate Riddler's henchmen in this manner, depending whether or not the player is near a ledge. Also Batman's preferred method of questioning Quincy Sharp during a cutscene.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Ra's al Ghul is the actual Big Bad. Also, Joker has to be dealt with after Strange and Ra's are defeated.
    • Though, surprisingly, the actual Final Boss is Clayface, who turns out to be The Dragon for The Joker.
  • His Name Is--: The first of Deadshot's victims is killed just as he's about to tell Batman the specifics of his work during the construction of Arkham City. A particularly bad case of Bond Villain Stupidity, as Deadshot had a clear line of sight and we're explicitly told later in the sidequest that Batman was one of his targets. This is likely because he was working on a specific time schedule, and Batman's time hadn't come up yet. Deadshot is very prideful in being the world's greatest assassin and in carrying out all of his hits to the letter of their request, so even though he probably knew it'd be better for both him and his client to just kill Batman then, doing so would be going against the terms of the deal, which he'd never allow himself to do. And at the end of his sidequest, he is perfectly willing to move Batman up on the schedule, since it's the second time he thwarted him.
  • Historical In-Joke: Sal Maroni's Restaurant, where his people murdered their long-time rivals, the Falcones, has a note that the place is closed (possibly due to shootout and subsequent investigation). The date of the closure? February 14th.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Riddler's final deathtrap for his hostages involves exploding helmets wired to a track in the floor. They have to keep walking or... well.... When Batman finally beats him, he wires Riddler into a helmet and starts the track up. Riddler says he knows Batman won't kill him, to which Batman replies that Aaron Cash and the other hostages will be holding the detonator. After he walks away, miserably following the track, we get this exchange:

Cash: You're sure this thing won't actually work, right?
Batman: I'm sure. But there's no need to let him know that.

    • Even better, just get in the way of the Riddler on the track and watch him squirm.
    • If the Joker had just waited another minute for Batman to finish his thoughts instead of jumping him and stabbing him in the shoulder to try and get the cure, he would have been saved.
    • If Strange had left Batman alone, the latter would have never heard of Protocol 10 until it was too late.
  • Holiday Mode: If you find Calendar Man and talk to him on certain holidays, he'll tell you a story about a crime he committed on that holiday.
  • Hulk Speak: Solomon Grundy.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: In response to Batman's request for new equipment, Alfred snarkily lampshades that he might need a bigger belt. And that's not even counting the gadgets he constructs or receives from willing inmates, which he could not possibly have prepared for.
  • If You Kill Him You Will Be Just Like Him: After rescuing the undercover cops, one of them mentions that he's going to kill all the Penguin's thugs that he sees; only for his commander to insist they do it "by the book" as it's what Gordon would want.
  • I Have Your Wife:
    • Hugo Strange kidnaps Mr. Freeze's wife to bring him to Arkham City and ensure his cooperation. He later gives her to Joker, so he can force Freeze to find a cure for his disease. One of the side missions involves finding out where her cryo-box is being stored so Freeze can get her back.
    • Strange also threatens to have Holly Robinson killed to make Catwoman participate in his sessions.
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You:
  • I'm a Humanitarian:
    • Some of the dialog you can overhear suggests that some of the inmates have taken to eating other humans to survive, since the three major supervillain factions have been hoarding the food the guards drop in.
    • Killer Croc.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Ra's al Ghul on his own sword, by his own hand. And for added irony, also on the "A" of Arkham City's entrance sign.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Batman and the mooks he fights.
  • Instant Win Condition: In Catwoman's final fight with Two-Face in the museum, he will not stop spawning guards if they are discovered. However, if you defeat Two-Face, the cutscene acts as if the other half-dozen armed men aren't in the room any more.
  • Insufferable Genius: The Riddler, of course. The man is pathologically incapable of going five minutes without insulting someone else's intelligence. During "Riddler's Revenge" missions, his own minions are so sick of being compared to "retarded monkeys" that many of them swear to shoot him the next time they see him.
  • Interface Screw: The baseball bats and stun-sticks return, performing the same function as before. A subtle story version occurs when Batman is heading to Wonder City for the first time, as the poison has begun to take its toll. The camera ever so gradually starts skewing to the left and right like a seesaw, to reflect Batman's sickly state.
  • Interface Spoiler: Anyone familiar with the Batman comics can pretty easily identify the "Mystery Watcher" as Azrael long before completing the side mission.
    • Along similar lines, the identity of the "mysterious" serial killer is pretty clear from the first victim's remains.
    • Using Detective Mode during the fight with Joker and his goons will reveal who his Body Double is before you find out in the story.
  • Invisible Wall: Not for Batman, but for mooks. When fighting guys on rooftops, if Batman kicks or throws a guy, they will not fall over a ledge to their death, but stop at an invisible barrier at the edge. Gotta enforce the Thou Shalt Not Kill policy, after all! Not quite accurate. While it's somewhat difficult to pull off reliably, if the mook is close enough to the edge, and the right attack is performed, he will fall off the edge. In addition, ledge takedowns will occasionally result in the mook just being tossed over the edge, where the mook will land unconscious... or, if the ledge's too high, he'll be hanging on to it by a rope tied to his legs.
  • Ironic Echo: Between Batman and Mr. Freeze: "You look unwell."
    • Batman to Catwoman: "I may have chipped a nail."
    • Batman to Joker: "You wanna know something funny?"
    • Might have been unintentional, but one of the conversations between a thug and political prisoner will end with the guy begging the thug not to hurt him and him saying "I can't guarantee that". Batman and Penguin later have the same conversation.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Done to Mr. Freeze by Batman. Batman pulls out a vial of supercoolant keeping Freeze alive outside his suit and slowly pours it out until Freeze reveals the secret to beating his weaponry (currently possessed by the Penguin). He also threatens to do this to the Riddler's spies.
  • Jerkass: In his interview tape, The Penguin recounts to Strange how he "laughed for weeks" when he heard Bruce Wayne's parents were shot to death and how it "couldn't have happened to nicer people." Given his family's history with the Waynes, this isn't too surprising.
  • Joker Immunity: Averted.
  • Karmic Death: Joker stabbing Batman in the shoulder leads to the cure vial getting dropped and destroyed, not to mention the fact that the Titan formula he created is what ends up killing him in the end.
  • Kent Brockman News: Vicki Vale and Jack Ryder undergo a very public feud of opinions regarding the construction of Arkham City in the prequel comic. Played with, in that Jack is actually deliberately playing the role of the hard-line conservative for his own kicks.
    • After you rescue Vicki, she begins a news report on the deplorable conditions in the city.
  • Killed Off for Real: Hugo Strange and The Joker.
