Released in 2009 by developer Rocksteady Studios, Batman: Arkham Asylum was one of the biggest hits of the year. Featuring a unique storyline, a large cast of familiar characters from the comics, and a wide array of weapons and gadgets at the player's disposal, the designers did an admirable job of capturing the feel of the comics and films in the gaming medium. Taking place at the titular asylum, the inmates have broken free of their cells and it is up to The Caped Crusader to restore order as well as put a stop to a plot that threatens the lives of all the citizens of Gotham City.
Runs on the PC version:
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Single-segment Easy 1:57:08 by Sean Grayson.
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I love this game so goddamn much. I started this run after running Arkham City, and I found this game to be much less stressful. Batman has less gadgets/abilities so it was quicker to find optimal routes. Since the original runner chose easy, the difficulty helped with just about everything. The runs on this site also helped immensely - Master ZED's original 2:07 run and the 10 or so segments done by honorableJay. Also just reading through the thread helped with my strategy.
The hardest part of this run for me probably was learning how to move the camera while I ran. That was insanity for me to attempt in my early runs but I eventually got good at it. I'm not sure if this is an expected skill for runners, but I still want to express how effing impressed I was when I found out master zed was moving the camera while running. Another trick that was cool to learn is the exploding wall trick where if you roll you can skip Batman's flinch. Also, this is embarassing for me to point out, but I had no idea until recently that there was a quick claw (tap R2 twice). WOW did that help decrease time.
I surprisingly add very little skips to this run that were not mentioned on this site previously so its hard for me to account for the shorter time. But I only beat zed's 2:01 run by about 4 min so that probably makes sense. I kind of just played with a ridiculous urgency, and all the mountain dew I drank during my runs probaby helped. Anyway, I have a list of things I did differently than zed and jay below:
- I only get the critical strikes, double/triple batarang, and sequencer upgrades.
- On the first Titan fight, I make sure I take as much damage as possible as quickly as possible. I do not think the other runs were so eager to take damage like mine is. This fight ends after either a timer runs out or the titan's next hit would kill you.
- When fighting in general, I do not worry about getting critical hits. I try to hit the next guy as correctly timed as I can but also so I don't have to counter. Counters are slow, and on easy getting criticals everytime really doesn't help.
- The Bane fight was not an accident. You can consistently get him to charge 3 times in a row without interruptiong every time. You just have to make sure you are maybe 20 in-game feet away from him right when he gets up from his slam after being hit previously
- The route I take for the snipers on the way to the mansion works very well for me. I get lit up in this one and almost die. But I find it fastest to not take out any of the 7 of them.
- In the first predator in the mansion, I believe honorablejay uses this strategy, but I've practically perfected it at this point that I think that strategy could even work on normal.
- I skip the thug intimidation pause by quick clawing him, although I think zed mentions this skip being used in his 2:01 run.
- The Scarecrow nightmare 2 route I use is very risky, but somehow I pull it off in this run.
- During the 2nd encounter with Zsasz, you can actually throw the batarang at his right elbow and he'll go down. That part of his body is always visible.
- On the way to the penitentiary, you can skip the first group of guys by gliding onto the ledge above them and then gliding to the door. I believe any other route will alert them.
- When taking out the crazies, I quick punch then ground takedown as fast as I can
- On the way to the botanical gardens, I do a lot of rolling as to skip taking out any of the crazies that are running around. Taking those guys out just wastes too much time.
- Different routes for the botanical garden predators. The first is very run n gun, and the 2nd I just have to batarang all of them.
- In the Carl Todd fight, I break the Joker panel before fighting the group as to get them away from that damn Carl in the middle in his chair BREAKING ALL MY COMBOS
- In the botanical garden predator where you have to rescue the hostages, you can take out as many thugs as you want beforehand until the top guy is alerted by the heart monitors.
- Just like scarecrow nightmare 2, I am very aggressive with 3 and this route really has little risk.
