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Batman: Vengeance is a 2001 video game based on the superhero of the same name, that was released on all major platforms of the sixth generation of console games. It was developed and published by Ubi Soft in conjunction with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Comics.
|Developer(s)||Ubi Soft Montreal|
|Platform(s)||PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Xbox[note 1], Microsoft Windows|
|Release||PlayStation 2 & Game Boy Advance|
The game is based on the television series The New Batman Adventures, itself a successor to the acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series. The game's plot revolves around Batman investigating the mysterious circumstances of the apparent death of his arch-nemesis, the Joker, but he soon finds himself entangled in a web of his other villains' schemes, like Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy, all while trying to stop the Joker's plan to destroy Gotham City, who might not be dead after all.
Based on most of the game's character designs and appearances, Batman Vengeance would seem to take place after the conclusion of Batman: The Animated Series, but before the start of The New Batman Adventures. Plot points that support this include Mr. Freeze still posing as a threat (as his appearance in The New Batman Adventures episode "Cold Comfort" was the last time he was seen prior to Batman Beyond), as well as the fact that Batgirl is the Dark Knight's only active sidekick in the game.
Batman by this point is well established as the guardian of Gotham City, with the game sharing the voice cast, production design, and continuity of the DC animated universe. During the course of the game, Batman is monitored and assisted by Batgirl in the Batcave.
Chapter 1 - A Girl To Die ForEdit
While looking over Gotham City, Batman spots a tied up woman on the roof of the Gotham Chemicals building and rescues her from a bomb planted by the Joker. After taking the unconscious woman to safety, Batman learns from a card in her pocket that her name is Mary Flynn, and from a letter left by the Joker for him that the former has kidnapped Mary's son, Toby, and is holding him for ransom, threatening to kill him if Mary does not pay up soon. Returning to the Batcave, Batman tasks his sidekick Batgirl with looking up more info on Mary Flynn, while he enters the training room to do same practice (which serves as a tutorial for the player, teaching them about the game's combat and Batman's various gadgets, all while they are guided by Batman's butler Alfred). Afterwards, Batman returns to Batgirl, who has found no files on Mary Flynn or Toby whatsoever, except the location of Mary's apartment. Batmans arrives at the apartment, only to witness Mary being kidnapped once again by the Joker's goons, but he chases them across several rooftops and eventually defeats them, rescuing Mary, whom he then leaves a transmitter that allows him to track her, if she ever runs into trouble again.
Later that night, Batman uses the transmitter to track Mary at a partially demolished Gotham bridge, where he battles more of the Joker's goons and finally confronts the Clown Prince of Crime, as well as Mary, who reveals herself to be the Joker's companion Harley Quinn; Toby was never real and the abduction was merely a farce to lure Batman into a trap. Batman battles the Joker and emerges victorious, throwing the villain off the bridge. However, when he tries to save him, the Joker refuses his help and instead electrocutes Batman with his joy buzzer, while he falls to his apparent death. A distraught Harley attempts to commit suicide, but Batman saves her and then allows her to leave, as he still has the transmitter that allows him to monitor her activities; believing that the Joker is still alive, Batman considers Harley his only opportunity to learn more of the Clown Prince of Crime's true plans, thus making her a more valuable asset on the outside than she would be in prison.
Chapter 2 - In Cold BloodEdit
Sometime later, as Batman and Batgirl continue to keep tabs over Harley, they are alerted to an attack by Mr. Freeze on a scientist named Isaac Evers at Gotham Industrial Research, as Freeze has recently received a tape with a promotional video for Promethium, a drug created by Evers to treat cryogenically frozen people, such as Freeze and his wife, Nora; Freeze has apparently used the drug on himself and Nora before, but to no avail, which infuriated Freeze, and now he plans to kill Evers, believing that he intentionally sent the tape to taunt him. Arriving at the Gotham Industrial Research complex, Batman battles his way through Freeze's goons and eventually confronts Mr. Freeze, but he summons his remaining goons to fight Batman, while he abducts Evers and escapes the complex in a helicopter. After defeating Freeze's goons and escaping from an ice block that the villain trapped him in, Batman gives chase in the Batwing, but Freeze throws Evers out of the helicopter, forcing Batman to save him, while Freeze escapes. After saving Evers, he explains his work and what Freeze was after, before lying to Batman that the source of his funding originates from a grant supplied by the Wayne foundation. Knowing this to be a lie (as his alter-ego is Bruce Wayne, the CEO of Wayne Enterprises), Batman tells Evers to go into hiding, while he returns to the Batcave to learn more about the real source of Evers' financial backing. Unable to access Evers' financial records remotely, Batgirl suggests Batman to return to Gotham Industrial and hack into its data center.