    • Though it seems the same for Ra's al Ghul and Talia, not quite. In Ra's case, Batman suggests that "he'll need a trip to a Lazarus Pit". Considering there are still League of Shadows ninjas around, Ra's still has a chance, and he does eventually reappear in the sequel's "Season of Infamy" DLC. The assassins would make Talia's survival a priority as well; Talia's body disappears during the Clayface fight.
  • Kill'Em All: What Protocol 10 is; TYGER agents start bombing Arkham City and killing everybody inside.
  • Knight Templar:
    • Quincy Sharp. He ordered Tyger to round up pretty anyone they deemed a criminal, regardless if they served their sentence or not. If you've got any sort of criminal record, you're dumped in with the psychos. One issue of the prequel comic begins with Sharp's goons attempting to arrest the Carpenter of all people. Although, how much of a Knight Templar he is is up for debate, considering that he's just being used by Strange.
    • We also have a literal example in Azrael.
  • Lag Cancel: Sort of: you can cancel the lengthy silent takedown with a Knockout Smash, which is quicker but just as loud as a regular combat takedown.
  • Lampshade Hanging: After Harley leaves the church, if you stand long enough with the mooks pointing their guns at you, one would suggest Batman might just use a smoke bomb, disappear and take them out one-by-one.
  • The Last Dance: Joker and Batman's.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Batman can overhear crooks talking about how they're surprised various villains are in Arkham City (the prison), going on to lampshade their return in Arkham City (the game).
    • Also:

Criminal: Arkham City's worse than the old one. I should get a refund.

    • One dialogue among three thugs inside the museum during the epilogue initially sounds like they're just discussing what's going to happen to the inmates now that the Arkham City experiment has failed. But considering that players never hear who the 'they' they're talking about are, it sounds an awful lot like they're talking about where the sequel will take place. Here's the exchange, with a bit of paraphrasing.

Thug 1: So what happens now?
Thug 2: I guess we'll just stay here until they figure out what they're doing next.
Thug 3: C'mon, man. What could they do next? Arkham County? Arkham Country? Big-ass Arkham World?
Thug 2: I dunno, man. These guys are crazy, aren't they?
Thug 3: Yes, they are.

  • Leitmotif: There's a certain little tune that plays whenever you go through Arkham City as Catwoman. There's also a specific one that plays every time she finishes off the last mook of a fight.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: The mooks in any predator fight will suggest this, even after said tactic has already wiped out half of their team one by one.
    • This is especially surprising considering the mook's tactics in the previous game. When Batman took down one of the armed goons and their buddies noticed it, two would team up and search the room together. They would stick like glue to each other's back, making sure to cover each other.
  • Lightning Gun: The Remote Electrical Charger (REC), a handsome multitool used for puzzle-solving and crowd control.
    • Nightwing has escrima sticks that, for the game, have been upgraded to stun batons.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Features a massive chunk of Batman's Rogues Gallery, with almost all the villains from the first game returning alongside the new characters.
  • London Gangster: Rather than his usual depiction as being rather urbane and classy (if pretentious), in the game the Penguin is presented as closer to a vicious Ray Winstone-style thug with delusions of grandeur, complete with East-End accent.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The Augmented Reality Training sequences. The tiniest slip up, a light touch, will veer you off course and screw up the challenge.
    • Helpful hint for some of the Advanced AR Challenges: after you start a power dive, first mash the directional stick to down, then take your finger off the dive button. You will still be traveling straight down at high speed, but now you can pull out of the dive at a controllable rate by gradually easing back on the stick instead of automatically returning to level flight instantly as soon as you release the dive button. It's the only thing that made the Advanced AR Challenges #1 and #2 possible for me (note: in order to have enough speed built up for the downward run, do not release the dive button until after you're about to pass through the second horizontal ring on your way down).
  • Mad Doctor: Hugo Strange. The second trailer shows him torturing a guard to death to get information, for one.
  • The Magic Poker Equation: Zzasz claims that Penguin beat his four-of-a-kind with a straight flush to bankrupt him. But, considering the source and the players, it's likely Zzasz is lying or one or both of them was cheating anyway.
    • More than likely, considering Zsasz has four sixes and Penguin's hand has a fifth six in it...
    • Zsasz says that "for some reason", he thought he would win, and that Penguin would play fair. Penguin cheating him out of what little money he has left goes well with the rest of Zsasz's stories.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Hugo Strange to Warden Sharp, Ra's al Ghul to Hugo Strange, and The Joker to Clayface.
    • If you listen to the interview tapes, it's revealed that Professor Strange was behind a lot of the subplots in the game: he told Catwoman where Two-Face's... thing that she wanted to steal was, told Two-Face that Catwoman was going to steal it, told Mr. Freeze that it was the Joker who had captured Nora, and supplied Penguin with weapons and informed of the GCPD officers which had infiltrated his gang. Ever the Chessmaster indeed.
  • The Man in the Mirror Talks Back: When Two-Face is about to host Catwoman's trial, his good half and bad half debate what they should do: the Good half mentions they need to gain respect in the town if they are to last in the town. The Bad Half wants the town to fear them, thus kill her immediately. The Good half is reluctant to kill Catwoman, at least not immediately, as they are in a courthouse, a place of justice, and the Bad Half says they should screw justice, kill Catwoman, and be done with it.
    • Another example, although a subversion: when the fully-healed Joker is revealed, he sees himself as his sick self in the mirror before the reveal. However, it is not a mirror, it's actually thick glass, and the Joker in the "mirror" is the real Joker. The one outside it is actually Clayface.
  • {Mecha-Mooks: Harley manages to reactivate some of the Wonder City Guardians and sics them on Batman in "Harley Quinn's Revenge".
  • Metroidvania: To a greater degree than the previous game, as the open world is filled with Riddler challenges that require specific plot-acquired upgrades to complete. However, a few challenges can be completed with fewer gadgets and greater creativity.
  • Mind Control Device: Mad Hatter's white rabbit masks.
  • Mission Control: Alfred takes the role for the first part of the game. Oracle replaces him later, though Alfred takes it again every so often.
  • Mistaken Identity: When Two-Face's men are guarding a safe holding something of particular value to Two-Face, they initially assume that the pointy-eared person intruding the shadows is Batman. The figure walks out... and it's Catwoman.
  • Mook Chivalry: Semi-averted. While mooks will still wait until you finish your combo takedowns, they no longer attack one at a time, and it's not uncommon for two or three to strike at once. Conveniently, Batman can now counter two or three attacks at once.
  • Mook Horror Show: The Hugo Strange trailer. Also, just like the first game, you can cause these in Predator mode.
  • More Than Mind Control: Brought up by Oracle in the Identity Thief side mission, when it turns out the titular Serial Killer's fingerprints are the same as Batman's-she points out it's not at all difficult for Scarecrow or Dr. Strange to do it. Subverted when it turns out the killer is Hush.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Catwoman, Harley, Ivy and Talia.
