Ridden with crime and with corruption, Gotham was home to a number of notorious super criminals such as the Joker, Harley Quinn, Two-Face, Penguin, Riddler, Poison Ivy, Black Mask, Bane, Killer Croc, and Scarecrow. Gotham City's name came from the Gothic architecture it held, which built up an almost terrifying atmosphere that best identified it.
Founding and History
Founding and Early History
In the mid-1600s, settlers from Scandinavia came to America and labored through harsh winters to build the foundations of Gotham City. There were many tales that recounted what the settlers endured, including encounters with mythical beings and fights over Native American burial grounds. Much of Gotham's early history had been garnered through folklore, which was passed down orally during those first trying years. The British eventually took over the settlement.
Almost three hundred years later, refugees from the island nation of Santa Prisca came to Gotham City and believed that God had tasked them with making the city the center of a "Latin Empire." Several of the refugees died, and the survivors returned to Santa Prisca in disgrace.
The Industrial Age
During the mid-1800s, Gotham City began expanding with the influx of several influent Gothamites. The powerful Judge, Solomon Wayne associated himself with the young architect, Cyrus Pinkney in order to redevelop the city for the Gothamites, with the approval of the City Council. Both men believed in the power of those designs to drive out malevolence, and so built many landmarks such as the Old Gotham Cathedral, the Jezebel Mall and Theater, and the Solomon Wayne Courthouse. Henry Cobblepot, a print magnate, also financially backed Pinkney in order to profit from his works, despite Pinkney being in favor of more artistic and civic structures.
Being in rivalry with Wayne, Cobblepot even gave his approval to the seemingly fruitless construction of Gotham Pioneers Bridge, which connected the city's heart (North Gotham) to the southern parts where few settlements existed. That project was, however, a success, as the new land made available saw businesses thriving. "New Gotham" saw rapid growth, became the home of the Gotham Railyards and soon the industrial and financial heart of city. Pinkney's final work for the city before his official death were the plans of Arkham Asylum, that were commissioned by Amadeus Arkham to treat the insane among Gotham's inhabitants.
The Wonder City Exposition
During the end of the 1800s, Ra's al Ghul approached Gotham City Hall and proposed a plan to eradicate crime in exchange for the deed to a section of North Gotham, the original center of the city by then in decline. Though hesitant at first, the City Council agreed upon learning that he possessed more gold than they had ever seen. With the Deed in hand, Ra's began the construction of an utopian city that was powered by clean, sustainable energy, that was provided by Gotham's undiscovered Lazarus Pit, a city that he later named Wonder City and exposed to the Gothamites during the 1906 Wonder City Exposition. As the Mechanical Guardians watched over the population and removed any lawbreakers, Gotham's new benefactor began combining arcane chemicals in an attempt to attain immortality. Wonder Tower, while being a symbol of progress, hid a system to collect lightning and power Ra's al Ghul's experiments.
It soon became clear, however, that the Lazarus Pit's miraculous compound came with side effects. Little by little, Wonder City's populace was cast into temporary aggressive insanity, and chaos erupted in the streets. When Ra's failed to counter that new wave of violence, Gotham City Hall declared the exposition a public health hazard, and ensured that every last of its inhabitants were transported to Arkham Asylum. Ra's, meanwhile, had disappeared without a trace after trying to dig his way to the Lazarus Pit, which caused several streets to collapse, and was never seen again. Wonder Tower remained as a symbol of Gotham's bright future, but new buildings were erected atop Wonder City, and hid its terrible failure.
That was the island of the Arkham family which included only the Botanical Gardens and the Arkham Mansion. A member of that family, Amadeus Arkham, euthanized his mother in the Arkham Mansion as a treatment for her dementia and founded the Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane - a facility that was dedicated to treating and housing insane criminals.
Over many years, Arkham Asylum developed with new facilities and staff being introduced to improve the housing conditions and the effectiveness of the institution's treatments.
