Batman: Arkham Origins was recently released to an expectant gaming community last Friday. Since many players have already managed to rattle through the basic single player campaign over the weekend, we thought we would take an extensive look at some of the best easter eggs discovered, thus far.
WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for the plot of Batman: Arkham Origins. Read at your own risk.
Before we move on to the all-important easter eggs, we thought we would take a brief look at the Origin’s plot, as well as some of the new features the game boasts.
That Classic Batman Formula
The events of Arkham Origins takes place before both of its critically acclaimed predecessors, Arkham City and Arkham Asylum, just as Bruce Wayne is starting to find his feet as the Batman. Even amongst the police force, he remains somewhat of an enigma and, as such, police officials treat him with hostility.
The game commences on Christmas Eve, with a jail break in full swing at Blackgate penitentiary. The ruckus has been orchestrated by the infamous crime lord Black Mask, who manages to extricate a number of inmates and kill Commissioner Loeb in the process. After infiltrating the correctional facility, he then makes a swift and successful bid for freedom.
Batman soon learns that Black Mask has placed a $50 million bounty on his head, drafting in a rogues gallery of notorious assassins to ensure the job is successfully executed. All the while, the psychopathic Joker capitalizes on the situation and attempts to implement his own nefarious plans. The Gotham City Police Department complicates Wayne’s virtuous efforts, in tackling the villainous scum that marauder Gotham’s streets, with the institution filled with corrupt police officials.
Arkham Origins is the third installment in the “Arkham” franchise of video games. However, Warner Brothers Games Montreal replaces Rocksteady as Arkham Origins’ development team.
Ultimately, Origins employs many of the same gameplay mechanics that made Arkham City and Asylum so thoroughly engrossing, but applies this formula to a much larger world, adjoining both Old and New districts of Gotham City. Whilst Old Gotham is a dilapidated slum-riddled mess, rife with corruption and criminal activity, New Gotham boasts a modern metropolitan area, filled with looming skyscrapers.
Origins uses many of the same gadgets that fans of the series have come to know and love, but adds a few new tools to the caped crusader’s utility belt, including the Remote Claw and Shock Gloves. Meanwhile, the obligatory Batarang makes its return, alongside other staple favorites, including the Batclaw, Explosive Gel and Smoke Pellets, to name a few.
The game developers have also focused upon bolstering side missions, incorporating “Crime in Progress” quests, aimed squarely at improving Batman’s reputation by assisting the Gotham City Police Department. “Most Wanted” is a welcome addition to the series, allowing players to track villains outside of the main story arc, whilst Batman’s radio scanner can also scour the airwaves for signs of criminal wrongdoing.
The Dark Knight has also been granted Detection Vision, displaying theoretical scenarios, as to how a particular crime has played out, in holographic form. Points of interest are presented to the player, who is then tasked with assimilating the various clues and reaching a definitive conclusion.
With the tenacious gaming community scouring every nook and cranny of the Arkham Origins universe, we wanted to explore some of the greatest easter eggs around, as well as the lore behind each one.
Green Arrow Easter Egg
After battling the Electrocutioner, who appears in the Penguin’s Final Offer ship, you can find a subtle easter egg that references Green Arrow. Running up to the top floor, which looks out across the main arena, a shipping container will present itself. The container is emblazoned with a logo, spelling out “Queen Industries.” Of course, Green Arrow is the alter-ego of Oliver Queen, a billionaire businessman who owns Queen Industries. Credit goes to ComicBookCast2 for this find:
Following Arkham City, many speculated that members of the Justice League would, at some point, make an appearance in the franchise. Although many of these characters were not directly seen in Origins, there were a number of references that allude to the possibility of future tie-ins, and might hint towards the direction that the planned DLC might take.
An early trailer for the game also showed the Queen Industries logo, printed on a toolbox, furthering strengthening the suspicion that Green Arrow could feature in future games/DLC. Also, some have drawn a tentative relationship between the illuminated star on one of Gotham’s bridges and the welcome sign of Star City’s bridge – Green Arrow’s place of residence.
AmerTek Bullet Easter Egg
Briefly turning our attention back to the gameplay trailer, the eagle-eyed gaming community has managed to spot a pretty interesting easter egg, involving a bullet casing.