  • Mugging the Monster: Upon seeing Bruce Wayne escorted into Arkham City, many of the crooks and inmates express a desire or intention to make him their bitch. Some of them, including the Penguin, even decide to take the opportunity. Unfortunately for all of them, there's something they don't know about Bruce Wayne...
  • Multi Mook Melee: A staple of challenge maps and boss battles.
  • Mundane Utility: The code-breaking gadget can also be used to listen in on radio frequencies. You might occasionally hear a Viki Vale news report should you choose to check it out.
  • Mushroom Samba: At one point, Batman drinks some Lazarus Pit and goes on a strange trip through an imaginary swirling desert while Ra's al Ghul eggs him on.
  • My Eyes Are Up Here: Catwoman to Hugo Strange in one of her interview tapes. In his defense, she totally brings it on herself.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Joker's pose during his "final death" is virtually the same pose as Jack Nicholson's Joker's death pose in Batman. Likewise, the church appears to modeled similarly to the cathedral from the same film.
    • Joker's last words were slightly similar to Joker's last words in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.

Joker: "That actually is......pretty funny..." (Arkham City)
Joker: "That's not funny... that's not..." (Return of the Joker)

    • Even though the person who says it is different, the game ends with Batman telling Joker a joke that the two both find funny, much like the rather open-ended ending of The Killing Joke.
    • The ball-shaped cat head from Batman Returns can be found near the courthouse.
    • Harley's got a new outfit, but the one she wore from Batman: Arkham Asylum is on a stand in the Joker's hideout, and throughout his hideout are cartoonish statues of Harley wearing her classic jester's outfit.
    • The movie playing during the Clayface fight is the one he starred in when he was an actor. His origin was that he was an actor who went crazy when he found out his last film "The Terror" was being remade.
    • Though they are of a different design, there are dirigibles floating around Arkham City, similar to the opening theme of Batman: The Animated Series.
    • The way Batman carries Joker's corpse resembles A Death in the Family.
    • The whole game resembles Knightfall's plot, in that an overworked Batman bears the burden of fighting most, if not all, of Gotham's villains with little rest in between. Also like in Knightfall, he's fighting off an illness though it's much more dramatic here. He stubbornly refuses help from Robin as well.
    • Batman actually wins this one, but the victory didn't come cheap.
    • It has stronger similarities to No Man's Land as well. Both see Bruce Wayne campaigning against the titual artificial crisis, both see the city (or a section, in this case) abandonded to its devices and divided between various gangs led by the supervillains as well as a turf war between Two-Face and Penguin (who has gladiatorial fights and controls the food supply), both crises are indirectly caused by Ra's AL Ghul. There is even at least one Shout-Out: the code word for the undercover cops in Penguin's crew, to identify them, is "Sarah", Gordon's wife, murdered by the Joker in that story.
    • There's a bar next to where the first Riddler hostage is. The bar's name? The Black Canary.
    • When Catwoman's apartment explodes, there is a shot of her laying on the ground surrounded by cats, very similar to a shot used in Batman Returns when Selina is thrown out of a window and apparently killed. Incidentally, both scenes involve her being defenestrated.
    • When pondering new riddles for Batman, the Riddler considers stealing Penguin's Shark, thinking Batman would not be able to get past a shark. He then decides against it, figuring Batman might have Shark-related contingencies. A reference to the Adam West Batman film and the infamous "Shark Repellent Bat-Spray" Batman kept handy.
    • The mission in which you find Nora is called "Heart of Ice".
    • Metropolis and Keystone City are mentioned, with Strange planning to set up other Arkham Cities there.
    • Upon rescuing Vicki Vale from the Joker's snipers, Batman uses the Line Launcher (he usually uses the Grappling hook, which makes this stand out more). Batman using the Line Launcher to save Vicki Vale from Joker's thugs has been done before. Another reference to the movie is the fact that her weight is listed as 121 lbs, rather than the 108 lbs she claimed, which Batman called her out on.
    • In The Joker's interview tapes, Strange wants him to detail the story of what made him who he is. He retells the backstory given in The Killing Joke, but Strange calls him out on it by claiming he changes the story every time he tells it. Joker then almost word for word uses the original quote for Multiple Choice Past. He doesn't just use the quote, he says a wise old man told him the quote.
    • In the New Game+, when Catwoman is going after Two-Face (again), he yells out, "The man who takes down Catwoman gets to be my number one... guy!" in exactly the same way as Jack Palance's Boss Grissom (and Jack Nicholson's Joker).
    • This isn't the first time Harley Quinn sings a variation of "Hush, little baby".
    • Penguin has a Robotic Tyrannosaurus Rex in his trophy room just like Batman has been shown in other works to have one in his cave.
    • Arkham City's church (or maybe it's the natural history museum, I forget) features some rather familiar statues of St George slaying the dragon with his spear.
    • The Krank Co. Toys building (Bane's hideout) is a reference to Cosmo Krank a.k.a. the Toymaker, a Canon Foreigner villain from The Batman and the former C.E.O. of Krank Co. Toys. He became a villain because Bruce successfully petitioned the close of his company due to Krank's toys being too dangerous.
    • One of the newspapers that can be found throughout the city is about a "Criminal Couple" being killed, with the subhead reading "Boy Watches as Parents Die". This can refer to plenty of so-called "Anti-Batman" characters, most notably Prometheus (who had a easter egg in Arkham Asylum) or the Wraith.
    • One of the places where this newpaper can be found, the old GCPD building, also contains an Arkham Medical Examination Record for Prometheus which states he "passed". Article and record can both be seen here.
    • The password Gordon gave to the undercover cops is Sarah. Sarah Essen-Gordon was Gordon's second wife, until she was murdered by The Joker.
    • Posters of Cadmus Lab can be found in "Harley Quinn's Revenge".
  • Neck Lift: Batman's default way of interrogating a Riddler informant once they're isolated, both standing, and he doesn't have a ledge to dangle them over or a wall to hold them against.
  • Never Bring a Knife to A Fist Fight: The blade counter technique is guaranteed to one-shot any blade-wielding Mook, unlike the ordinary counter, which most of the time only knocks them down.
  • New Game+: Allows you to start the game over with all of your previously gotten gadgets and upgrades, but disables counter icons, gives you better-equiped mooks right from the start, makes them more aggressive and gives most bosses extra health while also disabling Anti-Frustration Features for the Mr. Freeze fight described above. Annoyingly enough, you can only have a single New Game+ per file and no option to start one over from beginning.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Batman pointedly refuses to negotiate with Mr. Freeze for the cure. If he had been willing to, he might have saved thousands of lives. And he might not have had to negotiate if he hadn't gone for Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique on Freeze earlier.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: Victor Zsasz, made clear as he taunts you over the telephone.
