The Gotham Intel in Batman: Arkham Origins are a series of stories on various buildings, monuments, businesses and influent characters found throughout Old and New Gotham. They can be unlocked by scanning Pinkney's plaques on monuments, or Anarky's tags (visible only in Detective Mode) on the walls of several locations. Note that the tags found in Cold, Cold Heart do not unlock new Gotham intel.
Old Gotham Cathedral
This Old Gotham Cathedral was designed by Cyrus Pinkney with the financial backing of Judge Solomon Wayne. The judge was a religious man and erecting the church was among the first architectural projects he and Pinkney worked on together. Once complete, it became a centerpiece of the growing city. Though the cathedral was well-received, and though he was certainly happy with the result, Pinkney would be quick to point out that his other projects had a more broad appeal amongst Gotham's citizenry.
For Solomon, the church was one of his proudest life accomplishments. He was often invited to give guest sermons from the pulpit, and was happy to oblige. The force of his deep, bellowing voice was said to compel confessions from even the most hardened criminals within earshot, and to keep folk who might otherwise be tempted into wickedness on the straight and narrow - for fear of having that voice unleashed on them.
Solomon Wayne Courthouse Statue
This statue was erected to honor Judge Solomon Wayne. Solomon was a force for justice in a corrupt city. He worked with Cyrus Pinkney, helping Cyrus realize his architectural dreams for Gotham while furthering his own agenda of making Gotham a fortress of Christian piety.
Solomon Wayne was known as a harsh judge, almost always sentencing criminals to the maximum penalty allowed by law. However, with his other hand he was merciful to the needy and sought to create facilities and programs to help Gotham's less fortunate. These actions made him loved by the Gotham's citizens and victims of crime, but equally hated by Gotham's criminals.
Pioneers Statue - Jezebel Mall
Scandinavian settlers arrived on these islands in the mid-1600s and labored through harsh winters to build the foundations of Gotham City. There are many tales about what these settlers endured - from encounters with mystical beings to fights over Native American burial grounds. Much of Gotham's early history has been garnered through folklore passed down orally during those first trying years. Eventually the British took over the settlement.
While Cyrus Pinkney and Solomon Wayne sought to construct a Gotham that was a fortress against evil and corruption, Cyrus also drew upon the story of these pioneers, who persevered against all manner of hardships, and stayed true to their vision of making a life for themselves in the New World. Solomon saw their plight as an allegory for his own religious experience.
From a business perspective, construction of the railyard was one of Henry Cobblepot's smartest projects. Nearly all goods flowing into or out of Gotham by sea went through the yard. Control of the yard was one of the main reasons for Cobblepot's economic success. Cyrus resisted this project in favor of other more artistic and civic structures, but Cobblepot insisted that as the industrial heart of Gotham, the rail yard was of supreme importance. He refused his financial backing of other projects until Cyrus and Solomon finally agreed to his terms.
The rail yard still sees plenty of port traffic, but accusations of corruption abound and most consider the yard a dangerous place frequented by gangsters and other unsavory elements. The yard was recently purchased by Amertek, a global shipping and logistics firm.
Whereas opera was for the elite, theater was for the common man. A common man himself, Cyrus built the Jezebel Theater as a center for the entertainment of the masses. While always a popular spot, the theater has seen its share of troubled times, particularly during the Depression. To make ends meet, the owners sold their rooftop space to the GCR company for one of their radio tower installations. The people of Gotham consider the tower an eyesore and say that Cyrus Pinkney is rolling in his grave. Cyrus might take solace that people are at least still enjoying his theater over a century after its construction.
When Solomon Wayne proposed building a bridge off the southern end of the island, even Cyrus was shocked. At the time, there were few settlements south of the city, save for Wayne Manor (which was still under construction). City council called it a 'bridge to nowhere', and yet Solomon persisted and used his considerable influence to get the permits he required. The concept of building this bridge was so ludicrous, even Solomon's arch rival, Henry Cobblepot gave it his approval.
Cyrus convinced Solomon to make this bridge a historic monument to the Scandinavian pioneers who first founded the city and adorned the bridge with massive statues depicting the hardships those first settlers endured in this New World.
In the end, Solomon's vision was validated as the bridge made new land accessible and business thrived in the south end of town. 'New Gotham' saw rapid growth, became the home of the Gotham Railyards and soon became the industrial and financial heart of the thriving city.
Cyrus Pinkney School of the Arts
A city is like an organism - constantly evolving. There was once a building here - a school for the arts. While Solomon Wayne was a practical man concerned with Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, Cyrus recognized that these practical skills became most useful when applied to creative expression. And so, his school was built to teach children the power of their imagination. There are some strange tales of the odd projects that came from students at the school, including one where a student project went horribly wrong. There was a fire and several students died or were badly burned. Some blamed the student, some blamed the instructors. Regardless of where the blame lay, Henry Cobblepot used the tragedy to have the school shut down after Cyrus Pinkney's death. Cobblepot then bulldozed the site and built apartment housing.