Arkham Origins Incident
Black Mask - the city's most notorious crime lord - put a bounty on Batman's head by hiring eight assassins to kill him, including Electrocutioner, Deathstroke, Deadshot, Copperhead, Shiva, Firefly, Killer Croc and Bane. The incident also occurred on Christmas Eve Night. Areas in Gotham included: Amusement Mile, Park Row, Bowery, Jezebel Plaza, Industrial District, Coventry, Diamond District, Burnley and Sheldon Park in areas known as Old and New Gotham, respectively. The two areas were connected by the Gotham Pioneers Bridge.
Cold Cold Heart Incident
Gotham appeared in Cold, Cold Heart, a week after the Christmas Eve Incident. New Gotham was the only explorable area including Coventry and the Diamond District. However, Burnley was not included due to a large ice formation that was created by thugs with cryogenic weapons.
Arkham Origins Blackgate Incident
A Matter of Family Incident
Gotham City was seen from Seagate Amusement Park.
Assault on Arkham Incident
The Suicide Squad entered Gotham in order to break into Arkham Asylum to find Riddler and his cane, and Batman uncovered that while he searched for a dirty bomb that the Joker planted in the city.
Arkham Asylum Incident
Arkham City Incident
Arkham Knight Incident
Nine months after the Joker's death, criminal activity had a downfall. As Scarecrow, the Arkham Knight and Deathstroke made an Alliance, the three of them planned to make Gotham into a city of fear and unmask Batman. Scarecrow later unmasked Batman as Bruce Wayne. In retaliation, Batman arrested all the super-villains to the GCPD Lockup to begin The Knightfall Protocol. In Arkham Knight, central Gotham was seen, including three new islands:
After Arkham Knight Incident
After the possible death of Batman, half of the criminal activity from Gotham City's super criminals had been declined. Jim Gordon later became the new Mayor of Gotham.
- Aaron Cash
- Alberto Falcone
- Alfred Pennyworth
- Black Mask
- Bruce Wayne / Batman
- Calendar Man
- Commissioner Gordon
- Harley Quinn
- Harvey Bullock
- Humpty Dumpty
- Jack Ryder
- Killer Moth
- Maxie Zeus
- Mr. Freeze
- Mr. Zsasz
- Ricky 'Loose Lips' Leblanc
- The Great White Shark
- The Joker
- The Mad Hatter
- The Penguin
- The Ratcatcher
- The Riddler
- The Scarecrow
- The Ventriloquist
- Tweedledum and Tweedledee
- Vicki Vale
- Warden Joseph
- Amadeus Arkham
- Commissioner Loeb
- Cyrus Pinkney
- Dr. Penelope Young
- Frank Boles
- Martha Wayne
- Poison Ivy
- Professor Hugo Strange
- The Electrocutioner
- Thomas Wayne
- Warden Sharp / The Spirit of Arkham
- Amusement Mile
- Arkham Asylum
- Arkham City
- Blackgate Prison
- The Bowery
- Diamond District
- Final Offer
- GCPD Building
- Gotham Merchant's Bank
- Gotham Cathedral
- Gotham Pioneer's Bridge
- Industrial District
- Jezebel Center
- Lacey Towers
- My Alibi
- Park Row
- Royal Hotel
- Steel Mill
- Solomon Wayne Courthouse
- Wayne Manor
Local Surveillance Quotes
- "Some freak's chaining up dead bodies. Sounds pretty nasty. Let's go see!"
- "Be careful. The Bat's got a cannon on his car. He's kicking ass!"
- "I don't get it. What's in it for Wayne? Is that car-tank tax-deductible or something?"
- "Two-Face, Penguin, Riddler. Screw them all. I'm working solo from now on."
- "Anybody seen that Anarky guy? That kid would love this!"
- "So Harley went after the Bat? Good for her."
- "That freaking bat-tank fires non-lethal rounds. It's like getting punched by an angry gorilla."
- "Freaking panic attacks! Freaking fear gas! I barely breathed a whiff of this stuff."
- "I think I took a sniff of that gas. Hard to tell with this messed up crap going on."
- "Weird. All the radio stations are playing that emergency broadcast song."
- "I saw a body chained to a wall earlier. This town's better off covered in gas."