  • Nintendo Hard: The Augmented Reality Training sequences.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Horribly averted after you take down the Penguin. After defeating and imprisoning the Penguin, Penguin's thugs are all massacred by the forces serving under the other bosses at large in Arkham City. It's particularly jarring after emerging from the subway for the second time in the game to see a massive pile of dead corpses of men who all worked for Penguin.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: During the Catwoman missions, Type B, you can choose whether to go to Batman's rescue or get out of Arkham City with her newly gained loot. The one that furthers the plot is saving Batman. Being selfish cuts to the credits, with a panicked voiceover by Oracle, sending out a distress call as Joker brings Gotham to its knees without Batman to protect it. The game then rewinds (literally) back to the decision point to let you "choose" to save Batman.
  • Not Quite Flight: By using the Grapnel Boost, it's actually possible to travel around the city without touching the ground or roofs. Likewise, the Dive Bomb maneuver allows you to glide for an extended period of time at roughly the same height.
  • Not So Above It All: Batman's pride is a serious issue, a large section of the problems he faces could have been avoided if he had simply gone with the flow. He stubbornly refuses help from anyone even when it would clearly help, like when Robin offers to help him find Ra's al Ghul. He refuses to take orders from anyone, the entire boss fight with Mr. Freeze could have been avoided if he had simply agreed to get Nora. Finally, he is so dead set on doing what he wants, he was willing to let Arkham City burn in order to get Talia, that Alfred has to cut off access to his satellites to get him back on track. In addition, it's pretty clear that Oracle is jealous of Talia and Catwoman.
    • He's also more aggressive in this game than he was in the first. He interrogates Freeze in a potentially lethal way, and he's more demanding that the police and bystanders explain who they are when he comes across them. Although considering he's in a prison environment where 99% of the population either wants to painfully kill or maim him on sight or wants to lure him into some kind of trap then painfully kill or maim him, Batman being instinctively suspicious of the people he encounters unless given a solid reason not to be isn't entirely unreasonable.
    • While Joker is not the most stable person to work with, Batman might have saved himself some grief if he had kept Joker in the loop on his progress for finding the cure instead of giving him the brush off. Instead he doesn't and Joker gets paranoid that Batman is double-crossing him, acting accordingly.
    • The Freeze example is debatable, see Nice Job Breaking It, Hero above. Freeze could have just given Batman the cure straight away rather than trying to hold him hostage with it until Nora was rescued, after all.
    • By the time of the events in "Harley Quinn's Revenge", he's gotten even worse, having gone into seclusion after the deaths of Joker and Talia afflicted him with a case of lingering Survivor Guilt. His interrogation of random mooks has become almost psychopathic in its intensity, and his only words at the end of it all are a bitter, wounded snarl of "I'm done here". Gordon sounds almost frightened to ask Robin if he's all right.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: Justified with Batman, as his cape will slow him down just before he hits the ground. Averted with Ra's, as if it wasn't his own sword it is the fall that kills him. Played straight with Catwoman, you can jump from the highest building, and she will land perfectly with no problem.
  • Now What?: The ending to Batman's campaign ends on this note after The Joker dies and he takes the body out of the city. Unlike most other instances of this trope, however, the consequences of the final battle are shown in the Playable Epilogue and the DLC.
  • Obligatory Swearing: Done mainly by the thugs, who tend to swear a lot more than in Arkham Asylum.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Harley Quinn, again.
  • Oh Crap:
    • One of Batman's new gadgets allows him to jam a mook's gun, cue this reaction when Batman is right in front of them, and their gun won't fire.
    • One of the Riddler physical challenges actually requires you to jam an enemy gun, make them try to shoot you then take them down: it's also a recurring predator challenge medal requirement.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Mayor Sharp is largely out of focus in this game: it's Hugo Strange who is the apparent Big Bad, and he's being crowded out by the Joker and other more prominent villains. See Big Bad Ensemble above.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Solomon Grundy, born on a Monday...
  • Overly-Long Fighting Animation: The main disadvantage of using silent takedowns. Better make sure you don't do it in full view of someone else with a gun. Subverted if you use the Knockout Smash, although it defeats the purpose of a silent takedown.
    • Also a problem while playing as Nightwing or Robin. They both put too many flair into their moves. This is specially ridiculous with Robin, whose ground takedown animation has him twirling his staff for a bit for no reason before using it to knock out the enemy, giving other mooks ample time to get near him and attack him while he does that.
  • Overly Long Gag: "You have one missed call."
  • Painting the Medium:
    • Much like in Batman: Arkham Asylum, getting hit by blunt weapons gives you momentary double vision and getting hit by stun batons causes the screen to develop interference patterns and static.
    • When Batman starts to feel the effects of Joker's poisonous blood, the camera sways and tilts subtly when stationary until he drinks Blood Of The Demon to cure it temporarily.
    • You know that Two-Face Mook who attacks you after you rescue him in the Steel Mill? Well, he won't attack until you aren't looking at him. You, not Batman. Batman can have his back completely turned, but so long as the player can see the thug, he'll just keep rubbing his wrists. As soon as you shift the camera off of him, he rushes in.
  • The Password Is Always Swordfish: Throughout the game, when you use the cryptographic sequencer on the panels, the correct word combination is typically one that relates to whomever set it up, or is otherwise very appropriate for the situation. For example, to get out of the room that Hush locks you in, it's "Mockingbird". To open the door that Hugo Strange is standing behind towards the end of the game, it's "Gotham Savior". To get into Scarecrow's secret hatch, it's "City Of Terror". And with panels that were set up by the Riddler, the solution is always something like "Enigma" or "Conundrum".
    • Additionally, the password used by members of Commissioner Gordon's elite team to identify themselves is "Sarah": the name of Gordon's second wife.
  • Playing the Player: You get a helpful message from Alfred that Lucius Fox has synthesized a cure, and it's been deposited by Bat-Missile onto a nearby roof. Sounds like a pretty important side-objective, huh? Too bad the whole thing was entirely a fabrication of your own imagination after Mad Hatter put the whammy on you remotely.
  • Politically-Incorrect Villain: A lot of random mooks love to talk about what they would do with Harley or Catwoman. They don't quite stray into PG-13 territory, but they're not family friendly.
  • Private Military Contractors: TYGER's front. In actuality, they are Strange's brainwashed slaves.
    • A Joker gang member comments that the Penguin's gang members can't be trusted, since "half of 'em are mercs."
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Zsasz, Mad Hatter and Riddler.
  • Psycho Psychologist: Hugo Strange, and more specifically, in his capacity as "therapist" to Quincy Sharp.
  • Putting on the Reich: Hugo Strange has a very Mengele vibe about him while TYGER operates much like a Secret Police under his rule.
  • Pyrrhic Villainy: The Joker stabs Batman in the shoulder, making Bats drop the cure, dooming Joker.
