Rocksteady's impeccable Arkham trilogy is coming to a bitter-sweet end later this year, with the much anticipated release of Batman: Arkham Knight - but have the developers just accidentally given away the secret of its climactic conclusion?!
There's already been much speculation surrounding the details of the final game's story, especially after Arkham City's jaw-dropping ending had the Joker killed off.
Shockingly, it seems the developers aren't done murdering major characters, after a rather unlikely source - the game's promotional statute - has hinted at the next victim on the hit list, and you won't believe who it is.
Let's Get Detecting
The 12-inch statue, included in the limited edition version, looks super cool and no doubt earns its place on every self-respecting fan's mantlepiece.
But take a closer look and a potential spoiler for Arkham Knight reveals itself. Check it out:
For those of you without a magnifying glass, the plaque reads:
"From a grateful city, in memory of the Gotham Knight."
"In memory"? Could that mean the crime-fighting billionaire Bruce Wayne has finally bit the dust, joining his arch nemesis six feet under?! It would certainly be an incredibly bold - not to mention heartbreakingly tragic - full stop to the epic series.
Careless Accident or Intentional Diversion?
I can't help but think that surely the developers wouldn't have been so careless as to give away such a pivotal plot point six months before the game's release.
Seemingly cautious of possible spoilers, Rocksteady ensured that previously released images of the figurine didn't give so much away, including a modified version of the engraving that just read 'The Gotham Knight,' as seen below:
Considering this, it seems the developers were keenly aware of the overly revealing nature of this limited edition statue. So why blow the surprise now?
Well, what if they did it on purpose? What if it's all an elaborate ruse to make us - and the people of Gotham - think he was dead?
The Dark Knight Rises... Again
There's certainly precedent for this, as it wouldn't be the first time fans have been tantalized by a faked Dark Knight death.
In Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises Batman seems to die in a nuclear explosion over Gotham’s bay, but actually escapes to start a new life with Selina Kyle. Similarly, in Frank Miller's comic series, The Dark Knight Returns, Bruce Wayne appears to succumb to a fatal heart attack, only to reawaken later in his coffin.
Could Rocksteady be following this teasing tradition, setting us up to think Batman has perished, only to bring him back in the final moments? I think it's quite likely.
But the question remains: Why would there be a memorial to the Gotham Knight if he wasn't actually dead?
Well, the key to the answer lies right under our noses...
The so-called 'Gotham Knight' is actually the Arkham Knight
Think about it. What if by the end of the game, things got so drastic Bruce Wayne was all but forced to fake his own death? What if the truth of his identity had been compromised and he needed an exit plan?
The game's alleged plot details that recently leaked on 4chan claim that the Arkham Knight is in fact a clone of Bruce Wayne made by Amanda Waller. As such, the Arkham Knight would share the same DNA as Wayne. See where I'm going with this?
The statue is Bruce Wayne's clone!
What if Bruce killed his clone and dressed him up in the original Batman suit, thereby tricking everyone into thinking he was dead and allowing him to disappear and lead a (relatively) normal, crime-free life. It would certainly be a satisfying ending to the series, and make that limited edition statue all the more awesome!
What do you think? Is Rocksteady cleverly teasing the end of their game, or have they blown the twist 6 months too early?
We'll have to wait until June 2nd to find out for sure, when the game comes to PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One.