Once there, Batman discovers that Mr. Freeze and his goons have returned as well, to find and abduct Evers again, and have hacked the complex's security system, while also planting several bombs through the building. Thus, Batman is forced to quickly make his way through the hacked security system and gain access to the data center, where he hacks three data hubs, allowing Batgirl to download Evers' files. As Batman travels through the rest of the complex, battling Freeze's goons and trying to find Evers before the villain does, Batgirl updates him on the info recovered from Evers' files: the scientist had his funding pulled about a year ago, due to Promethium being far too unstable, as it contains several flammable particles; Evers was able to successfully continue in his research after receiving funding from the Joker, with every rise in Evers' budget coinciding with a successful bank heist of Joker's doing, implying that the villain had plans of his own for the drug. Batman eventually confronts Mr. Freeze, who is still searching for Evers, and defeats him, but his armor gets severely damaged and Freeze's body begins to overheat, forcing Batman to encase him in an ice block with his own freeze gun, to save his life.
Chapter 3 - Plant FoodEdit
Meanwhile, Batgirl is tracking down Harley using the transmitter but finds only Hamilton Hill, the mayor of Gotham, buying a package from a mysterious masked individual at the train station. Elsewhere, an unseen individual leaves Poison Ivy a vial of a mysterious green substance. Batgirl informs Batman of what she has seen and then boards the train to catch the masked individual, but he attacks her, forcing Batman to follow the train in the Batmobile and then board it himself, to rescue Batgirl. After fighting his way through several human-plant hybrid creatures, Batman rescues Batgirl, but the individual gets away in a stolen car, so Batman gives chase in the Batmobile. The individual eventually crashes off the road, but he manages to escape. While investigating the scene of the crash, Batman and Batgirl find an apple belonging to Poison Ivy, implying that Harley has intentionally used the transmitter to lead them to another villain's scheme. At the Batcave, Batgirl analyzes the apple and discovers that it is invested with a special mutated worm, while Batman tracks down Mayor Hill to the ruins of Gotham Chemicals. Once there, Batman finds the entire place infested with mutated plants and more humanoid plant creatures, which he battles, and eventually finds Hill, from whom he then learns about Poison Ivy's plan: the chemical that she received from an unknown source holds unique particles that, when exposed to any type of plant life, transforms plants into sentient and vicious creatures; deciding to use this to her advantage, Ivy created several "upgraded" plants with the help of this chemical, and then put them inside various politicians and businessmen, including Hill, through apples and other foods, so that she could subsequently blackmail them for money, power, and even environmental donations, otherwise she wouldn't give them the "food" necessary to prevent the plants from consuming them on the inside (which was what Hill was buying earlier from the masked individual).
After learning of Ivy's scheme, Batman is suddenly attacked by the same masked individual - revealed to be a superior version of Ivy's humanoid plant creatures - but he manages to defeat him and throws him into an acid tank down below. Afterwards, Batman is informed by Batgirl that Ivy learned about the origin of the chemical at Gotham Chemicals and had her plants begin rebuilding the complex, so that she could create more of the antidote for the people infected with her plants, to make sure that they follow through on their deals, but Harley has alerted Batman towards Ivy's activities, to stop her from going too far with her schemes. Batman eventually confronts Poison Ivy, just as Hill was about to buy a vial of the antidote from her, and she summons a massive plant monster to kill the Dark Knight, but he manages to kill it, alongside the rest of Ivy's plants, by electrocuting them, after learning of the plants' weakness from Batgirl. With Ivy defeated, Batman obtains the antidote and gives it to Mayor Hill, to use it on himself and the rest of the victims of Ivy's schemes.
Chapter 4 - Fool's GraveEdit
Batman returns to the Batcave, severely injured, where he proceeds to explain to Batgirl what has happened: after apprehending Poison Ivy and exiting the ruins of Gotham Chemicals, Batman spotted some of the Joker's goons hijacking a blimp, and decided to go and speak with Harley, who seemingly gave up her life of crime following the Joker's death. She informed him that, with the Joker gone, some of his men were still operating on their own and left with some of the Joker's "toys" and the blueprints to the historic Gotham Gasworks. Arriving there, Batman discovered that the Joker's men were sending his flammable toys into the pipe network, which lead throughout the entire city, and opened the gates to the sprinkler system to flood the complex's pipes, in order to stop the toys. After defeating the Joker's goons, Batman found a tied up Isaac Evers, the apparent mastermind behind the Gasworks plot, who claimed that he only wanted to burn down Gotham Industrial in order to collect on the insurance money, as he couldn't collect on the damage left by Mr. Freeze without revealing his financial backers, particularly the Joker. With the Joker having funded the research with filthy lucre, Evers would be arrested for criminal facilitation and conspiracy if he revealed his affiliation with the notorious criminal and resorted to hiring the Joker's goons and using his equipment in order to throw the cops off his trail after burning down his business, but the gang eventually turned on him, tied him up, and embarked on their own agenda of sending the toys throughout the city. Afterwards, Batman took the tied up Evers to Commissioner Gordon and the police, who were waiting for him outside, but Gordon was suddenly hit by a Batarang and Batman was framed for the incident. Hunted by the police, Batman barely managed to escape from them after a long chase across the rooftops and through several buildings, as well as destroying a police helicopter; and was picked up by Batgirl in the Batmobile, who returned with him to the Batcave.