  • The Quisling: Sometimes in enemy chatter you'll hear about a mook who sold out his villainous faction to join up with the villain who look like he might win. Like say, a mook who left the Penguin to join up with Two-Face.
    • In a fun instance of The Dev Team Thinks of Everything, turning on your Detective Vision while listening to a mook talk about betraying his faction will, more often than not, reveal that the mook in question is a Riddler mole; he's already sold his boss out once, why not again? Well, that, and at that point in the game Penguin is finished, so he's actually still following Riddler's orders by switching to another faction.
    • Also just after fighting Ra's al Ghul, you get to the subway entrance where a armored Joker Thug is convincing a large group of Penguin thugs to join up with the Joker after the recent defeat of The Penguin.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Batman can perform a "Beatdown" move on a stunned foe, in which he pretty much starts channeling Kenshiro and jabs the opponent in the midsection as quickly as possible before landing an incapacitating finisher.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Mark Hamill is "retiring" from the Joker role, and thus the Joker is no more for later games. Supposedly. Maybe.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Mr. Freeze. Granted, they're not his eyes, but rather red computer text on his goggles, but when that starts up, he's going into Killer Freeze Robot mode.
  • Red Herring:
    • In Batman: Arkham Asylum, the revelation that Quincy Sharp was actually writing all of the "Spirit of Amadeus Arkham" inscriptions seriously called his sanity into question, and led many fans to suspect that he would be the Big Bad of the sequel. In reality, his role in Arkham City is minimal: he is merely a pawn of Dr. Strange, and he gets thrown into Arkham City himself about halfway through the game. His morbid obsession with Amadeus Arkham is explained as a manifestation of Strange's brainwashing (similarly to Mad Hatter's "cure").
    • In the final Riddler room, one of the plans Riddler briefly considers is filling a tank with water, hostages and literal red herring, proclaiming that Batman won't "get" it.
    • As of "Harley Quinn's Revenge", Harley's pregnancy. Go to where you saw the first pregnancy test, and you see a box of them warning of "false positives". This might explain why she's even crazier in the DLC.
  • Redshirt Army: The 13th precinct of the Gotham City Police Department. Unlike most examples of the trope, they survived and were saved by Batman (well, most of them, anyways). To be fair, you do get to learn all their names. Not to mention pretty much every random mook sent against Batman. Doesn't help most even know the fact he takes down countless mooks before them single handedly.
  • Revenge by Proxy: "Harley Quinn's Revenge" has the titular villain kidnap members of the GCPD and try and blow a chunk out of Gotham, with Robin inside as revenge against Batman for killing the Joker. Granted, she does try to kill Batman himself to top it all off.
  • Rule of Sexy: The player is constantly reminded that it is cold in Arkham City, to the point where random thugs wish they had coats almost as often as they wish they had food that didn't taste horrible. This doesn't stop every female character from wearing low-cut shirts, baring their midriff, showing lots of leg, or all three. Then again, the Abromavici Twins as well as Zsasz and Bane run around shirtless so they're hardly the only culprits here.
  • Rule of Three: Deadshot manages to kill three Political Prisoners before being caught. Hush killed three people before entering Arkham City, and three more in.
  • Sadistic Choice: After Protocol 10 goes into effect, Batman has the choice of going to rescue Talia from the Joker, sacrificing thousands of lives in the process, or stopping Protocol 10 and potentially letting Talia die. Unlike most examples within video games, the choice is already made for the player; see What the Hell, Hero? below.
  • Save the Villain: Deconstructed. The Joker himself notes that Batman would never let him die if the means to save him were in his power, but the trope itself is soundly averted when Joker tries to take it from him by force and destroys the vial containing the cure.
    • Also, earlier, when Strange is stabbed by Ra's al Ghul, Batman tries to get him medical attention. Subverted immediately when the dying Strange initiates Protocol 11.
  • Second-Hour Superpower: The player starts out as Bruce Wayne in civilian clothes; the first challenge is getting the Batman gear.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: Protocol 11.
  • Sequel Escalation:
    • How do you make a game like Arkham Asylum better? Well, the first thing you can do is have Batman keep his cool toys from the first game and let him upgrade them from the beginning, then have a section of Gotham be dubbed as "Arkham City" and make it an open world to explore... also have Riddler keep some henchmen around for added fun in his Riddle challenges... Batman can counter up to three people at once now and use more of his gadgets seamlessly in combat...
    • Getting just one Riddler trophy can be a minor ordeal now. In the first game, they were mostly just tucked out of sight; here, they're often in plain sight, but sealed under a mechanical dome that only releases when you perform a series of challenging physical actions.
    • The idea is spoofed in a certain conversation you can overhear between several thugs after the ending of the game, wondering about the fate of Arkham City. "What's next? Arkham County? Arkham Country? Big-ass Arkham World?"
  • Sequel Hook: Various:
    • Azrael's ominous words about Batman and Gotham going up in flames sometime in the future.
    • Bruce Wayne impersonator Thomas Elliot (a.k.a. Hush) being at large in Gotham. Batman makes a mental note to track down the latter once he leaves Arkham City.
    • The Playable Epilogue reveals that Harley's pregnant. Only not really.
    • In a lesser degree, you can visit Calendar Man as Catwoman. He states that he might pay a visit to her (or her father) soon. Also after you visit him on the 12 dates related to his achievement, visit his cell again and it will be empty, with a Two-Face goon hanging from the ceiling within.
    • Killer Croc is still at large in the city. If you take the time to visit the sewers after the fight with Ra's al Ghul, you can spark a brief encounter with Croc whom states "will wait and then feast on his corpse." It's very clear Croc ain't giving up any time soon.
    • There is a hidden hatch that hints at Scarecrow's return. Judging by the contents of the ship, he may be working in tandem with Bedbug, who made a brief cameo in the Arkham City comics. And he's been confirmed as the (supposed) Big Bad of Arkham Knight.
    • When checking the radio stations on the Cryptographic Sequencer, you made find some channels that spout off random numbers. When matched up with alphabet and decoded, they likewise hint at Scarecrow's return: the first one is a simple alphabet substitution cipher and translates to "I WILL RETURN BATMAN", the second one uses a reverse alphabet and translates to "YOU WILL PAY FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO ME", but the third one is a much more elaborate one that not only uses the reversed alphabet, but also a Vigenere cipher: by using "SCARECROW" as the keyword, the decoded message becomes "FEAR WILL TEAR GOTHAM CITY TO SHREDS".
    • During the Protocol 10 segment, a group of thugs in unique outfits with Scarecrow's motif appear on the roof of the building with a frozen over swimming pool: they're out of way from your next destination and they disappear after Protocol 10 gets shut down, so this one's quite obscure as well.
    • Tanks of Scarecrow toxin shows up throughout the city, usually in Riddler rooms, but even in the hideout of his student, Thomas Elliot.
