The Story Behind These Secret Deaths In Games

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 The Story Behind These Secret Deaths In Games

The opening moments of Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham Knight are about as dark as a superhero video game can get. As Frank Sinatra’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” plays, gamers take control of the furnace in which the Clown Prince of Crime is being cremated, having died in his final battle with the Dark Knight. This is followed by Commissioner Gordon’s narration informing us, “This is how it happened. This is how the Batman died.” 

That sequence is already pretty grim, but it gets even worse in Arkham Knight‘s New Game Plus.

After beating the story mode for the first time and starting a new game, the scene proceeds as normal, right up until you crank up those flames. In a particularly terrifying jump scare, the Joker opens his eyes and screams as the flames lick around his face. The screams eventually turn into a cackle as the Joker’s raspy voice replaces Commissioner Gordon’s narration. “This is how it happened,” the Joker sneers. “This is how the Joker died.”

It’s a great (albeit terrifying) little Easter egg for fans of Mark Hamill’s voice performance as the Joker, allowing him to continue pulling the rug out from under fans long after the character’s demise. That eerie line about the death of the Joker also serves as a nice thematic tie to Batman’s internal struggle throughout the game.