P10F: The Joker -- Boss Battle - Batman: Arkham City
Traditionally the Boss Battle with The Joker consists of a mixture of the different types of enemies because Joker NEVER battles alone. He always has a variety of his creations handy to assist him, and this is no exception to that rule!
-- A Retrospective Look at the Arkham Asylum Joker Boss Battle --
In the previous game the Boss Battle with The Big J came on a rooftop that featured an electrified border that added to the risks, and featured Joker and some Titans, and groups of thugs mixed in for good measure, with the primary strategy being to eliminate the thugs and then the Titans (in that order) as quickly as you could. Of course that battle was fought in stages, and during the second stage Joker activated his Titan Side, which was good for you because in addition to making him stronger and more dangerous it made him stupid. Into the mix were thrown Bomb Boxes, Joker Teeth Bombs, and a mixture of armed thugs, but the real secret to that battle was timing. In the end it was all about timing and your ability to execute specific moves, when you actually wanted to.
If you are getting from this the idea that I am suggesting that you will need to have good control over your timing and be able to execute specific moves that you will choose as you battle Joker, then you are getting it. A lot of the gamers that I worked with while creating this guide found this fight to be very intimidating going in, but once they realized that it too was all about timing, the intimidation level for the battle was sensibly diminished.
Joker Boss Battle Part 1: Gaining Access to the Arena
-- Entering the Loading Bay --
After you open the doors and go into this next area you will notice the lift on the right with a Batman Trophy and a Catwoman Trophy. The last time that we were here we could not access this since we did not have the Sequencer and so could not hack, but that is no longer true! Go ahead and hack the console to open the lift gate, and grab the Trophy before you continue along the path ahead,
As you approach the door that gives access to the main Loading Bay area turn on Detective Mode to spot a pair of sniper thugs. We really need to deal with them, as they block the path that we need to follow to get to Joker.
There are a few ways that you can deal with this -- either use the Disruptor to disable their rifles and then attack them head-on, or you can discretely move along the right side of the area after entering until you have the option of an RB zip up to their level, then doing a double-ledge-takedown -- or a combination of the two!
Once they are down though, the group of regular thugs over on the other side of the room will sound the alarm, and they Katy-bar-the-door, the fecal matter has hit the rotary oscillator! Before you do anything else mind the following: the actual entrance to the Joker Boss Battle is up here where the pair of sniper thugs were through the door here. Once you actually walk through that door the game saves -- so you are locked into the battle even if you quit and reload. So do not go through that door unless you are ready to face the Big J...
I only mention that in case you wanted to deal with the group of thugs in the room below -- not that you have to do that mind you, just in case you wanted to.
Joker Boss Battle Part 2: The Preamble - Joker's Take
--== The Joker Boss Battle ==--
First we should describe and define what you are facing here. The Joker is a Lying Liar McLiar Pants and you need to remember that. The Truth and The Joker are absolute and perfect strangers to each other, so you cannot believe anything that he says. In addition to that, HE picked the arena in which you are having your Boss Battle -- and he picked it for a reason.
There are two sets of tracks running along the sides of this fairly large space, and frequently a set of roller coaster cars will come whipping through the area! This is a danger to you but can also work to your advantage, since they are indiscriminate in who they damage, and luring some of the thugs onto the tracks at an opportune moment can result in their getting hurt rather than you!
The battle begins with just you and Joker -- and he invites you to hit him so you do. Once you knock him down he calls in his reinforcements, which consist of a mixed group of thugs - some regular, some armed with knives, and some who will pick up objects from the environment and throw them at you. There is also one of the one-armed hammer type who we call Mr. Hammer, and a Titan Mob. I am not really sure which of the last two is the most dangerous, but I do know that they can both hurt you.
Finally there is Joker himself, who remains in the mob and helps out with the battle, and do not forget the two trains that frequently rip through the area!
-- Basic Strategy --
Most gamers will acknowledge that this sort of battle is more of a personal thing than an organized fight, and will rely heavily upon the gamer's personal fighting style. While this is true for the most part, there are things that you can do to help tip the battle in your favor, starting with the most obvious point, which is to try not to get hurt.