    • Two-Face's role might belong here as well, at least going by the main campaign; he starts off the game as the leader of the weakest of the three main power-blocs vying for control of Arkham City, is easily taken out by Batman and Catwoman early on, who just leaving him hanging in the courthouse, and looks poised to be overrun by the forces of the Joker and the Penguin combined. By the end of the game, he's in a pretty good position to be Arkham City/Gotham's new major crime-lord once Joker's dead and Penguin's been taken down by Batman. And given how Arkham Knight's trailer shows Two-Face and Penguin working together, he's confirmed to at least having a bigger role in the game. Maybe.
    • During the final sequence of the game, Clayface falls into a Lazarus Pit. Considering his chemical malleability, just think about the effects it could have on him.
    • During the Playable Epilogue, if you visit Ivy again as Catwoman, she swears to kill everyone in Gotham. Including Bats and the Cat.
    • The "Arkham World script" is easily the most blatant example, though that was probably a joke. The name was a joke, but the sequel Arkham Knight was not.
    • A confirmed one is the song that plays at the very end of the credits, where Harley chillingly sings "Hush little baby, don't say a word. Mama's gonna kill for you, the whole damn world." Fittingly, Arkham City: "Harley Quinn's Revenge" was announced as a downloadable spin-off about six months after the game came out.
  • Sequence Breaking: The New Game+ mode allows you to keep all of your gadgets, but if you try to use them to get to an area before you're supposed to, Batman will say "This can wait" or "There's not enough time".
  • Sexy Walk: Catwoman, and how.
  • She Fu: It's only fitting that an Anti-villainess with a cat motif would have catlike grace in fights.
  • Shell Game: The Riddler uses one for his second hostage. Though he also tries to cheat.
  • Shirtless Scene: Mr. Freeze, of all people.
  • Shock and Awe: As with Batman: Arkham Asylum, some elite mooks own dual shock sticks. Players finally get to use them with the Escrima sticks Nightwing DLC gives us, not to mention the Remote Electrical Charge.
  • Shooting Superman: Some of the Penguin's goons mention offhand that Cobblepot dangled one of his hostages over a pit of rats, but for some reason, the guy managed to last days without being harmed. It makes sense knowing that one of his prisoners was Otis Flannegan a.k.a. "Ratcatcher". Eventually, Penguin lost patience and dropped him into Tiny's tank instead.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shows Damage: Some bosses, but also Batman and Catwoman look more and more roughed up as the storyline advances. By the end, Batman's cape in particular has dozens of cuts in it.
  • Shut Up, Kirk:

Two-Face: OBJECTION! (shoots Batman) Overruled.

  • Silliness Switch: If you hold LT and RT (Xbox) or L1 and R1 (Play Station 3) and move the right joystick in circles, it will cause every character in the game to gain a giant head, hands and feet: this also works in menu screens, allowing you to do things like have the background of the level select screen in Riddler's Revenge to be taken up by his gigantic face.
  • Slap Slap Kiss: One of Catwoman's finishing moves... followed by a haymaker takeout.
    • How Talia greets you when you arrive to her hidden lair.
  • Slut Shaming: The inmates of Arkham City make it clear that anything that might happen to Catwoman or Harley would be entirely deserved because of their outfits.
  • Smoke Out: Smoke bombs are one of the new gadgets in Arkham City.
    • Though they can be targeted and thrown like a smoke grenade, their main function is a Ninja-like smoke pellet effect that allows Batman to ninja into the rafters to escape gunfire.
    • You can also Batarang fire extinguishers to make a shorter-lasting smokescreen.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Despite their being countless male inmates, there are only three female inmates, Harley, Catwoman and Ivy.
    • Though the comic, especially Unhinged, shows off more female inmates: such as a female Joker Mook and the Carpenter.
    • Inverted with the League of Assassins, where Ra's is the only male of the group.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: The Riddler's trophies now require either precision acrobatics or clever use of Batman's tools to be retrieved.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Joker's dead by the end of the game. However, Harley's pregnant. Or it at least appears to be: "Harley Quinn's Revenge" revealed that Harley cheaped out on the pregnancy test, resulting in a false positive. The discovery has only served to compound her sense of loss.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Only yoooooou...
    • "Hush little baby..."
    • Also in the end credits, some incredibly eerie and disturbing ambient tracks which serve as a final illustration of just how dark this game was.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: Azrael to Batman.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: When Batman first confronts Harley and the Joker, he grabs her by the elbow and throws her out of the way.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Just like the first game, this is to be expected (Batman isn't bulletproof, of course). There's also a pair of stealth-based boss fights in Mr. Freeze and Two-Face (the latter only in Catwoman's DLC).
  • Stealth Pun: One of the Abramovici twins uses a hammer, and the other uses a sickle. They're Russian, and the hammer and sickle are on the former Russian (or as it was known at the time, the Soviet Union) flag.
    • Semi Stealthy maybe, their backstory has them as a double act in a Russian circus under the moniker of Hammer and Sickle, there's a poster in the museum advertising them which is also the solution to a riddle.
    • Where can you find Scarecrow's Boat? Under a Crane.
  • The Stinger: The final Catwoman episode effectively serves as one, starting after the credits and immediately going into the Playable Epilogue.
    • Midway through the credits, Batman gets one final voicemail from the Joker, singing "Only You". Likewise, if Catwoman leaves Batman to die in Protocol 10, Oracle is heard making a desperate cry for help to stop the Joker's army as Batman, Robin, Nightwing and her father have all been killed.
  • The Stool Pigeon: Batman can single out the Riddler's agents and slap them around for info, as well as Harley's in the DLC.
  • Stripperiffic:
    • With Catwoman, one can imagine the "Cat-suit" probably insulates heat fairly well (though you'd think she'd zip it up, at least), and with another, given that she has a blatantly fantasic regenerative agent running through her body, there's some question as to just how much things like cold or frostbite would even affect Talia.
    • Ivy is just kind of inexplicable though, unless she's really got the heat cranked in her lair. You'd think Harley would also dress a bit warmer.
    • None of the ladies except for Vicki Vale are dressed for winter... and even then, poor Ms. Vale's legs are probably freezing after she's stranded from her helicopter crash.
  • Suicide Is Painless: When you fight the inmates on the frozen pool roof, some will actually jump over the side of the ledge into the water below rather than get their butts handed to them by Batman. Though it is unknown if this is actually a glitch.
  • Suplex Finisher: Even Batman isn't immune to performing this: it's one of his double counters with 1 attacking enemy in the front and 1 behind.
  • Take That:

The Joker: I can hear you all now. "How did this happen? Can I get me some of that crazy cure? I want answers, damn it! Now." Well, here's the thing. Answers don't give you ever lasting satisfaction. Sometimes, you need to brace yourself for disappointment. Now think about it. Imagine your favorite show. You've been through it all. The ups, the downs, the crazy coincidences. And then, BANG! They tell you what it's all about. Would you be happy? Does it make sense? How come it all ended in a church?

