Just after E3, we got our hands on a mysterious cassette tape for Arkham City that contained an exchanged between Arkham City’s overseer/psychiatrist Hugo Strange and the enigmatic Riddler, revealing some secrets pertaining to the game’s world. Now two more taped conversations have surfaced, one giving us hints to the Joker’s poor physical condition, and another some background on the squat-but-deadly Penguin.
The Joker’s tape is rich with clues, chief among them further confirmation that Mr. J is dying and has very little time left, no doubt thanks to his use of Titan at the end of Arkham Asylum. Though Joker has previously been cagey about how sick he is, Strange seems pretty sure the clown is going to die very soon, and Hugo is a doctor. Also, Hugo alludes to having more than “psycho mumbo-jumbo” to figure out what’s wrong with the Joker. Perhaps he has a machine to see inside his patient’s minds like in his one Batman: Animated series appearance.
The Penguin tape is nearly as interesting, though it reveals more about Strange than the umbrella-loving crime boss. Back when Penguin was part of Gotham’s high society he was acquaintances of the Wayne family, something Hugo is keenly interested in. Aside from being happy about their deaths and thinking Bruce Wayne is a spoiled brat, Penguin didn’t give the Wayne’s much thought, though you can tell Hugo is on to something. It seems the Strange has figured out at this point that Bruce is Batman and was likely testing the Penguin to see if he’d figured it out, but the bird lover is all business, failing to take the bait.
The biggest take away from these and the previous tape is what a huge force Hugo Strange appears to be in Arkham City. He seems to be everywhere, a force behind the motivations of each villain as he treats Arkham City as his personal sandbox. We can’t wait to see Bats kick his ass off of the playground.
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