I don't really know why it'd be the best... I tried to fit in as many references and nods to canon that I could, but ultimately I just had fun writing this out. So I guess that's it's own reward? BATGIRL: A MATTER OF FAMILY
by Master Bruce
The DLC consists of the following sequences, roughly the size of Arkham Origins' "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC, with each taking place three years before the events of Arkham Asylum. The opening cut scene starts with a recreation of the classic scene from Alan Moore's "The Killing Joke", where The Joker
purchases a run down carnival site from an unlucky property manager. The vocals are again provided by Mark Hammil, who narrates an allusion to his past life as a comedian - or perhaps, a lie about a life that never existed - before revealing that the property is already his and that he's killed the man he was speaking with in a particularly gruesome fashion - with Joker Toxin outstretching his features to a degree that would earn it's M-rating alone.
The actual playable portion of the content begins differently from the graphic novel, however, as you play as Captain James Gordon
(Jonathan Banks) investigating the crime scene. You're guided through the scene by Harvey Bullock
, who expounds about the fact that Joker's been supposedly pulling the same routine for months, leaving a trail of bodies as he clears out old Carnival sites from around Gotham dating back to the early century. As you, the player, separate yourself from Bullock, Gordon turns to the scene and tugs at an earpiece. Over the piece, you hear the familiar voice of Batman
(Kevin Conroy), who's outfitted Gordon's glasses with a micro-camera feeding into his Detective Vision. The two have a back and forth, with Gordon attempting to discuss how much damage The Joker's caused Gotham ever since he arrived, while Batman remains strictly focused on the details of the crime scene. Batman's level of expertise over each and every detail that The Joker's meticulously (and intentionally) left behind in ways that CSI could never uncover proves why he's called The World's Greatest Detective - and alludes to the nature of their rivalry.
You guide Gordon over to a Funhouse, where the body was found, and suddenly realize that Joker's booby-trapped the area and prevented you from leaving with an array of jack-in-the-box themed sentry guns, armed snipers in clown makeup and attire, ravaged "human zombies" (similar to Joker's freakish goons in Killing Joke) locked in cages and ready to be sprung if you step over certain trip wires, and of course, mines. Batman monitors Gordon's situation and guides him through what to do, despite the fact that Jim is only outfitted with his service piece and handcuffs. You proceed to follow his instructions to the letter, taking out the thugs, sneaking around the Funhouse, and shooting out environmental obstacles that stand in your way. "Jim, listen to me carefully,", Batman eventually tells him. "I'm on my way. But I need you to promise me that you won't go after him until I've arrived."
Just as Gordon speaks, he can hear the familiar laughter of the Clown Prince of Crime echoing through the halls. Revolver in hand, he makes the decision to ignore Batman's order and chase after him. You control Gordon as Joker leads him through Hall of Mirrors, taunting him with reflections that appear to be the genuine article, ready to attack. You encounter more of his thugs, and make use of Gordon's gun and limited fighting skills to take them out without lethal harm - should you shoot them anywhere other than the limbs, you lose. That's when you finally face The Joker himself, standing at the end of the hall... who immediately downs you with a comedically giant retractable boxing glove. Just as Gordon struggles to pick himself up, you witness his POV as Joker lays into him with a crowbar.
(Notably, a crowbar already stained with another person's blood... a clear reference to the recently deceased Robin.)
Section two of the DLC begins with narration from Barbara Gordon
(Ashley Greene), who reveals that her father has been missing for five days. She has a fairly similar suit-up sequence to one of Batman's, applying pieces of her armor piece-by-piece as she tries to convince herself that everything will be fine and that if The Joker wanted to kill him, he would have already done so. By the time she's resolved to find her father on her own, noting that Batman and Nightwing are following up a lead on Gordon's whereabouts elsewhere, she steps out onto the balcony of the Gotham Clocktower fully suited up as Batgirl - and greets Gotham as it was, five years prior. And it towers even higher than it does in Arkham Knight, with a fully explorable island that would eventually become the site of Arkham City and updated, retroactively designed buildings to give off more of an art deco feel.
Batgirl descends through the city and calls upon her own vehicle - The Batcycle, visually updated but at least partially similar in design to the one driven by Yvonne Craig in the 60's series - much in the same manner that Batman does The Batmobile in the main game. With it, you have full access to the same offensive capabilities (except Battle Mode), such as the immobilizer, aswell as a "sonic scrambler" - the idea of which was given to Barbara by a friend named Dinah. This causes the motors of enemy vehicles to overload and eventually explode, causing immediate crashing. Batgirl also has her own unique animations and takedowns, with her movement similarly agile like Nightwing, but honed with more of a brutality like Batman or Robin. She essentially moves like she's performing a violent ballet whenever she enters free-flow combat - which fits, given the numerous ballet trophies found within the Clocktower.