    • Funnily enough, the game's writer has actually worked on Lost.
    • Blink-and-you'll-miss-it dialogue from one random inmate has him asking, "Wait--did they ever explain what the island was?".
  • "Take That!" Kiss: Catwoman will occasionally deliver one of these to a thug in combat just before throwing him over her shoulder and slamming his head into the floor.
  • Take Your Time: Hugo Strange spends much of the game giving a count down until Protocol 10 is enacted and much is made of Batman's deteriorating condition. But only during specific story points, feel free to search for Riddler Trophies, and do side missions until then.
    • At least until the second time you enter the Steel Mill, after which Protocol 10 is enacted. You can still go after side quests, but every helicopter in Gotham will be gunning for you. If you enter Wonder Tower, you're locked into the end game. However, once the main story is completed, you can explore Arkham City with only ordinary thugs patrolling.
  • Taking You with Me:
  • Technical Pacifist: Batman. This time, Lampshaded by the mooks who talk about the extensive damage Batman's done to them. One states Bats broke a few ribs, his legs, punctured his spleen, while another talks about losing his five front teeth, and so on. However, Batman uses clearly lethal force on Solomon Grundy and Clayface. Justified in that anything else wouldn't stop them, and it's debatable whether or not they can truly be killed. A couple of the takedowns look like they should be lethal: for example, a special takedown on a shield-wielding mook involves knocking him down with it, then smashing the edge of the shield into his face/throat on the ground. We only have Detective Mode's word for it that they're unconscious.
  • That Was Objectionable: Two-Face shows his displeasure at Batman interrupting his trial by planting a bullet in his chest while yelling "OBJECTION! ...Overruled".
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch: "Two guns, bitch!"
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Inverted at the end of Two-Face's boss battle. Catwoman says "This is gonna hurt" as she reveals a set of cat-like metal claws on her gloves.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Batman's modus operandi, as in all incarnations. It even extends to trying (and failing) to cure the Joker from his TITAN poisoning. By the "Harley Quinn's Revenge" DLC, there are rumours floating around Gotham he's broken it (due to the aforementioned death of the Joker).
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Batman invokes this after the final boss battle. Joker dodges the sword, but Batman wasn't aiming for him, but rather the device Joker was standing in front of.
  • Too Dumb to Live: If you glide around near the water areas of the game and use Detective Mode, you may see some dead inmates in the water who possibly tried to jump in and swim out of Arkham City. Let it be known, that it is the middle of winter.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In the first game, Victor Zsasz was a bit of a Butt Monkey, serving as a tutorial boss and getting beaten up again later on. This time round, he's the villain of one of the longer sidequests (admittedly he still goes down real easy, but hey). There's also Clayface, who was an Easter egg in the first game and is the final boss this time round.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass:
    • While Batman wasn't exactly a barrel of laughs in Arkham Asylum, in this one, he's almost totally humorless, to the point of arguing with Oracle about Talia and outright torturing Mr. Freeze to gain his aid in developing a cure for his Titan poisoning.
    • Harley's perkiness from the last game is gone, and she takes over the Joker's Bad Boss traits, openly mocking and berating the Joker's mooks.
  • Trailers Always Lie: Subverted. One of the first trailer spots has Dr. Strange interrogating a guard with electric shocks and truth serum in order to learn everything about the encounter (as well as being implied to be already aware of what happened anyways), with the guard eventually expiring at the end of the torture. While this isn't actually seen in the game itself, an easter egg in the Wonder Tower area late into the game implies that the event in the trailer did happen.[3]
  • Tranquil Fury: When Penguin kills and tortures the cops, Batman is clearly livid with rage, but his voice never raises at all.

Penguin: Oh aren't you scary. *Evil Laugh*
Batman: (quietly) You're about to find out.

    • When Batman has reason to believe Robin might be dead in "Harley Quinn's Revenge", he softly whispers "What have you done?" to Harley as he turns away from the flaming wreckage of the warehouse. It's absolutely terrifying.
  • Trap Door: Penguin has one in the prequel comic, sending mooks to an unfortunate fate at the hands of his "partner" Solomon Grundy in the basement of the Iceberg Lounge.
  • The Unfought: Hugo Strange, and technically The Joker, though you don't find that out until the end. A few "bosses" like Zsasz, Harley Quinn and Two-Face are taken out with one move (though you can fight Two-Face again as Catwoman).
  • Ungrateful Bastard: The second time you enter Joker's hideout in the story, you'll come across a couple of Joker thugs standing before one of Two-Face's goons hanging from a hook and considering boiling him alive or something equally nasty. Take them out and let him down, and he'll catch his breath for a moment... but once you take your eyes off him for more than a few seconds, the punk will try to knock you out.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: Thanks for the heads up, Azrael. Although it sounds like just another Tuesday in Gotham.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: After being rescued by Batman, Catwoman takes back Two-Face's smartphone and seems to hide it from Batman by putting it down the front of her partially unzipped catsuit.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: On the spot marked where Batman's parents were killed you are given the option to "Pay Your Respects". There's even an achievement for it.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • Most of the options from Arkham Asylum return, but it's quite fun to single out a lone mook and spam the REC on him and watch him squirm/fry/dance around.
    • During the Mr. Freeze battle, it is possible to destroy the Nora statues around the room. This makes him very angry.
    • Whilst Quinn is tied up, it is possible to repeatedly tear off and replace the duct tape over her mouth. She even calls you out on the cruelty of doing it (it may or may not be causing her pain; if it is, she does a good job of hiding it; she doesn't even try to hide how much you're pissing her off by continuing to do it).
    • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: You can shoot the TYGER helicopters and cause them to glitch, but doing it too much will cause them to start shooting you.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Quincy Sharp as well as Hugo Strange. Later in the game, Oracle expresses disbelief that someone like that could pull off the circumstances that started the game legally.
  • Voice of the Legion: Poison Ivy gets this, for some reason.
  • Wasted Song: The piece of music used when Bruce pays respect to his dead parents is beautiful and powerful, but doesn't show up at all in the official score album.
    • The Heavy's "Short Change Hero" (which provides this page's pic caption) plays in a trailer and is widely regarded as one of the best licensed songs promoting the game, but does not appear on the Arkham City Album.
  • Wax Museum Morgue: The Penguin set up a minor one in the museum of natural history. It's only got a few entries: a female ninja who tried to kill him, a TYGER guard and some Joker goons. He's got some other displays set up for Zsasz (who apparently escaped from his own display case) Batman and Bruce Wayne.
  • We Can Rule Together: Ra's and Talia both try it on Batman. It fails, of course.
  • Welcome to Hell: Penguin says this to Bruce Wayne when he captures him after he's locked up.