Crypt of Cyrus Pinkney
Cyrus Pinkney: January 12, 1815 - January 11, 1855. Here lies Cyrus Pinkney, the visionary architect who raised this fair city from its humble origins into greatness. Who knows to what greater feats he could have accomplished had he not perished at the peak of his talent. Gotham and the world are made poorer by his untimely demise. The people of Gotham honor our favored son with this monument to his work, and offer the thanks of a grateful city.
The Furniture Company. A global conglomerate of user-assembled furnishing distributors. Globalization means the people must compete for wages with all markets, including those that force children to labor. And the right-wing pundits wonder why we are not competitive, why the middle class is evaporating. Why would a furniture company pay an honest wage to a skilled worker to make a quality product when they can pay mere pennies to a child to make a product of less quality, but which consumers will buy because they have no choice. Yes, disposable furniture from disposable people. And you can throw them both away for a new model every few years. That's business.
The Waynes. Gotham royalty and their sole surviving prince, Bruce Wayne. Born into advantage for generations, this family has tried to blind us with generosity - but their generosity does not mask their extreme guilt from pillaging this city in years past. How does one family get so rich? On the back of the worker. Perhaps there wouldn't be so many orphans if the Waynes paid their workers fairly for their labor, and they could save on all their donations to orphanages? Did Bruce Wayne invent these products? Did he sweat on the assembly line to create them? No. He just paid himself tens, hundreds, and thousands of times what he pays his workers, and then pats himself on the back for his ingenuity. Charity simply allows him to feel good about himself, makes him feel like he's helping those poor souls who can't fend for themselves while he sips his champagne and eats his foie gras. If only he'd pay them fairly, they wouldn't need his charity. Perhaps Mister Wayne should read a little of Abraham Lincoln: 'Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
A refreshing beverage? Oh, yes! And don't forget to wash it down with obesity and diabetes. This corporation ran advertisements in the 70s that read 'If sugar makes you fat, then why are so many kids thin?' Believe it. They promoted the natural goodness of sugar that gives the consumer a sense of satisfaction and well-being. They left out what it does to your teeth, your health, and its addictive effects on your brain. They actually want you to believe that sugar is 'good for you'. Big Tobacco lied to us. Do you think Big Sugar is any different? Open your eyes to what you're really consuming: corporate feces.
We make industrial solvents and lubricants to move the machinery of our industrialized society. That's a fitting slogan for company from fifty years ago. Today, our industrial centers are collapsing, left abandoned in the wake of the mass exodus of businesses to foreign shores. Thank you, globalization, for opening up new markets for our multinationals to sell our American-made products. Unfortunately, those products are no longer made by American workers. The American workers are laid off from their jobs, laden with debt, and then made homeless when the bankers foreclose on the homes they can no longer afford. And how are they rewarded? They are called lazy, delinquent, moochers by the people who have sent their jobs overseas. When we come for them, they will run for those same shores to escape our wrath. But like the multinational corporation, the worker knows no border for we are everywhere.
Voltaire says that 'the comfort of the rich depends on an abundance of the poor.' If that's true, then the residents of Lacey Towers are very, very comfortable. It's the home of fasco-capitalists and criminals. Most of these suites are empty. Do you know why? Because their owners live in mansions all over this country. They keep these condos for friends, for entertainment, for a place to stay on the odd time they visit our fair city. There are people in the alleys around this building that sleep in paper boxes, and these bourgeois bastards can afford to spend millions on luxury condos that they don't even need. What have they done that is so deserving of this affluence, that they may live in such sick opulence while those of us who slave under them must beg for their charity to feed ourselves? We will tear them down while they scream of their superiority.
Corporate interests run our government and their enforcers live here. These men and women are workers, sworn to protect the weak and innocent, and yet when we stand against oppression, corruption, when we peacefully speak out against corporations bulldozing our commons, illegally searching us without cause, they answer us with riot gear, with shields, batons, and tear gas. When peaceful protest is met with violence, we will match their violence tenfold and these traitors to democracy and freedom, these tramplers of the rights our forefathers fought and died for, these automatons of the corrupt state will finally have their eyes opened to the truth.
This hotel serves as a playground for our corporate masters where a one night stay costs more than the average worker brings home in a month. They must feel like if they raise themselves up high enough, they will escape our anger. Or perhaps they think that the stench of the street will not reach them in their lofty rooms. They look down on us, but we will rise up and tear them down. In this den of iniquity, the elite have been caught in sex, drug, and racketeering scandals. Over the hotel's history no fewer than seventeen city councillors, three mayors, eight senators, and a governor have been caught in some kind of criminal activity. But you won't hear about this in the Daily because the elite have servants - bribed to cover up scandals and dump bodies. And you wonder why the Royal tolerates all that mob activity? The man on the street caught with illicit narcotics goes away for five, ten, twenty years. But the city councillor caught with two dead strippers gets a rigged election? Well that makes him mayor. And the two girls? They get a burial at sea and their names wiped from history. We can't bring those girls back, but we can send them some company.