The story portion of the DLC from there is linear, though there are a few side quests - notably, defusing a crisis situation with Mayor Strong, who's been taken hostage by Poison Ivy
in Miagani Island. There's also a side quest with Barbara's old foe Killer Moth
, who's kidnapped a young girl named Stephanie Brown in a bid to get back at his old cellmate, Arthur Brown/The Cluemaster, who testified against him in court. Ivy's encounter is fairly straightforward, but Killer Moth's is a citywide search, which requires a fair amount of technological prowess on Batgirl's part to uncover clues - alluding to her future as Oracle. You eventually face Killer Moth and a sizable group of his henchmen at the abandoned Gotham Power Plant on Founder's Island, taking out his goons in a stealth encounter before issuing a silent takedown of Killer Moth himself, who has the terrified Stephanie held at gunpoint. You then face him in a separate combat scenario once Batgirl has grappled Stephanie out of the room. In a cutscene following the encounter, Batgirl calms the young girl with a kind hug, assuring her that she's "spoiled" Moth's fun for the night and that he won't be coming for her again.
In the second portion of the main story, you go directly after The Penguin
(Nolan North) at The Iceberg Lounge. Knowing that Oswald has harbored The Joker in the past when properly persuaded, Batgirl sneaks into the nightclub during a rave, requiring you to crash the party by setting up small explosives around the room and detonating them, loosening a giant Emperor Penguin shaped sculpture and scaring the patrons of the event out of the building. When Penguin and his men emerge, guns trained, Batgirl immediately leaps into battle and takes on 30 of them in a freeflow combat encounter. Penguin then gives you your first real boss encounter as Batgirl pins him against the wall, calling upon someone who he was in the midst of "territorial negotiations" with - the same person who grabs Barbara by the shoulder and tosses her across the room.
It's revealed to be Bane
(J.B Blanc), having regained somewhat of a normal appearance in between his T1-Transformation phase and later Arkham phase. Remarking that he nearly killed The Batman in his second year, and that Batgirl was foolish to come alone, Batgirl wryly counters that unlike The Bat, she doesn't need backup. Engaging Bane in a one-on-one fight, you guide Batgirl as she strategically targets certain areas of Bane's physiology in combat. She knows she can't beat him physically, given he was strong enough to break Batman's back, but she can wear him down. As Bane's life meter plummets once you hit him with a series of precise attacks and dodges, Batgirl uses environmental attacks to eventually incapacitate him - and then send him through the floor, using a large circular spray of explosive gel, nodding to how Batman dispenses Killer Croc in Asylum.
Spitting a wad of blood off to the side, showing that she's suffered a bit from the fight with Bane, Batgirl nevertheless smirks as she disarms a retaliating Penguin and interrogates him about The Joker's whereabouts. Penguin swears he hasn't been on hospitable terms with the clown since he slammed a broken bottle into his eye, but reveals that he's heard rumors that Joker's taken sancturary in the recently shut down wing of Arkham Asylum, which is still under repairs from a recent breakout initiated by Scarecrow. As a thanks, Batgirl knocks Penguin unconcious with a single punch and nails him to the wall with one of his bladed umbrellas, wishing him well on his negotiations with Bane - if he ever recovers.
Recieving a communication from Nightwing
, Batgirl learns that he's checked out Arkham already and that things have appeared normal - until recently. Members of the repair crew for the Maximum Security wing of the Asylum have mysteriously quit or disappeared. Just as Nightwing says that he's about to check into it personally, Batgirl is alerted to a scene in the middle of Gotham by Alfred Pennyworth - The Joker has just broadcast a disturbing yet hilarious recreation of Sweeney Todd broadcasting from an unknown location, cutting off a large swath of a strapped down victim's hair - only to slice his throat, take some of the hair, and plug it into the wound. Remarking that his "customer" has never looked better, Joker publically states that Batman better find him soon - or "that old meddling Captain will be recieving his next trim!"
