P09A: Riddler's Challenges - Park Row - Batman: Arkham City
Before we get to the Park Row Riddles I need to explain the truth behind this new section of the guide...
The different major sections in the game are logically separated by Part Numbers -- and this is Part Nine of the WTG -- but this part is a bit different than all of the parts that came before it in that it is what I think of as the first of a pair of side-trips that we will take while playing the game. Bear with me for a moment while I explain the logic in this, the advisability, and why you should do it, OK?
When the masters crafted a story or play they did it in the traditional five acts -- Batman Arkham City is also divided up into five acts, but they are unequal in length and further blurred by having common contents so that it is actually difficult to see where one act ends and another begins. Because of that I made no attempt at all to remain loyal to that system, thinking it better advisable to focus upon a logical flow because that is easier on you, the player.
With that in mind up to this point we have been playing systematically but not in a reactionary way -- that changes now.
-- Side-Trip Number One --
This is the junction point in the game where obtaining a lot of the optional stuff is not only advisable but a really good idea -- assuming you are not playing the game on Easy. If you are playing the game on Easy this really will not matter so much to you, but if you are playing it on a difficulty above Easy it will. Why? I am glad that you asked that!
In Arkham City the biggest difference between the difficulties other than that the thugs in the game have more hit points and are slightly more challenging with each difficulty you go up, the increase in challenge is best represented by the boss battles -- and how you take damage. The Easy difficulty is a totally honest assessment in its label -- it really is easy in other words! But Normal and above are different in that you can (and likely will) die a lot when facing the Mini-Boss Mobs, the Predator Battles with more than 8 opponents, and of course the Boss Battles.
The game compensates for that by allowing you to increase your characters level -- and in addition to making your character more resilient and improving their combat abilities, leveling them up is how you gain access to the improved and advanced kit items -- basically your Gadgets and Combat Moves. First I cannot stress how important that is just for being able to access some of the optional parts of the game and of course for gaining access to the puzzles that protect many of the Riddler's Secrets. But Second, leveling up is the only way for you to improve the combat capabilities and the odds in Catwoman's favor!
In the world of Arkham City Catwoman is something of an enigma in her own right. If we were playing the classic pencil-and-paper version of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, when you rolled the character of Catwoman, her alignment would have come out Chaotic Neutral. The thing is she totally plays that alignment to the letter -- she is unpredictable, she is internally-motivated, and she is capable of incredibly fierce aces of loyalty while at the same time equally capable of (and prone towards) making selfish decisions.
The thing is having her to play in the game adds so much to it in terms of the story and innate satisfaction that it is simply not a question -- you want her in the game! But having her in the game means that we have to do quite a few more level-ups than we would ordinarily do if she was not a consideration.
That being the case, there are two times in the game when we are going to want to make side-trips whose basic goal is to level-up through obtaining Riddler's Secrets and unlocking extra content as well as playing the side-missions. The trick to this is knowing what to do, and not spending too much time on any one activity so that it does not become more work than pleasure!
As we are about to begin the final slope leading to a major revelation in the story -- as well as the process of conflict resolution for several of the outstanding issues in the story and the game -- this is logically the point at which we should be making our first side-trip. And so we are! Considering how much we benefit in the game by doing this, I want to strongly encourage you to follow along with me as I walk you through this diversionary path and add gobs of XP to Batman.
Are you with me? Yeah? Good!
So while we work our way through this first side-trip I would like you to focus your attention on two basic aspects and goals: obtaining Riddler Secrets and completing side-missions. Really that is all we need to be concerned with -- because in addition to that, most of this first side-trip is dedicated to solving Riddles as well!
In the RIDDLES Windows of the BACK Menu in game you will see that they are broken out by district in a sort of interactive ticklist that is meant to both show you what you have completed and what remains, but also provide you with direct access to the relevant information pertaining to each of the Riddler’s Secrets that are represented by those tick boxes.
For example if you look at the screen for the Industrial District you will notice that like the others the Secrets are broken out into five distinct lines, each of which contains a well-ordered set of Secrets. Line One of the list contains 8-Trophies, 2-Riddles, a set of 3-Joker Balloons (represented by a single icon), and finally the Catwoman's Trophy that is associated with that line.
The In-Game Ticklists Reveal Riddles and Your Progress
The first thing that you need to understand is that there is no logical order to this! These 8-Riddles may be scattered throughout the district (and probably are) with one of them being inside of a building while the other seven are scattered outside. You might thing that is logical but when you discover that one of the Trophies in Line 3 and two in Line 5 are ALSO in that building, you probably are wondering why they did it this way when it would have made more sense to group all of the Trophies in that building on one line. I do not have the answer to that question, other than the observation that they did not...
It is this prevailing circumstance however that prompts me to tell you -- and remind you again and again -- that interrogation of the Greenies that you will find in the various groups of thugs is a very important activity and goal for game play no matter what part of the WTG you are working through at any given moment. The availability of Smoke Pellets as well as the stunning capability of the REC and the ability to disable guns using the Disruptor are valuable tactics that you should be making use of! Whenever you are in a battle in which a Greenie is present, the last thing that you should be doing each and every time is interrogating him!
