It's taken over three years to find, but some persistent players have finally discovered Batman: Arkham City's long-since hidden secret - and its revelatory implications may impact Rocksteady's third and final game in their epic trilogy!
Despite the abundance of easter eggs already discovered in Arkham, one secret has remained so elusive that its taken until now to uncover. And remember, this game has been out since 2011. It was so well hidden that the developer Rocksteady had to finally show mercy and drop everyone a hint.
Ready to break out your detective skills?
A Mysterious Youtube Account
Recently, a strange Youtube channel was created named 'JG Jour,' meaning 'Julian Gregory Day' ('jour' being French for 'day'), i.e. the real name of the date-obsessed DC villain, Calendar Man. It is believed that the account was in fact created by the developers themselves, after a video titled 'Arkham City secret?' was posted with the following description:
There's something unwritten from Calendar Man - the world has yet to know. Telling outright would spoil the fun; a tease will suffice for now.
That certainly sounds like a cryptic riddle from the makers of the games themselves. But what exactly was in the video?
The video showed Batman approaching Calendar Man's cell, who often talks about various topics when confronted on specific days of the year - like Thanksgiving, or Christmas Day. This time, however, the mysterious player triggered some dialogue that had never before been heard. But the video cut off before any details could be revealed!
So What Triggered This Brand New Secret?!
There was no way to know what day the player in the video visited Calendar Man on, making it seemingly impossible to see what he would have divulged. So, fans began investigating...
Following one clue, players realized the profile image of the Youtube user pictured a specific day - July 17. But this date didn't prompt anything from the dastardly villain. What next?
Well, one shrewd Youtube user took inspiration from Batman's famed detective talents and started testing out various dates of importance relating to the games themselves and the developers who made them. Luckily, they made a breakthrough!
December 13, 2004
I'm sure this date doesn't particularly mean anything to you - it didn't for me either. However, it is a very significant day for developers at Rocksteady. The game studio was actually founded in December 2004 by Sefton Hill and Jamie Walker, and - judging from this reveal - most likely on this day specifically.
If you change your PC's calendar to December 13, 2004 and visit the villain again, the secret will be revealed. Here's what Calendar Man has to say:
Well, well, well. And on today of all days. Do you remember my early work? Flawed, but it showed promise. Just like you. As your skills improved, I perfected mine. Starting with seasons and moving through the weeks, I became stronger, my work more…elaborate. Days were the secret, Batman, and the end of days is coming. I was there at your beginning and I will be there at your end.
All very cryptic, but there are definitely some hidden messages found within this speech - ones which I believe may point towards the possible resurrection of the Joker himself!
So What Does It All Mean?
If we break the speech down, it starts to make sense as a meta-commentary about the developers themselves.
Do you remember my early work? Flawed, but it showed promise.
This likely refers to Rocksteady's first game, Batman: Arkham Asylum. The game was very positively reviewed by critics, but there were areas for improvement; a criticism that the developers are acknowledging here.
As your skills improved, I perfected mine. Starting with seasons and moving through the weeks, I became stronger, my work more…elaborate.
Rocksteady improved on its first game dramatically with Arkham City, as it introduced more 'elaborate' gameplay mechanics and was generally regarded as an improvement from Asylum.
I was there at your beginning and I will be there at your end.
The final line is very interesting and can be interpreted in two ways. Firstly, Rocksteady is saying that they were there for the start of the series (with Arkham Asylum) and will be there at the end (with Arkham Knight, due for release next year). This is significant as they remained absent for Batman's last game, with Arkham Origins developed by WB Games Montréal. The message is a declaration that they are returning to finish what they started!
Seems to make sense, but is there something more...? Spoilers ahead!
The Joker Returns?!
Arkham City ended with the demise of the Joker himself, bringing an end to the epic conflict between Batman and his most infamous nemesis. OR DID IT? This newly uncovered hidden message may hint at the grinning villain's return!
"I was there at your beginning and I will be there at your end" - Rocksteady wasn't the only one present at the series' start. Joker was there too, in the first game's opening cutscene, no less.
Could we see the Joker's return in Rocksteady's epic conclusion to the trilogy? I think so, especially considering DC's track record when it comes to bringing back characters from the dead. We'll have to wait until Arkham Knight's release in 2015 to find out for sure!
Are there even more game-changing secrets still to be found? Get detecting gamers and tell us about your theories below!