During the CG-animated trailer, Batman has a ferocious encounter with Deathstroke, grappling and parkouring through the snow-swept bays of Dickson Docks. One of the other eight assassin’s, Deadshot, joins the fray in an attempt to claim the $50 million bounty from his rivals. Deadshot fires a bullet that unhitches a suspended shipping container, trying to crush Batman, who remains distracted by his confrontation with Deathstroke.
Outmatched and outnumbered, Batman beats a hasty retreat. The final throes of the trailer show the Dark Knight looking pensive, as he inspects the shell casing of the fired bullet, which reads AmerTek. The casing appears in the trailer below, at around the four minutes and 18 seconds mark.
The AmerTek name may be familiar to a lot of fans of the DC Universe lore, as it is the name of the company that formerly employed John Henry Irons. John Henry Irons was a talented weapons engineer, who created an incredibly powerful energy canon. After the device fell into the wrong hands, and was wielded to slaughter innocent civilians, Irons faked his death and moved to Metropolis.
After Superman saved his life, he vowed to show his gratitude. Following Superman’s demise, and with interminable gang wars being fought using an upgraded version of AmerTek’s BG-60 weapon, which he previously helped to develop, Irons donned a suit of armor and became “Steel.”
Incarcerated Calendar Man
During the opening section of the game, whilst venturing through the bleak halls of Blackgate penitentiary, you will come across the cell of the Calendar Man. It becomes abundantly clear who occupies the cell, since the walls and floor are littered with calendar pages earmarking momentous occasions; bundles of newspapers are also stacked in boxes, allowing the villain to accurately chronicle some of these events.
The Calendar Man is obviously obsessed with dates and calendars. Even his real name, Julian Gregory Day, is a play on the Julian and Gregorian calendars. His illicit activities consistently center around important calendar dates and themes, including holidays and anniversaries.
Whilst scurrying through one of the prison’s vents, you eventually encounter Black Mask, standing at the fore of a gas chamber. Inside the chamber lies the Calendar Man, who Black Mask substitutes for Commissioner Loeb, dramatically exclaiming:
“You’re going to owe me for this, Julian. And that could be… useful.”
Batmobile Easter Egg
During Arkham Origins, it’s easy to forget that Batman’s crime-fighting career is still very much in its infancy. Although he has many of the weapons, gadgets and tools that are present within Arkham Asylum and City, there are some notable omissions; one of these is the Batmobile.
Warner Brothers Games Montreal has sought to explain the Batmobile’s absence in easter egg form. When exploring the Batcave, a partially assembled prototype of the vehicle can be found. The following YouTube video, uploaded by MrBrickley, shows the blueprints for the iconic car’s design, along with the classic framework shape.
According to the Batman Arkham Wikia page, the incomplete Batmobile is labeled the “Urban Assault Vehicle,” and has the following description:
“Armored to resist direct collisions and small arms fire. Multiple LTL [Less-Than-Lethal] armaments. Shield tracking profiles reduces thermal/radar footprint. 1.200BHP. 7MPG. Status: Under Maintenance.”
Batman’s Newspaper Clippings
Yet more intriguing easter eggs can be found in the Batcave, when perusing through the newspaper clippings of Wayne’s investigative board.
In the center of the super sleuth’s board are references to Red Hood. The general consensus seems to be that this is a reference to the former life of the Joker, who donned the guise of an elusive criminal mastermind, known as Red Hood. His costume comprised of a domed, red helmet and a cape.
According to the comics, during one fateful encounter with the Batman, he dove into a basin of spurious chemicals to make his escape. However, in doing so, the chemicals permanently changed the pigmentation of his face and turned his hair a peculiar green color. This is confirmed in the following gameplay/cutscene section:
The nature of the messages posted on the board seems to suggest that Batman may not have yet drawn a link between Red Hood and the Joker, although this remains a source of debate.
The board also refers to the Falcone family and, once more, the Calendar Man. The player eventually observes the Penguin torturing Alberto Falcone, son of revered mob boss Carmine Falcone, in an effort to force his father into abandoning his practices in weapons trafficking.
With regards to the Calendar Man, the clippings reveal the degenerate to have been captured and detained (prior to Black Mask returning him to the wild, during the opening to Origins), likely by Batman himself.
Thomas and Martha Wayne Death Place Easter Egg
One of the most seminal moments in Batman lore, which heavily shaped Bruce’s trajectory, occurred when he was a young child. The young boy was traumatized after having witnessed the senseless murder of his parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne, at the hands of a small-time mugger, called Joe Chill.