- "Soldiers, bombs, fear gas clouds, tanks absolutely freaking everywhere, crazy Poison Ivy pollen, not to mention the Bat driving his personal war machine all night. Next time I hear there's an evacuation, I'm getting on a bus."
- "Scarecrow pulling this on Halloween. Guess he's got a sense of humor after all."
- "Long time ago, I thought Dent was the Bat. You know. Back when Dent was pretty."
- "Man, Batman gets unmasked, puts away Scarecrow, and he's still out here! Take a night off already, you playboy vigilante nutcase!"
- "I always thought of Batman as a force of nature. This whole Wayne thing ruins it for me."
- "I can't believe the losers in this town spent a decade getting the crap kicked out of them by Bruce Wayne! I can take him easy!"
- "What's a freaking butler going to do? I say while the bat's away, the mice can go on up to Wayne Manor and clean him out."
- "I think I saw Batman earlier. Guy's looking a little hairier these days."
- "Can you believe it? I was at Blackgate, the Asylum, Arkham City. Never seen Batman. Not once. Just lucky, I guess."
- "So, hang on, hang on. If Batman is Bruce Wayne, then who's been playing Bruce Wayne all this time?"
- "I was one of Scarecrow's patients back at the Asylum. I'm glad the Bat got him."
- "First Arkham Asylum, then Arkham City, now this Arkham Knight?"
- "I miss Scarecrow's speeches. Felt real Halloweeny. Riddler's definitely funnier, though."
- "So who's Nightwing? And Robin? I bet they're the same guy."
- "I feel like I lost something, knowing he's Bruce Wayne. You know, when you realize Santa Claus is really that drunk uncle."
- "Yeah. But who the hell was Joker?"
- "Hey! Alright, alright. I've got one. How many billionaires does it take to make a superhero?" "I don't know. How many billionaires DOES it take to make a superhero?" "Three! Two to die and one to never get over it! Hahahahaha!"
- "Ivy saved Gotham? Pfft. Sell out."
- "I don't care who was under the mask. He's the guy that made our lives hell for as long as I can remember. That's the important thing."
- "I wish Joker's Funland was still open. No lines for the Ferris wheel!"
- "You know, I saw my folks get whacked when I was a kid too. Don't see me getting all self-righteous about it."
- "Uh-oh, it's the Waynemobile! Hahahaha!" "Look out guys! Waynearangs! Hahahaha!" "Oh no, he's going to beat us into a bloody pulp with his patented Waynesuit! Hahahaha! Seriously, though."
- "Best Halloween ever! Let's go to the department store and loot some costumes!"
- "So, what? Scarecrow's down. We weren't taking orders from that freak anyhow."
- "Leroy said he saw one of the bodies. It looks like its been crucified." "Knowing Leroy, he had a look." "Of course he did. He's got pictures of that on his phone. He's a sicko."
- "I ain't heard from Beeks in ages. I think he went all religious or something."
- "Hahahaha! I ain't ever had so much fun!"
- "It's always the same, isn't it? Some freak says he wants to kill the Bat. And does he kill the Bat?" "He don't kill the Bat." "Exactly. You'd think they'd know better by now."
- "So, who's controlling the militia now that the Knight's gone?"
- "Riddler's going to regret going after Catwoman. She is more into that whole vengeance thing than the Bat."
- "Man, this whole city's a mess. We need Joker back. He'd get everybody in line."
- "Dead bodies, tanks, mass evacuations. I love Gotham at night!"
- "Man, Penguin's parents were Gotham royalty. He got the accent at school. IF it's for real, anyway."
- "Whatever happens tonight, guys, I want you to know that this was the best Halloween ever!"
- "Whatever is missing is if that freak from Metropolis flew in here."
- "I liked Batman's old car. You know, it had a kind of retro classic car thing going on. Didn't turn into a freaking tank either."
- "Look. The Arkham Knight is just some tough guy with a bunch of soldiers-for-hire in his back. Two-Face, Riddler. Hell, even Penguin. Now they... THEY own this town. They always will."
- "No wonder why everyone's running around so scared. Gotham really went soft without Joker."
- "If you see Batman, shout and charge him. Never fails."