I am not being a smart ass when I say that! You really need to try to keep them from hurting you because for the enemy this is a battle of attrition, and they only have to hurt you a little bit, as long as each and every one of them hurts you! Joker has a lot of guys to call upon, while you only have yourself, so for you this battle is going to be more of a defensive one than an all-out kicking-ass-and-taking-names barny.
So be sure to make use of the counter move when you know you are about to get hit. Use the dodge move (double-A) to remove yourself from groups of three or more when they close in on you because statistically when you are facing three or more enemies who are in your general area that is when you are most likely to end up taking damage.
Be sure to stay away from Joker, the Titan, and Mr. Hammer until you have the rest of the group thinned out because they are especially good at hurting you if they get close, as each has an AOE attack.
Remember that you must begin attacks on the Titan with a stun ('B') before initiating the rapid-fire 'X' attacks in order to damage him, and when you get to the point where you can ride him, it is always a good idea because you can use him while riding him to take out the remaining thugs and damage Mr. Hammer.
That sums up all of the basic strategy here -- now all you have to do is put it into action, and most important of all, do not get hurt!
Joker Boss Battle Part 3: Putting the Beat-Down on the Big J
-- Resolving the Battle --
As I mentioned before, this all comes down to personal fighting style. Some gamers get through these games as button mashers -- and I am not being insulting when I say that, I really am only being descriptive! For whatever reason some gamers just do not do well with memorizing the different button sequences for specific moves, even though in this game they are really basic sets of pushes! In real fighting games like Moral Kombat you practically need an encyclopedia and months of move memorization training to master their fighting systems, and even then I suspect that some gamers are simply better at that sort of thing than others.
A larger percentage of gamers are, like me, able to master the rudimentary style of fighting in games like Arkham City because we understand that there is actually a trick to this. In the case of large battles like this one, the trick is motion. Seriously! As long as you keep Batman moving, he will not get hurt very often. While this is an exhausting style of fighting for your wrist, hand, and fingers, it is also the single most effective way to do this battle without dying -- not even ONCE.
This is a game however, so it would be best if you tried to do this battle yourself before you even view the video of my run through it. Please? Seriously, please try to win this one on your own and only then watch the video above. You may end up not even needing it!
If you did run into trouble with this battle, watch the video while I explain what is actually happening in its different stages below:
Stage 0: Meeting Joker Face-to-Face -- when you enter the room here is Joker all by his lonesome. He talks to you and invites you to hit him, which you do, and eventually you put him on his back and then he mentions that he has some friends, at which point those "friends" arrive via the roller coaster cars above you.
Stage 1: Adding Opponents -- the first wave of opponents that are added to the battle consists of a mixture of thugs, two of whom are armed with knives, while the rest are inclined to throw things at you.
Stage 2: More Opponents -- while you are engaging the first group Joker, the second wave drops in, which consists of Mr. Hammer and a few Clown-type enemies, the latter being a bit more dangerous than the average thug.
Stage 3: The Final Wave of Opponents -- this wave is added well into the battle, and includes the Titan enemy and more Clown-types. At this point you should be well-engaged in the battle so you may not even notice when this happens.
As you watch the video above you will notice that at no point during the entire battle to I allow Batmak to remain motionless. Around the middle of the battle I get unlucky and tangle with a train, and I lose most of my armor points and a small amount of health, but at no point do I ever drop below 3/4 health, and the reason for that is because I never allowed Batman to stand still!
The traditional approach when dealing with Mr. Hammer is to take out all of the regular and armed thugs before dealing with him, but due to the presence of Joker, who functions as a spoiler in this battle, that is not advisable for the simple reason that while he is mixed into the group for some reason he is more reluctant to use his AOE attack! You can use that reluctance to your advantage here -- and the fact that he telegraphs his intention to do his hammer attack by pulling back on his shoulder, so that is a signal you should watch for.
The first part of the battle should consist of you taking on the thugs and avoiding Joker and Mr. Hammer UNLESS you find that Mr. Hammer is surrounded by thugs, which is when you want to dodge in and execute a rapid-fire attack on him. The point to this is that you get to do damage to him without really risking his being able to hurt you! If you use this tactic repeatedly -- examine the video and you will discover that I was able to take away 3/4 of Mr. Hammer's health using this tactic -- and you can see why this is very valuable, as it makes KO'ing Mr. Hammer much easier once he is no longer hampered by the thugs, who you have pretty much eliminated!