Undoubtedly, this was the primary catalyst for Bruce embarking upon his career dispensing vigilante justice. After his parents’ deaths, Bruce vowed to fight the criminal scourge that plagued the decaying streets of Gotham.
To find this easter egg you’ll need to go to the southeast fringes of Park Row, close to the church. Along one of the nearby alleyways, you will arrive at a chalk outline of his parents, triggering emotional music to play in the background. Adjacent to the corpse outlines lies a single rose, commemorating their demise.
The find was uploaded by MaximumGuarded. The easter egg also appears in Arkham City, in the exact same location of the map.
Green Lantern, Clay Face, Zatanna and Graysons Posters
Arkham is a massive region, populated with will all manner of signposts, billboards and posters. A few of the images and scribes seen across the landscape pertain to lore from the DC Universe.
Firstly, a Green Lantern easter egg can be located in the southwest area of Park Row. Around this region, you will find a billboard displaying an advertisement for Ferris Aircraft.
Hal Jordan, who doubles as the Green Lantern, was formerly employed by Ferris Aircraft, before becoming the very first human to join the Green Lantern Corps.
Meanwhile, you can locate a poster for the “thrilling Zatanna,” in the north of the Bowery.
Zatanna is described as a powerful sorceress, acquiring her abilities through genetic inheritance from her father. Zatanna can cast magical spells verbally, which she has previously harnessed for object manipulation, healing, transmutation, mind-manipulation and energy-based attacks.
She was also involved with the Justice League, and had a variety of encounters with the caped crusader. Very recently, she was also a downloadable character from the new Injustice game.
When the player travels to My Alibi, they can locate all kinds of Zatanna-related paraphernalia in the back room; this includes the hat and gloves for which she is famous, alongside the Ratcatcher’s mask.
The Clay Face poster is entitled “Funny Faces,” describing an impressionist act that is scheduled to be performed by Basil Karlo.
Karlo started out as a budding actor, before being driven insane by his jealous impulses. Donning the Clayface mask, he eventually goes on a killing spree, targeting actors from a film that he was not allowed to be a part of. He became the “true” clayface when he injected himself with an experimental substance, granting him shape-shifting abilities.
Posters are also dotted around the buildings and streets of Arkham, describing the Flying Graysons circus act. The Graysons group comprised of a young acrobat, named Richard John “Dick” Grayson (a.k.a. Robin).
The First Final Offer Design
Before running up against the Penguin inside his Final Offer ship, stationed at the docks, the player will find a model of the vessel, housed in a large display case. The Penguin’s recorded dialogue explains that the Final Offer was originally entitled the Olivia B. Meredith. This is a nice homage to the actor who played the character in the 1960’s Batman television series, Oliver Burgess Meredith.
Rejected Assassins Easter Egg
When traversing through the Sionis Steel Mill, in the loading bay depot, there are a number of files and documents sprawled across a desk. There is a total of three files, labeled “Cheshire,” “David Caine,” and “Black Spider.” On the covers of each of these files is a red “REJECTED” stamp, suggesting they were, at one point, in contention for performing Batman’s assassination.
Suicide Squad/Ending Easter Egg
In concluding our Batman: Arkham Origins easter egg guide, we thought we would take a look at the implications of a short bonus scene, found during the game’s closure. After the credits roll, players are treated to a brief glimpse into what lies ahead for the Batman video game franchise. A confidential document is tossed into the cell of an incarcerated Deathstroke, which seems to suggest the formation of the Suicide Squad.
In the DC Comics Universe, Dr. Amanda Waller propositions a number of captured villains, forming a team of supervillains that are tasked with completing a number of black ops missions for the U.S. government, in exchange for reduced sentences; the group was known as the Suicide Squad.
This scene seems to suggest that Deathstroke could be joined by a number of other rogues, permitting either Suicide Squad DLC or a spinoff game. Indeed, reports indicate that development has already started into a Suicide Squad game, as announced by DC Comics writer Geoff Johns, during an interview with Kotaku:
“I’m really super excited about it. Because of the concept, you have a game where any of the lead characters can conceivably die and it’s not a stunt. Some really cool story could come out of that.”
We hope you have enjoyed our Batman: Arkham Origins easter egg guide. As the game has only been in the public domain for a few short days, there’s bound to be further easter eggs emerging all the time. We’ll keep you posted on new discoveries, in upcoming articles.
By: James Fenner