P06B: The Sewer Tunnels and Subway Maintenance Access Tunnels - Batman: Arkham City
Before we jump back into the story there are some historical and anecdotal factoids I thought it would be cool to cover with you, mostly because you will probably find this all amusing and maybe even interesting, but also because it actually applies to the game.
First, that large culvert we just dropped down to access the tunnel network below is not really a culvert or a hole, but rather it is one of several sleeved access shafts routinely used throughout the 1930's, 40's and 50's for lowering heavy equipment and supplies into the tunnel networks that were being expanded at the time, and, believe it or not, some of these large holes in the ground actually still exist in real life New York City!
In addition to serving as the access points for lowering supplies and repair gear used in maintaining the different inter-connected tunnel networks (including the subway networks that are featured in the game and that stretch in practically every direction below the streets of NYC) they also provide access to the local and borough-wide water duct networks, as well as the original underground water viaduct networks. Of course all of those are over a hundred years old -- in fact some of the tunnels are nearly 200-years-old -- while the most recent addition to the tunnels of New York, are the Gas, Power, and Telecommunications Tunnel System (GPTTS).
The interesting point to this is that many of these tunnels are filled with surprises of a sort the average person might find difficult to believe -- while in the game the surprises are both fitting and... Well... Surprising! There was a story not too long ago about a homeowner who had purchased an old brownstone building in Manhattan and, during renovations, discovered the entrance to an intact wine cellar that evidently belonged to the mansion that originally occupied that city block back in the 1800's. There were even bottles of wine still in the racks, but evidently they were no longer viable. And then there are the spaces below ground that were adapted to new purposes, like the fallout shelter in a midtown building that turned out to have originally been part of another private pneumatic underground railroad that connected some robber barons office building to his home two blocks away.
Greetings Killer Croc!
While the above represents real examples of underground spaces, there are also the stories that everyone has heard -- like the popular Urban Legends of The Mole People, or the secret Nazi base constructed in a long-abandoned and forgotten railroad tunnel, or the network of smuggling routes that was constructed during Prohibition by bootleggers who were thus able to move their illegal libations in large quantities beneath the streets of New York City without being detected by the viscous gangs of ax-wielding Prohibition Agents... These are all, for the most part, pure fantasy! Note that I said "for the most part" there...
An easy search via Google will reveal that there actually is a pretty large number of previously forgotten and long-abandoned tunnels and spaces (often called "Voids") below the streets of Manhattan and New York City. Some of these are impressive -- like the old City Hall Subway Station that was pretty much sealed up intact, and still sports its luxurious tiled walls and vaulted ceilings, with artwork from the 1920's still decorating both surfaces. There was a news report about one small station that was part of a private "subscription" rail line that included a ten-stool marble bar that presumably was once manned by a bartender!
In the underground world of Arkham City in addition to waterfalls, flooded tunnel entrances, and a hidden cell in which a certain prisoner was locked away, there can also be found an easy-to-miss home for one of the more dangerous enemies form Arkham Asylum -- I speak of none other than Killer Croc of course! What the video embedded above to see the easy-to-miss interaction that you can have with that pragmatic SOB!
Strategically if you actually want to be able to exit the tunnels at this end -- after you enter and the gate that you initially opened by hitting the switch now inaccessible due to the gate automatically closing behind you -- you need to seek out the encounter with Killer Croc since that is what causes the gate to become permanently open at this end anyway. I am just saying....
-- A Little Gotham Bat-History For You --
You already know that the imaginary metropolis that is Gotham City actually represents the real world city of New York -- but did you know that the different artists who have worked on the Batman series since the 1940's have -- in addition to using the basic structure of New York City for Gotham and its environs -- routinely borrowed elements from the architecture and layouts of the cities of Detroit, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and London?
While artist Frank Miller joined the army of artists and writers who have helped to make Batman what he is today relatively late (the series was already nearly 40 years old when he started at DC), he is credited with being responsible for much of the iconic expansion and locations in Gotham that featured in the stories -- in fact he is said to have added more unique locations to the canon than any other artist who worked on the series!
Miller is the artist who is often quoted (and misquoted) for his observation that "Gotham City is really New York City during the night time." That is an important distinction -- which you would understand very well if you ever spend time in the City during the two period; night and day are very different places within the City that Never Sleeps...
New York City was originally established as Bruce Wayne's home city (and naturally the Batman's place of residence) during his appearances in Detective Comics as well as the first three regular Batman issues (Spring and Summer 1940) and in fact it was not until Batman #4 (Winter 1940) that writer Bill Finger made the decision to remove Wayne/Batman from the real city of New York to the dark and dangerous streets of the fictional Gotham, largely because the team that created the stories did not want readers in any city to identify specifically with it, the original idea being that this way it could be relevant to everywhere...
"When we first made the decision to recast the location we considered a bunch of different names," Finger explains. "We played with 'Civic City' at first; 'Coast City' was knocked around, but none of those hit on the basic identity that we were looking for.
"One evening in the middle of one this I picked up the New York City phone book and spotted a listing for the name 'Gotham Jewelers' and it clicked. I said, 'That's it! Gotham City! And that was it."
Finger admits that the choice of Gotham did sort of defeat the whole purpose of making Batman's home city more anonymous in the first place, since the nickname had a well-known association for New York City dating to well before Batman's 1939 introduction in Detective Comics, which explains why there are many other businesses in New York City to this day that used the word "Gotham" as part of their names.
The nickname was originally popularized in the early part of the nineteenth century, and was first applied to New York City in November of 1807 in an article written by the celebrated fiction author and political pundit Washington Irving (perhaps best known for his stories The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and Rip Van Winkle), in a story that lampooned New York City's distinct culture and politics.
According to Irving he took the name from the real-world village of Gotham, which is a village in Nottinghamshire, England, and a place that according to folklore was largely known for the unique social group inhabiting the community -- who were widely considered to be idiots, fools, and simpletons. Since that was a well-known and convenient shorthand jab at the time it makes sense, but as that backstory is no longer part of popular culture today, it loses a lot in translation...
But hey there! Now you know both the real-world groins of the word Gotham and how it came to be applied to New York City -- which is likely a lot more than most of your mates know, so you can dazzle them with your knowledge!
-- Back on the Story Trail - In More Ways than One! --
After you battle a group of two regular and one armored thugs you will come to a point in the sewers where in order to proceed you will need to use the Line Launcher to bridge a large gap -- halfway across you need to then Line Launch to the left along a branching sewer line! To do this you need to release the left trigger in order to reset the firing trigger, then target the side-tunnel as you pass it and fire the Line Launcher down it to proceed. It may be a little tricky the first time but you will get the hang of it! Good on ya!
After the first gap where you change tunnels using the Line Launcher (see video) basically you want to go ahead and zip to the other side without changing tunnels on this as there is a Trophy there -- once you have that, note and scan the Catwoman Trophy overhead where the points branch, and then Zip across and change to the intersecting tunnel now. If you go to the wrong end (the end without the gate you need to slide under) just target the far end and zip there next.
Run and slide under the gate ahead and you will hear a conversation of a group of thugs that are below and to the right at the next intersection -- as the ominous music begins to play, kill the Joker Teeth here and make your way along the tunnel you will see the demo-floor but you do not blow this one, you simply stand on it and hit 'Y' to break-through and do a takedown at the same time!
Line Launcher 101
There is a Greenie here so do NOT incap him -- take out the other thugs as usual, and then interrogate him to gain some valuable intel. When you are finished, hack the control box here to open the security gates and hey! You are back in the Subway by the last Jammer! How about that?