Realizing the intention of the message, Batgirl notes that Joker wants Batman to try and stop him at the Burton Theatre, where a recent production of Sweeney Todd had just closed curtain. Nightwing offers to help her, but Batgirl declines, insisting that she needs him to check out the lead at Arkham. Manuevering through Gotham to the Theater itself, you see that the snipers outside of it are being instructed on a giant monitor by Harley Quinn
(Tara Strong), who seemingly has Gordon tied to a chair and gagged. Using the stealth skills that Batman taught her - reminiscent of the ones he tried to teach Captain Gordon in the first sequence - Batgirl takes them out, one by one, and even finishes the final sniper off with the remote Batcycle, latching a wedge to the rooftop he's standing on and breaking off a chunk of concrete, sending him into the dumpster several feet below.
Entering the Theatre, Batgirl has a brief exchange with Harley, who's determined to keep Gordon alive for Batman's arrival - but promises that with her "Mistah J", plans can always change. Entering another freeflow encounter, Batgirl goes up against considerably more difficult opponents, including a crude clown-themed set of robots that will eventually inspire The Riddler's in Arkham Knight, suicide grunts with bombs strapped to them (you would be required to use the Special Combo Batclaw to take them down and disarm them before they set themselves off), and clown thugs with Rocket Launchers. Once dispatching them, Harley has another surprise set in store - a bigger robot that The Joker built years ago, called "Captain Clown". You're required to dispatch of him using a different freeflow gadget with every meter fill, similar to the Mr. Freeze fight but in freeflow circumstances. The difficulty is ramped up as three hits automatically take you down, forcing you to constantly dodge.
Once you've defeated Captain Clown, Harley screams, outraged, that you killed him and fires a gun at you, forcing Batgirl to retreat into the shadows for a cutscene. Before she can repeat her statement, Batgirl bursts through the stage below and pulls her down, mercilessly throwing her into various stage equipment to get answers on where The Joker really is. But as she's busy carrying on the interrogation, Harley produces a remote control and presses a button. To Batgirl's horror, Captain Gordon's chair is electrofied, and immediately fills him with over 100,000 volts - seemingly killing him. Distraught and full of emotion, Batgirl angrily knocks Harley through the wall of the stage beneath and goes to see her father, beginning to mourn his loss. Telling him how she's sorry for not saving him or for never asking his approval for what she's doing, Batgirl's in the midst of a tearful breakdown before she notices something odd - there's a scar on Gordon's lower lip that's usually on the left side of his face. This time, it's on his right.
Grabbing the "Gordon" in the chair, Batgirl angrily rips him out of it and throws him to the floor, revealing that he's not only alive, but an imposter. Gordon merely smiles, reaches up to his own face, and peels it off - revealing the next boss, Jane Doe
. Jane Doe moves similarly to how Copperhead moved in Arkham Origins, but with knives instead of poison. She fights erradically and aggressively stabs at Barbara at intervals where she's hidden in the shadows. Batgirl eventually beats her by using the Remote Electrical to restore the lighting system to the Theatre and revealing her location, promptly initiating a Beatdown sequence.
As Batgirl straps both the unconcious Harley and unconcious Jane Doe up with a Bat-rope, gift-wrapped for the GCPD, she recieves another communications message - this time, from Batman himself. Batman informs her that he lost communication with Nightwing shortly after he entered Arkham, confirming the suspicion that Joker's using the Maximum Security wing to hold Jim as bait for him. Telling her not to engage and allow him to handle it, Batgirl objects, pointing out that the only reason Joker's doing this in the first place is to get Batman's attention. While he seems to realize she has a point, Batman nevertheless tells her to stay behind, as she's "compromised" by Joker taking her father.
Angry at that comment, Batgirl shuts down communications and goes back out into Gotham. You control her as she narrates a series of flashbacks to her childhood, dating back to when The Joker first arrived in Gotham. The flashbacks show that her father would often tell her stories about his encounters with the clown to both warn her about the danger and to let her know that he would never allow Joker to hurt his little girl. Batgirl realizes that while he nessescarily didn't tell her these stories for this reason, she does use the memory to realize just how to use Joker's fascination with Batman to her advantage - the same way Jim had learned to from hard experience.
You race to Arkham Island, having Batgirl glide over the compound and stop some of Joker's random clowns from attacking the Asylum staff, including a younger Quincy Sharpe. Stealing his access codes from the pocket of his coat jacket, Barbara gains access to the Asylum itself, encountering some of it's roaming crazed inmates as she ventures deeper. Once she reaches the main hall outside the Maximum Security Wing, however, she realizes that something's terribly wrong - the entrance is made up to look like a gigantic carnival, complete with concessions featuring the puppet Scarface, who shoots at Batgirl with electronically controlled sentry guns. Once you take him out, you enter the "Joker Funhouse"... featuring a fully operational indoor rollar coaster, which her father is apparently strapped to. As Batgirl tries to grapple upwards, The Joker shoots the weapon out of her hands, initiating another stealth scenerio.