Our dutiful mayor, Hamilton Hill made his money in insurance, that is, by making promises to pay people when they were in need, and then making excuses not to pay them at all. And yet he is not branded a thief, a fraudster - no, he's "elected" mayor. Now, he's free to raid our city coffers to pay for whatever projects his masters deem worthy - masters like Rupert Thorne. And he thinks the people are not watching. We know what he did with those two girls at the Gotham Royal. And we will bring it into the light for all to see.
Gotham City News
Balanced and fair, they say - presenting what Jack Ryder calls 'both sides' of every argument. Sure - when his side comes from made-up corporate messaging meant to convince us that words like liberty, justice, and truth still have meaning and the other side is some barely intelligent shill. It's an insulting joke. They frame their stories in a way to mask their fascist agenda, and use intimidation, intellectual dishonesty, and loud-mouthing to squash any who try to point out the fallacy of their arguments. They blame immigrants. They blame criminals. They blame everyone but the corporations who pay their salaries. The fourth estate has been replaced by the machinery of propaganda and now exists only as a tool to keep the people ignorant.
Gotham City Cinema
Come one, come all to pay homage to our plastic pantheon of demigods. You may not touch, only watch. No, their glorious image will be projected on a big screen while they spout tripe and dreck. They are presented to you larger than life to ensure that you realize that you are just a small, insignificant, and powerless mortal in the shadow of their greatness. Tremble in their presence and despair at your inadequacy. And don't forget to stop at the concession to fill your face with sugar-treats and salty-swill where all proceeds go to the Falcone crime family.
Gotham City Daily
The Daily was once a voice for truth in reporting. Now it's a corporatist fascist rag filled with lies about our city. The irony of a newspaper attacking the free press is almost too much to swallow. Yet, when we all knew that Hamilton Hill's mayoral election was rigged, the Daily defended him. When a pacifist group exposed police infiltration into their ranks, the Daily labelled them a group of terrorists. When Trident Labs dumped enough pesticides into the Gotham River to turn the bay pink, the Daily blamed algae blooms. As the assault on our civil liberties continues, the Daily doesn't remain silent - they voice their support. But our voices will drown theirs out. Print is dead.
Gotham Light & Power
Our politicians continue to privatize what should be public goods owned by the people. Monopoly on electricity gives inordinate power over the entire population to a few, corporate executives who think that they're genius businessmen because they make money through their control of a product that everyone needs. We the people pay for the roads, for bridges, for dams, for power plants and then sell them off to these for-profit corporations. Oh, they say these utilities will be run more efficiently by private business, yet their executive salaries increase, they lay off full-time workers and use contractors they don't need to pay benefits to, and then begin price-gouging the people. Electricity is a necessity, like air, water, food, and yet we allow these corporate profiteers to gain from it. I mean, if a public utility is losing money, who is it losing money to? The PEOPLE! Whereas profits from privatized utilities go directly into the pockets of the wealthy few and our costs go always up. No more. We will take back what is ours, give power free to the people and see our lives prosper as a result.
Dock workers once belonged to one of the most powerful unions. The longshoremen of old fought their industrialist oppressors over the right to earn a living wage. These and the other unions of their day said no to capitalist exploitation of the worker and built the middle class. But those days are gone. The middle class has been obliterated by the elite. The unions of today do not work for the rights of the worker. They have been twisted and corrupted into tools of oppression by crime lords - with the help of their government cronies. By allowing the perversion of this instrument of liberty, fascist governments and corporatist interests have dismantled our rights to collective bargaining all too easily. We must re-educate ourselves - remind ourselves that the worker is not a slave and deserves compensation that matches his contribution.
They don't show films here anymore. The theater was once a family-run operation but their doors are closed. Unable to compete against the nation-wide franchises that now dominate our landscape - theaters that all show the same Hollywood dreck that keeps us entertained -but blissfully ignorant. There is no room for the art of film in a nation full of programmed, sugar-fed consumers. And so we will target the industry of franchising - a business model that sucks money out of communities and kills independent business.
Our corporate overlords build temples to their gods - the gods of greed, oppression, and opulence. Wonder Tower is the ultimate representation of capitalist arrogance, a monument to the disparity between the bourgeois and the proletariat. Wonder City is a fiction meant to give false hope to the masses that their lives in the future will be prosperous, but history shows the opposite - that we continue to fall behind while the power elite grow stronger. We will wipe this fantasy from the face of Gotham.
