Batman Arkham Knight
Any long-time fan of the franchise knows that Batman, alongside Sherlock Holmes, is one of the greatest detectives on Earth. While many fans probably rushed through Batman: Arkham Knight’s opening scene with anticipation and excitement, the game’s first mission setting is packed with subtle details for the more patient and observant players to notice.
Though Batman: Arkham Knight’s first objective is fairly straightforward, talk to the guy that’s smoking, the player has the option to take a look around first. Let’s check out what there is to see.
Hells Gate – Calling All Henchmen
Hmmm. So in the center of this poster we have a nice friendly skull. On the left side, we have a request for individuals with criminal records. And assuming most people read left to right, then on the right side, the poster is asking those same individuals with criminal records if they have an interest in making money quickly.
Not to mention that the name of the organization is Hells Gates Waste Disposal Service, as we can see on the back of the gentleman’s coat below The name doesn’t make the previous details on the ad sound any friendlier.If all of that isn’t suspicious enough, according to the DC Wikia:
A majority of local businesses were wholly- or partially-owned subsidiaries of LexCorp. Among those many subsidiaries are such diverse businesses as Advanced Research Laboratories, Secur-Corp Armored Car Service, North American Robotics, Hell’s Gate Disposal Services, and the Good Foods Group, owners of Ralli’s Family Restaurants and the Koul-Brau Breweries.
But wait a second, besides what seems to be an overtly obvious help wanted advertisement for a nefarious underground criminal organization that masquerades as a garbage disposal/waste management company (totally original) isn’t there somewhere else in the Arkham series we heard someone talking about Hells Gates? Or something like that:
“I bring a message. Dark days are coming, Batman. The prophecy is coming true. You are the warrior who will close the gates of hell. You are the one who will save this day and in doing so events will occur that you cannot stop. From the ashes of Arkham, the fires will rage and Gotham will burn. And you, you will burn too.” ―Azrael
What do you think? Is this a tie-in to Superman? Is it part of Azrael’s prophecy? Or are we thinking too deeply?
Foreshadowing Scarecrow’s Mayhem
If you’ve been paying attention to the Batman: Arkham Knight trailers, you probably know that Scarecrow is one of the game’s most central villains. In fact, he has rallied many of Batman’s adversaries together in an effort to take out Batman once and for all in an epic display of villainy.
Here, we see some Halloween decorations. Nothing too out of the ordinary here. However, given the context of the game, we can imagine that the placing of both the scarecrow and the bats as background details is no coincidence.
The Arkham City Law Suit
Those who played Batman: Arkham City should remember the sheer destruction, havoc, and chaos that was wrought throughout the city of Gotham. This type of explosive mayhem is commonplace in not only many video games, but also the majority of super-hero related artistic expressions such as comic books and movies.
Typically, the monetary and/or legal ramifications of this type of property destruction and/or personal injury are often exiled to the realm of suspension of disbelief.
That being the case, fans aren’t usually expecting to see a self-aware, meta, advertisement offering legal services and possible compensation for those injured or to see a segment on the GC News referencing how a class-action suit is claiming millions of dollars.
It’s refreshing and unique to see Batman: Arkham Knight adding these elements of reality in the game’s background.
The Real Batman
The story of Batman: Arkham Knight begins on the night of Halloween. To no surprise, many of Gotham’s citizens have decided to participate in the holiday festivities.
No, this guy isn’t the real Batman. He’s probably never going to appear in the game again after this scene. But starting the game as a random Gotham police officer can make you forget for a hot second, where you are and why you came. Players can find comfort in seeing the familiar face of Gotham’s favorite hero.
Pauli’s Diner Has A Real Menu
Perhaps one of the most intricate details in Batman: Arkham Knight is the menu in Pauli’s Diner. While the text may be difficult to read, as it is clearly nano-sized font, if you look closely, you will see that the developers took the time to include an actual menu with relatively realistic prices and food choices. Here is the breakfast portion of the menu:
Pauli’s Pancakes $2.99
Three pancakes or four pieces of French toast with whipped butter and syrup.
Pauli’s Pancakes or French Toast and Fruit $3.99
Served with strawberries, blueberries, or apples.
Pauli’s Pancakes or French Toast with Bacon $4.99
or Bludhaven Sausage.
Miagani Muffins $1.99
A selection of blueberry and chocolate muffins.