As Batgirl takes down the thugs in the room, another cutscene begins, with Batgirl caught dead to rights by a small army of Joker's goons. Joker orders them to make mince meat out of the "Fembat", so he can present a nice dinner tray to Batman when he arrives - only to be surprised when Batman literally does arrive, crashing from the side window and arriving at Batgirl's side. Though Batman gives Batgirl a stern look for disobeying his order, she shoots one right back, indicating that she's not backing down. The two brace for battle as a Dual Play battle begins, with the player switching between Batman and Batgirl to take down the sizeable army of Joker's goons.
Once it becomes clear to Joker that two Bats are not better than one, by his estimation, he flees into another corridor. Batman attempts to go after him, but Barbara stops him, stating that Joker is her's and that she wants him to rescue her father. When asked why, Batgirl turns away from him and walks towards the corridor with clenched fists, stating that "It's a matter of family."
The Joker reveals a room that he'd saved explicitly for Batman, similar to many Riddler challenge rooms with their level of puzzle solving and difficulty. Some of which serve as specific reminders of past events, such as a scenerio requring you to save Nightwing from being sent into a vat of deadly chemicals while dressed as The Red Hood. Joker calls this game "The Beginning". Batgirl attempts to free Nightwing, but he tells her he's fine and to "Give him one for me." Another mini-game involves you having to save a group of nurses and orderlies from a firing squad, all dressed as Robin, with Joker mocking Batgirl about the fact that her boss seems to do roughly the same thing. "Why, he even threw one at me just this last month, and I felt so bad, I gave him a crowbar for his troubles!", he giggles, as Batgirl disarms the guns and rescues the hostages from a game Joker calls "The Crescendo."
Finally, the final boss battle with The Joker begins in the final room, in what you'd later recognize in Batman: Arkham Asylum as Arkham Manor. Revealing a ton of laughing sentry guns, three upgraded Captain Clown robots, and plenty of chattering teeth all over the floors that bite off bits of your health meter, The Joker gleefully watches as you're forced to fight them all - in a spinning room. The longer the fight takes you, the faster the room spins, occasionally flying you into the air and tumbling you across the ceiling. You're forced to regain your wits about you and defend yourself in time from each attack, defending yourself in a variety of ways - from using the Remote Hacking Device to disable a sentry gun, to dodging Captain Clown attacks, to avoiding blasts from Joker's own acid flower - before finally using a Multi-Batarang to disable the fuse box powering the room.
Once everything's powered down, you square off with The Joker himself, who produces an oversized pistol. You have to strike at him from different vantage points, be it gargoyles, vents, or takedowns through paritition windows and weak wooden walls. Finally, you recieve an opportunity to disarm Joker with another Multi-Batarang, and then leap into the fray yourself - battling The Joker and several of his thugs in one final freeflow encounter.
As the final cutscene plays, Joker remarks at the absurdity of the situation, saying that he doesn't "understand how he could be defeated by Batman's knockoff rather than the man himself. Even the bird boy could never do that!" Batgirl simply smiles at him, saying that she actually thinks it's funny. Before headbutting him into unconciousness. Throwing him over her shoulder, Batgirl walks out to a waiting Batman and Gordon, who's just been untied. Producing Joker's unconcious body much in the same way Batman presented his corpse at the end of Arkham City, Batman checks for a pulse - and then looks up at Barbara, giving a nod of approval. She smiles, before grappling out of the building. Gordon recieves a call on his phone, which he answers.
"It's okay, Barbara. I'm fine,", Gordon assures her, with his next bit of dialogue alluding that he knows who Batgirl really is. "I got myself in this mess, but at the end of the day, I was saved by someone very special. A woman I owe my life to, now. Hopefully one day, I'll get to repay her."
In the final shot, we see Batgirl standing over Arkham Asylum, triumphant.
NOTE: In this potential DLC scenario, Batgirl would likely receive at least three AR Challenges of every category, and the following skins: Classic Batgirl, Cassandra Cain Batgirl, Stephanie Brown Batgirl, New 52 "Batgirl of Burnside" Batgirl, Animated Series Batgirl, and Kate Kane as Batwoman.