- "Who'd have thought it. Harley found Batman's secret base!"
- "Let's go see the blown up factory! Come on!"
- "Now this is more like it! Gotham really went to sleep after Joker died."
- "I thought Bruce Wayne had better things to do than waste his parents' inherratince."
- "I was wondering if the commissioner will stick around now that his bat buddy's been unmasked."
- "Deathstroke's back in town? And I thought things were gonna calm down."
- "First Joker dies, now the Batman's unmasked. Gotham's going to be a different place from now on."
- "First, an army turns up, then giant plants burst out of the ground. I thought Gotham would be easy pickings tonight."
- "No way I'm working with Scarecrow! I'm working for Two-Face. Half the time, anyway."
- "So, who's Robin? Does Bruce Wayne have a kid or something?"
- "Batman's got a tank?! That's cheating!"
- "Saw the Bat drive straight into a wall like it weren't even there!"
- "Definitely ain't a good day to be a firefighter."
- "I bet I could take these militia guys."
- "That is one nasty looking cloud hanging over ACE."
- "Who's leading the militia now?"
- "Why are the militia still here? I was rooting for Batman kick their ass. This is our city!"
- "I saw it. GCPD was a freaking war zone!"
- "Sounds like the cells are getting cramped at GCPD."
- "Does anyone else believe we're in some sort of psychological experiment? Like, we're all just pawns in somebody's twisted game? No? Oh, yeah. Me neither."
- "I don't care that the gas is gone. Batman still ain't won the fight."
- "If we don't find something soon, I'm punching you in the face."
- "You said you were getting smokes, that's the whole reason we raided that damn place!"
- "I thought Arkham City was fun. But this? This is another level!"
- "I was hired by the Knight to kill Batman, not by an assassin to kill Bruce Wayne!"
- "Does Gotham have robots? Because I think I saw one earlier."
- "We got our asses kicked by Bruce Wayne. Now I need a real job."
- "So, Batman's not a bat? Because I saw him earlier. He looked like a bat."
- "So, if our gear's top-of-the-line, then what's the Bats'? Over-the-line? ON-top-of-the-line?"
- In the first two Arkham games, the entirety of Gotham was only visible in the background. In Batman: Arkham Knight, it was made available to actually explore Gotham City with iconic locations from the comics and movies in 3 separate islands, including the Lady of Gotham. Also, Gotham City was 5 times larger than Arkham City. However, Old Gotham and New Gotham were not available to be explored, although they could be seen and were fully rendered.
- In Arkham Knight, Wonder Tower appeared to have been stabilized with scaffolding after the explosion during the Arkham City Incident. That may have been because Bruce Wayne paid millions to rebuild Old Gotham where his parents died, with the project named Gotham Reborn.
- While exploring Gotham City in Batman: Arkham Knight, many billboards advertised visits to other cities, such as Metropolis and Keystone City. Also, the signs said Metropolis Blue Rail which meant the Gotham Monorail that ran through Grand Avenue Station and left Miagani Island actually lead to Metropolis.
- When connecting the maps of the 4 games excluding Arkham Asylum, the rails could be connected together. The rail line passing through Grand Avenue Station was actually the main stop to deliver residents from Southern Gotham into the downtown area. In Arkham Origins, the rail in Southern Gotham began near the Kaul Brau Brewery and was cut off, but in Arkham Knight, the rail passed by Wayne Tower and exited Miagani Island and lead south. The rail actually lead to Southern Gotham and continued passing through Coventry, the Diamond District and Burnley in Southern Gotham. The higher rail that passed through Grand Avenue Station, was Gotham's Monorail which did not lead to Southern Gotham, but actually lead to Metropolis and Keystone. The Monorail also lead into Arkham City and ended at Amusement Mile. A tall building may have been located in Arkham City to stop the monorail, but it may have been sunken/destroyed by the flooding. The monorail also somehow passed through Park Row and via another monorail leading through Park Row and finished at the very south-west of the Bowery in Arkham City.
- Gotham City can be entered in Arkham City by using a glitch. Nothing outside Arkham City is solid, however.