Keystone Waffles $1.99
Ask your server for our waffle menu.
Eggs or Omelettes Any Style $2.99
Choice of bacon, turkey bacon, Gotham steak.
The Guvnor $6.99
Full English breakfast with bacon, sausage, mushrooms, baked beans.
Served with tea and OJ.
Is this an actual menu from somewhere copied over? Was it created specifically for the game? Regardless, it’s this type of attention to detail that allows for the immersive experience of the game that players both love and appreciate.
Just from the trailer footage and few beginning scenes of Batman: Arkham Knight, it appears that Scarecrow’s expanded role in this game comes with an increase of the sensation of horror and fear that players will feel when playing through the game.
One terrifying background detail in the opening scene is this blood-spattered mask resting atop a table at which four customers are sitting. While some might argue otherwise, it appears that this is another allusion to Scarecrow, which is interesting, because he has not yet been introduced into the game at this point.
From the expression on this gentleman’s face, it seems obvious that he is not in the best mood. In fact, it appears that he is either deeply contemplating a heavy decision, is feeling constipated, or is hurt and upset about whatever’s happening in the diner.
The first clue is the coffee cup on the table, so it’s possible that the was experiencing some intestinal backup and grabbed a hot cup of java to speed his metabolism along. But if we continue to examine the evidence, it becomes obvious that this man’s focus centers around the cupcake in the center of the table.
At first, i thought the name on the cupcake read, “Joel” but upon closer inspection, it is apparent that the name on the cupcake is “Noel.” This leaves us with two distinct possibilities as to why this man’s facial expression is racked with pain.
The first of which is that “Noel” is this gentleman’s name and for some reason (maybe because he has no friends or maybe because he was stood up) he is celebrating his birthday alone in a diner with this cupcake.
The other distinct possibility is that this man is celebrating Christmas on Halloween. By himself. In this diner. Blink-182 sings about having “Halloween on Christmas” but we’ve never heard of celebrating Christmas on Halloween before. Maybe it’s an “ironic” hipster stunt?
Maybe he’s a bit twisted in the mental department? In any case, whatever is troubling this man, we sure hope he cheers up. Though given what’s about to happen next, he definitely won’t.
Paid Human Trials – Calling All Blood Bags
Here we have another help wanted advertisement geared towards people who want to “earn money quickly.” So far so good until we look past the text to see a timeline showing how filling glass beakers with what appears to be blood will eventually lead to money.
Okay, now we’re skeptical. Looking to the bottom, left corner of the ad, we can see more text that reads, “We are looking for people for human trials.” HUMAN TRIALS?!?!?! Next to the beakers full of blood and pile of money, human trials does not sound good at all.
I’m all for earning money quickly but I think I’m going to pass on this offer.
There’s Real Gotham News In The Newspapers
If you bother to look at some of the newspapers that the patrons of Pauli’s Diner are reading, you’ll notice that as opposed to other games, where the newspaper text is just black and white scribbles for visual effect, the newspapers in Batman: Arkham Knight have actual stories in them.
One of the headlines is “Hunt Continues For Corporate Killer” in which authorities are attempting to track down executive Christina Bell. Another headline is, “McCallum Holds Vigil For Missing Principal” in which the authorities are searching for Henry Adams. head of McCallum Academy.
The front page of one paper reads, “Strange Legacy: City Hall Ponders Future of Prisoner Care in Gotham.” This topic is similar to that of a headline which reads, “Wayne Enterprises Pledge $300 Million to Arkham City Redevelopment.”
The last two headlines are interesting because based on the previous games, we know they are directly related to the plot of Batman: Arkham Knight. This gives cause to wonder whether or not the first two headlines will also play into Arkham Knight‘s plot. But you’ll have to play to find out.
Okay. This adorable, smiling lobster has relatively nothing to do with Batman: Arkham Knight. But he does indeed reside on a countertop in Pauli’s Diner in the opening scene of the game. Similar to the inclusion of the actual diner menu, this is another one of those small attention to detail moments that pays off in a big way in the greater picture. We all know it’s the wide-eyed, heavy-clawed, pot-bellied, countertop lobsters that give Pauli’s Diner its authentic feel.
What do you think of these subtle details from the opening scene of Batman: Arkham Knight? Did you notice any of them on your first play through? None of them? All of them? Be sure to let us know in the comments.
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