Chapter 5 - Infernal JestEdit
With the police now after him, Batman's investigations shift towards discovering who has framed him and how everything that has occurred since the Joker's death is connected. He ultimately decides to investigate the Joker's old hideout at the Funnibose Warehouse, hoping to find Harley or any other useful information, and disguises himself, to avoid police attention. At the warehouse, Batman finds it still swarming with the Joker's toys and goons, but no sign of Harley. However, he comes across a knife that the Joker was holding the night he fell from the bridge, confirming that the Joker is still alive.
Returning to the Batcave, Batman realizes that, with the Joker's plans occurring over such a long period of time, his end goal is massive and threatens to destroy the entire city, while Batgirl tracks the blimp stolen earlier by the Joker's goons to Gotham Gasworks. Once Batman arrives there, the Joker finally resurfaces on the roof of the building, joined by his gang, and reveals that he was behind the entire crime wave that occurred after faking his death, by subtly manipulating the other villains and using Isaac Evers' research, having worked with the scientist and funded all his experiments and operations through his ill-conceived fortune, to produce large quantities of the highly flammable Promethium; weeks earlier, the Joker had arranged the fake kidnapping scheme to fake his own death in order to reside in the shadows and out of the police and Batman's scope, while he manipulated the other villains: he was the one who sent Mr. Freeze the promotional tape on Promethium to provoke him into attacking Evers' lair, so that his men could convince Evers to hire their services in an insurance scam with the use of Gotham Gasworks; he also gave Poison Ivy the plant enhancement chemical and used her schemes to his advantage, as Ivy rebuilding Gotham Chemicals allowed him to later mass-produce his own signature Joker toxin in a quiet fashion, without Batman noticing; and finally, he also used Harley to relay false information to Batman, to send him deeper into his plot at the Gasworks and ultimately frame him for attacking Commissioner Gordon. Using Evers as a scapegoat for the earlier Gasworks scheme, the Joker reveals that he manipulated Batman into opening up the pipes to the sprinkler system, which the Joker now plans to pump with his Joker toxin, mixed with Evers' altered drug to make it highly flammable, all over the city through a feed tube connected to the previously stolen blimp, now filled with the deadly compound, and burn the city to the ground, while its citizens choke to death on their own laughter. The Joker's ultimate "joke" is that Gotham would be completely destroyed, with the punchline being that Batman has been unknowingly manipulated all along to aid the Joker's plans.
Having revealed his plan to Batman, the Joker prepares to escape in the blimp and watch Gotham from above as it becomes engulfed in flames and toxin, leaving behind Harley and several of his goons to slow the Dark Knight down. As the Joker boards his blimp, Batman battles his goons and manages to shut down the gas flow, before confronting Harley and one of the Joker's lieutenants, armed with a jetpack, explosives and flamethrowers. After defeating the lieutant and subduing Harley, Batman manages to board the Joker's blimp just in time before it takes off, where he successfully stops the flow of Promethium and Joker toxin in the sprinkler system. However, the Joker has a backup plan and prepares to use the remaining compound stored in the blimp to destroy the city by setting the blimp on a collision course with the heart of Gotham, the City Hall, to explosively release the compound into the air. Nevertheless, Batman deteriorates the gas and disables the auto-pilot, after solving a mechanism created by the Ace of Knaves to protect the auto-pilot controls, before destroying the blimp and defeating the Joker, saving him for falling to his death, and thus foiling his plans for good.
In the aftermath, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Harley, and the Joker are all locked up in Arkham Asylum, while Commissioner Gordon calls Batman to thank him for saving the city and apologize for sending the police after him, as they have found Harley's fingerprints on the Batarang that hit him. As Gordon wonders how Batman has figured out that the Joker was alive from the beginning, the Dark Knight disappears and retreats to look out over the city, when the Bat-Signal ignites behind him.
Vengeance took environmental and character designs from The New Batman Adventures, and starred most of the main voice cast from both it and its predecessor, Batman: The Animated Series. The voice cast includes Kevin Conroy as Batman, Mark Hamill as the Joker, Tara Strong as Batgirl, Diane Pershing as Poison Ivy, Michael Ansara as Mr. Freeze, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. as Alfred Pennyworth, Arleen Sorkin as Harley Quinn, Bob Hastings as Commissioner Gordon, and Lloyd Bochner as Mayor Hill.
Batman Vengeance received average reviews from critics and fans alike. The game's praise mainly went towards the voice acting, story, and cinematic cutscenes. There was criticism for the first person mode, which limited player's abilities in-game. The PC version drew a lot of mixed or negative reviews due to complex and sometimes confusing controls.
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