-- The Addition of the Titan --
Once the Titan is added to the melee you have a choice to make: you can follow the traditional wisdom in dealing with him (and a tactic that virtually all serious gamers will suggest to you) and deliver an Ultra Stun on the Titan in order to ride him. If you watch the video you will notice that at NO POINT did I do this. In fact I made it a point to AVOID riding the Titan. Why? Because it is easier to do direct damage to the remaining opponents on foot than it is on the back of the Titan!
-- The Coup de Grâce --
The phrase above is originally French in origins, and literally translates to "blow of mercy" though in modern times it is said to mean "death blow" or "final blow" -- It is often used figuratively to describe the last in a series of events which brings about the end of the sequence and that is how I am using it here -- because what comes next is the decisive actions on your part to conclude this battle!
At this point there are one or two thugs left, play Mr. Hammer, the Titan, and Joker. Mr. Hammer is down to less than 1/4 health, the Titan is down to about 3/4 health, and Joker? Well, that is impossible to say, but considering the number of blows we got in on him he cannot be doing all that well in the health department at the moment, right?
Taking out the remaining thugs is a priority but only because when you get to less than four thugs in the battle the alter their tactics slightly, and emulate Joker, which means they function as spoilers. The role of a spoiler in this sort of battle is to rapidly approach you and interrupt the attack sequences you must use to terminate the special enemies -- they being Mr. Hammer and the Titan. Make no mistake, you need to KO both special enemies now, because this is how you end the battle!
Since Mr. Hammer has taken the most damage, after you take out the remaining thugs he is the logical focus of your efforts as you proceed towards the and of the Boss Battle. If you watch the video you will note that all that was required to take him out once his health drops below 1/4 is a Super Stun followed by a finishing move, which is what I do here.
With Mr. Hammer down, our next target is the Titan - but Joker knows this and he alters his battle tactics to serve as a pure spoiler at this point, since keeping the Titan in the battle is the only way that he can win it, and he knows that. So basically your situation is simple: you need to damage the Titan and avoid being damaged by Joker.
Joker Boss Battle Part 4: Talia to the Rescue
One of the moves that Joker tries to execute whenever you are fully-engaged with the Titan is his stunning move. He does that because IF he can stun you, you are meat for the Titan, who will pound you into the ground like a tent peg! Don't allow Joker to do that, even if it means failing to make your connection with the Titan by dodging away. In the video I illustrate that you can deliver your hits on the Titan and avoid Joker's moves with very little real challenge.
Use stuns against the Titan but only one or two, not the full three, since you just want him standing still while you whittle away his health because if his health is high, when you are prompted to do the rapid-fire attack that will result in you eventually riding the Titan, which we do not want to do. Watch his health and, when it reaches the point that it does in the video -- you can tell when it is low because he does this odd fist clenching following a deep breath move when he is really low on health -- so when you see him do that, deliver the full Super Stun followed by the rapid-fire attack and that will take you right into the finishing move, and down goes the Titan.
Now all that is left is for you to partially incap Joker, at which point you trigger the CS in which you unlock the Achievement "Ghost Train" (25 GS) which is immediately followed by the collapse of the upper tracks for the roller coaster, with the tracks and bracing falling upon you and pinning you to the ground.
-- Enters Talia, Representative of Ra's --
Joker is about to kill you when who should appear but Ra's daughter Talia! And she has a proposal for Joker: if he frees you, she will give him Ra's secret to immortality. She makes her pitch and you are horrified by what she is proposing -- and when she hands Joker her father's sword you are very disappointed in her... But something is odd in the way that she is behaving and, after Joker stuns you with a blow to the head she makes an odd gesture while telling you to follow your heart.
What can this mean? Clearly it was a message for you -- and it should be equally clear that if all the Assassins wanted to do was make Joker the offer leadership, there would be no need to make his releasing you a condition of the offer, now would there? Clearly Talia is up to something!
Before we can find or figure out just what that might be, Talia turns and departs with the Joker, and we fade to black...