  • Wham! Episode: It doesn't get more "Wham" than the Joker dying.
    • Along with a little bit beforehand with the flashback revealing this whole time the "healthy" Joker was just Clayface in a giant Xanatos Gambit to get the cure back to Joker.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Robin mentions that Joker has affected up to 2000 hospital patients with the contaminated blood, but no more mention is made of them, or even if any effort was made to provide them with antidote once the story is concluded. The "Harley Quinn's Revenge" DLC reveals that Batman was able to mass-produce the cure and get it to the patients in time to save them all.
    • Stacy Baker and Fiona Wilson both have disappeared after you return for a third time to the areas you left them in.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: When The Joker takes Talia al Ghul away, Batman tries to race directly after her, disregarding that Protocol 10 is in effect and that hundreds of inmates, both criminals and innocents, are being slaughtered. Alfred and Oracle both call him on it, and Alfred even goes as far as to deny Batman satellite assistance to find her in order to make him save the inmates. Certainly a sign that the night in Arkham City, the disease attacking him, and Batman's all-too-human emotions are taking their toll on him.
    • Before that, when Batman manipulated Talia's affection for him to get her to do what he wanted. Ordinarily, it would just be chalked up to Batman's usual M.O. for using people, if he didn't attempt to smooth talk her over afterwards. Justified, since according to Oracle, he was mere minutes from death at that point. And between those two, Batman wouldn't have had the boss fight with Mr. Freeze, if he'd just agreed to rescue Nora from the Joker instead of trying to take the cure from him by force. A very strange choice given that he'd already agreed to jump through hoops for The Joker and Ra's al Ghul in the name of getting a cure. Well, considering he HAD done all of that, was still gonna die and all in all was having a pretty bad night, it's understandable that he felt he needed to take a stand somewhere
  • Where It All Began:
    • The site of the final boss battle is a stone's throw away from Ace Chemicals, where Bruce picked up his Batman gear and the game proper begins. The final boss fight occurs in the same movie theatre that that Bruce Wayne went to on the night of his parent's murder.
    • If you go to the crime scene and listen to the tape left there by Hugo Strange, he even tells you beforehand that this will be the case.
    • Also, the penultimate conflict takes place in Wonder Tower, and you get in by going through the processing center you started the game in. You can even break the large mirror in the very first room to find a Riddler trophy. Likewise, you can find the Tyger captain Strange accidentally(?) killed in the first trailer for the game and scanning him is a riddle solution.
    • One of the riddle hints is "Look Out! Can you see where the Madness began?". To solve it, you need to scan the old Arkham Asylum island from the first game.
  • Wicked Cultured: Subverted with this version of The Penguin: he's a thoroughly coarse and unpleasant individual, even if he'd like to think otherwise.
  • Wild Card: Would you ever have guessed, The Joker. Strange supplies him with a military arsenal, so that the he'll give Strange a very public reason to wipe him and Arkham City off the face of the earth. However, a Nonstandard Game Over reveals that without Batman's intervention, the plan fails, the Joker survives Protocol 10 and uses the weaponry to overthrow Gotham.
  • Withholding the Cure: Mr. Freeze does this to Batman until he saves his wife from the Joker.
  • With My Hands Tied: You start off as Bruce Wayne as a prisoner with his hands cuffed. Even then, he's fully capable of kicking ass and snapping arms.
    • One of the negative attachments in the Campaign is labeled "One hand tied". In a Combat match, it disables the counter icon, in a Stealth, it makes it so you can't use silent take downs.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Victor Zsasz. He's a true monster, but with his meek sounding voice, his ferret-like physique and depressing backstory, you can't help but feel at least some pity for him.
    • The Mad Hatter, especially in his audio tapes, just sounds so pathetic and unwell. He needs some real medical and psychiatric care, not Hugo Strange. And after you defeat him and return to his hideout, he's openly weeping. When you realize that the little, one-room hovel with a half-dozen formerly mind controlled thugs is his entire base of operations, you see that he wasn't trying to take control of Batman out of spite or hatred: he just wanted a prayer at facing the other villains.
    • Talia Al Ghul. Despite being badass and sort of evil, she loves Bruce and is used by her father like a simple tool, even trying to stop Batman when he says he's going to kill (the first time, anyway). Made worse when she dies from a gunshot that came out of nowhere.
  • Would Hit a Girl: The game introduces female mooks, who Batman beats up like the male thugs except for the limb-breaking finishers. Robin, however, has no qualms with breaking their bones during his combat challenges.
    • And of course, we have Two-Face as well as any enemy Catwoman goes up against.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Batman is now able to grab a weapon out of an enemy's hands and destroy it. He smashes bats and knives, dismantles guns, and bends metal pipes and car doors in half.
  • Wretched Hive: The game has taken the worst part of one Wretched Hive and combined it with another Wretched Hive.
  • Xanatos Gambit: The Joker's overarching scheme. Dying of a disease, Joker's plan was to lure Batman close enough to spread the contagion to him and thousands of others, then have Batman do the work of getting the cure for him while leaving Bats ill and the Joker good as new. No matter what Batman did, the Joker got what he wanted. It still fails.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: In the third act, the Joker does what he does best: make crap up as he goes. While the second act of the story was a brilliantly-activated Xanatos Gambit, the last bit was basically speed chess.
  • You Are Already Dead: Bane says "Eres un Hombre Muerto (You are a dead man)" to an unlucky entrant in the fight club shortly before he shatters his spine. Almost subverted in that the man manages to overpower Bane with Titan afterwards, but he is paralyzed by cardiac arrest, and Bane kills him.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Ra's eliminates Strange after Protocol 10 is deactivated by Batman and their plan fails.
    • Sharp as well, who Strange throws into Arkham City and even announces his arrival to all the criminals to come kill him.
  • You Monster!: Catwoman growls at Hugo Strange, "You bastard". Fitting, as he reveals that he's willing to have Catwoman's 13 year old ward shot in order to get her to comply with his demands.
  • Zeerust: Wonder City, a sort of steampunk concept for a 'green' Gotham built some time ago. Only instead of steam, it was secretly powered by chemical from the Lazarus Pit, so unsurprisingly, the ones who built it turned out to be Ra's al Ghul and the League of Assassins. Surprisingly for this trope though, the technology actually worked. Batman even comments that it was far beyond what was possible at the time, but it isn't explained. Of course, that whole slight madness thing might have had something to do with why it never caught on.
  1. (allows them to see an un-upgraded player hiding on gargoyles and renders smoke from grenades and broken fire extinguishers useless)
  2. (full health upgrades will let you survive a maximum of 3-5 shots from any weapon at any distance all round, thugs will hit you every time, even across the room with a shotgun whilst Batman is grappling at high speed)
  3. More specifically, one of the rooms has a dead guard on an interrogation bed.