'Has there ever been a more criminal business than the casino? Burden the people with debt and make them so desperate that they'll throw away what little they have left for the fleeting hope that all their dreams will come true. They show us pictures of the 'winners', massive jackpots that change lives. But they don't show us pictures of the thousands, the tens of thousands of losers. Nor do they tells us how those jackpot winners fair years after they collect - bankrupt, destitute, even worse off than they were before. They're selling a dream and you're buying. And if that weren't enough, they go even further. They ply you with alcohol. They even rig their tables to tilt the already ridiculous odds so far in their favor that there is no way the house ever loses. And if you somehow beat those odds, they accuse you of cheating and get their goons to beat their money out of you.
If there were ever a more ludicrous business, I've never seen it. You think they make steel here? Roman Sionis is the most illegitimate businessman in Gotham and the only thing coming out of this mill is fine white powder sold to the wealthy elite - even the rich have their masters in a city run by criminals, and Roman Sionis is both. But at least Sionis is an honest crook. He does not pretend to be what he is not. He takes what he can and does what he wants. They call that freedom. But he will trod over the freedom of anyone who stands against him and his empire. He is a king and so he must also fall.
Solomon Wayne Courthouse
Does anyone still believe there is justice in Gotham? If the common man robs a banker, that man is sentenced with the full force of the law. But if the banker robs the world he is given a bonus by bosses, corporate robber-barons. No banker sees the inside of a courtroom. No financier is charged with theft, with fraud, with racketeering. The law does not apply to the elite. Even murderers and rapists who are somehow brought before the court are only put away if their criminal overlords want it to happen. Judges are bought. Juries are bribed and intimidated. This system needs a purge.
In the past, if you had no talent, no ambition, and no skills, there was only one job you could do: you could become a banker. But then, our banks were deregulated, lessons learned from the Great Depression were forgotten, and the banks were allowed to gamble with the money of pensioners. And the banks lost. They lost it all. But were the bankers punished? Sent to prison? No. Not one. Were they fired? No - they were given bonuses. Were they forced to shut their doors? No, they were bailed out by corrupt governments using money from the very pensioners whose money they lost. They borrowed against our future and gave the money to the bankers. And now they ask that we embrace austerity because our country is so far in debt. And the bankers? They are not smug in the knowledge that they defrauded the world. They are not celebrating their victory over the middle class. No, they are so blinded by the broken and corrupt system that they don't even think they've done anything wrong. We must pry their eyes open and make them face the fire of our fury.
They tell us that their products are safe. Who knows? Maybe it's true. Maybe the poison they use to kill insects that feed on our fruits and vegetables does not affect mammalian life. But then, what about our bees? They are dying off in record numbers. There are places in the world where insect pollination no longer happens - where people have to pollinate each flower by hand. This corporation is reaping short term profits at the expense of the people being able to eat an apple or an orange in the future. And this is not news. This is known! Known and ignored by their well-bribed government officials and their quack-scientist slaves. If they maintain that their product is safe, then I say we feed it to them.
When they don't want to do their deals in the light of day the powerbrokers of Gotham come here. When they want to perform acts they wouldn't perform in front of their families, they visit the Carmine. The rats and roaches are witnesses to all manner of sick crimes, not to mention the back room deals that have parcelled up this city to corrupt officials and crime lords. Now that we know where to find them, we will hide, we will wait, and we will listen. And then we will throw back the curtains and shine the light on their sordid business and expose them to our rage.
Guns and ammunition - weapons of war are the ultimate luxury good. When you fire a gun, you literally burn your money in a small explosion that sends a metal projectile down the gun barrel at high velocity. Is there anything more frivolous? There is no more heavily subsidized industry in the world. But they don't just use our money to make weapons, no they use our tax money to lobby and bribe politicians the very politicians who gave it to them so they can get even more! We don't require the right to bear arms - we only require the will to use them.
Mendo soap. Sounds innocent, doesn't it? But who is making the soap? Mendo imports illegal immigrant laborers, luring them to this city with the promise of a new life and then forces them to work under threat of deportation. We should not begrudge these innocents of making a living. What we should rail against is the globalization that forces our workers to compete with them - the superpower corporations who have seen all of our cross-border trade protections removed so that they might pillage foreign countries. And the result? The lives of workers all over the world destroyed. We welcome these brother workers for they shall swell our ranks.
When was the last time any pharmaceutical company announced a cure? They don't search for cures anymore. Cures are bad for business. If you cure someone you can only have them as a consumer once. But if you manage their condition, well, then you have a consumer for life. For-profit pharmaceutical research will never cure the diseases of our time. They prey on your compassion and your guilt and use it for their own gain. Stop funding them. Stop giving them our tax dollars. Take their research and give it back to the people who will use it for the common good.