This guide assumes that you are doing just that! This guide was written with the assumption that you have revealed the locations of all of The Riddler's Secrets on your game map! That is why we do not include the actions of finding and picking them up as part of the regular flow in each section -- because you should not need that information as it is provided for you by the Greenies! Equally strategic is the practice of examining the map when you are inside a building to determine if there are additional Secrets present, and obtaining them while you are there so that you do not have to constantly return to and enter and exit from the same buildings over and over again.
This is the basic strategy that we are using to deal with the Secrets -- and make no mistake about it, each and every one of those Secrets is important and not just because they give us XP, but also because they are directly connected to the Enigma Side-Mission and indirectly play a role in the Shot in the Dark and Acts of Violence side-missions as well!
Note that this is not officially noted anywhere in the game, but some of the Political Prisoner rescue events and your encounters with the sniper Dead Shot are linked to Riddler's Secrets.
So, to sum this up for you, these two side-trips -- of which this is the first -- are about empowering you to unlock additional content for those three side-missions in order to complete them before the end of the game. And now, with that matter covered, it is time to begin the first side-trip and solve all of the Riddles for the Park Row District, as well as retrieve the Secrets that are contained there and complete any of the elements of the side-missions that present themselves to us during this process!
--== The Park Row Riddles ==--
Park Row Riddle 1-1: So first thing we will do is head back to the Courthouse -- and once you are there, head to the northeast looking for the cage where Catwoman's flat is located. Go into the fence cage and look up at the window with the cat in it and scan to solve the riddle ""It's far from Purr-fect, but she calls it home."
Park Row Riddle 1-2: Now look on the map and, south of the Courthouse is the next riddle marker we want in the alley by the "Park Row" label -- yes, I know this is the Mad Hatter's place and we could have done this while we were there -- sorry mates. Just head back and go inside, and look on the table for a copy of the book Alice in Wonderland -- scan that to solve the riddle "I wonder how you can land an appointment with this milliner? Perhaps it would be best to book?"
Park Row Riddle 2-1: (You should already have this but if not get it now) On the Courthouse there is a flagpole sticking out of the front -- stand at the end of it, line up the ? in the street ahead and scan it to solve this riddle!
Park Row Riddle 2-2: East of the Courthouse and north of the Church there is a collapsed section of highway -- head to the Riddle Marker on that and then down to the fence that seals it off from the street below. Climb the fence, turn to look back at the bridge and scan the triangle signs to solve this riddle!
Park Row Riddle 2-3: Head back to the Courthouse and take out the group of thugs out front then walk down the street towards the large ? we scanned from the flagpole -- on the right-side of the street just past the barricade is a doorway that says "Strange Minds" that you need to scan to solve the riddle "Do you have Strange thoughts? Maybe you should seek help?"
Park Row Riddle 3-1: Exit the Courthouse and turn right down this street and you will find the Dent Campaign Office with two signs out in front. Scan the two signs to solve the riddle "DA campaign special. Get two votes for the price of one."
Park Row Riddle 3-2: Inside the Church there is a table with a photo of a cop you should recognize from the last game -- Officer Aaron Cash! Scan the photo of Cash and his family on the table in the alcove on the right side of the Church Hall to solve the riddle "If you find the name, does the Cash come hand in hand?"
Park Row Riddle 3-3: South of the Courthouse is a Movie Theater, head to that and look on the wall for a poster that reads 'The Terror' and scan that to solve the riddle "I am an actor who can transform a film with the final cut. Who am I?"
A Melody of Park Row Riddles
Park Row Riddle 4-1: Inside the Courthouse in the judge's booth there is a gavel laying on the counter -- scan that to solve the riddle "BANG BANG! Order in the Court."
Park Row Riddle 4-2: On the west side of the map there is a TYGER Confiscated Goods Vault that you can easily spot on the map. Scan that at the marker to solve the riddle "This den is where the vicious animals take your treasure. Is it theft if it's already stolen?"
Park Row Riddle 4-3: Look on the map for the label Ace Chemical Building and head into the alley directly east of there (to the marker) and scan the sign that says 'Crime Alley' to solve the riddle "Six legs went in and only two came out. Where am I?"
Park Row Riddle 5-1: In the basement of the Courthouse in a holding cell is Calander Man (he is actually associated with an Achievement but that is a different story). Go to him and scan him to solve the riddle "Who's crazy enough to date this guy?"
Park Row Riddle 5-2: To the east of the Confiscated Good Storage Vault is a flower shop called Baudelaire that belongs to Pamela Isley -- scan the front of the shop to solve the riddle "Has this flower turned over a new leaf?"
Park Row Riddle 5-3: Go to the Ace Chemical Building and scan the sign on top of it to solve the riddle "Acing the chemistry test will illuminate you."