- You can skip fighting the guys at the Joker panel on the way to Croc's lair if you have the upgraded range sequencer
- More aggressive line launching in Croc's lair. I also make sure I line launch over water as much as possible as this keeps Croc from spawning. I did not count but in my run I doubt Croc spawns more than like 5 times total, not counting the 2 auto spawn points.
- I also just play the game with a ridiculous urgency. I
- Planting a dud explosive gel in the ivy fight. I HATE it when it does that. I suspect it's because I try to plant it too early because I'm as close to her plant as I can be.
- Scarecrow nightmare 1 - not my usual route. Kind of hesitated and I paid for it with maybe 10 seconds
- Some of the fights did not go well, but I think that's expected. I'm not actually Batman.
Single-segment Hard 2:08:22 by Sean Grayson.
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There was a comment by "honorableJay" back in Feb 2010 where he said "I don't think we'll be seeing a hard mode run of this game for a long time ... the run would be almost 3 hours long since everything = instant death". So yeah, took over three years but it's finally done, in only about 40 seconds slower than the previous easy record. Honestly though once I think about it that comment was kind of what inspired me to do this. Challenge completed.
There were a good amount of adjustments between this run and the easy difficulty route. A lot of easy strats are just straight up impossible on hard. In the early stages where I'd die upwards to probably 20 times on a good day, I'd keep track of where I died the most. And then I'd load save files at those spots and just play those parts until I wasn't getting my ass handed to me. If I couldn't get a strategy for a certain part to work 9 times out of 10 I'd just scrap it and do something less risky. The first botanical gardens and 2nd intensive treatment predators are good examples of this. I knew I just didn't have the time or emotional capacity for hundreds of attempts so that's how I compensated. But believe me, the route is still risky.
Combat was probably the biggest thing that changed from the easy run. I use quick batarangs with ground takedowns instead of the normal fighting with critical strikes. During some of the bigger fights I also batclaw thugs over ledges, into electric gates, or just on the ground if its not required to take them out. It's hilarious how well that strategy works. Although there is one fight that you straight up just have to beast through. As far as I'm concerned, this fight, the one in the mansion just before the 2nd scarecrow nightmare, is the most difficult part of the game (to do fast).
Now is the time where I'd like to give some friendly shout outs to certain parts of the game: Sewers predator, first Botanical gardens predator, 2nd intensive treatment predator, Killer Croc's lair, everytime there were snipers, 2nd and 3rd scarecrow nightmares... ohh man 2nd scarecrow nightmare my god the horror. This play through is only the second time I've ever speed ran the game on hard without dying, and probably my last play through. At least for awhile. Probably 95% of my deaths occurred in the parts I just listed. These were all parts of the game that tested my sanity, and my desire to play this game ever again let alone look at the game cover.
But anyway, who cares what I have to say, watch the run, it's awesome. I'm Batman.
Single-segment PC version Hard 1:47:23 by 'cojosao'.
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Hi, I'm cojosao and this is Batman's game about Arkham Asylum. This run is played on the Steam GOTY version on PC, though I use a DualShock3 controller because I'm more comfortable with it. This game was published in 2009, and it set the standard for future superhero games. Now, it can be beaten in less than two hours on the hardest difficulty. Here's how (in order of appearance in the film):
So the first six and a half minutes consist of an intro sequence of Batman walking with the Joker for a bit. A note: this is really fun to watch hundreds of times when resetting. Around the three-minute mark, you see Batman stand behind Frankie Boles here; this stops him from moving backwards a few steps and saves approximately a full second. Powerful stuff.
Now on to your first taste of Asylum combat. Combat is done quickly in this game via a number of tactics: the ground pound, an instant KO that also leaves Batman very vulnerable; regular punches, which knocks thugs down after a 2-hit combo; and the cape stun, which stuns with the cape. The final thug in any fight will automatically be reduced down to a single hitpoint, allowing Batman to do an extra cool cinematic takedown (which can be skipped with the A button). Also, no counter icons appear on Hard, requiring the player to watch for attacks manually.
During the fight, there's enough time to grab a Riddler trophy behind a vent cover. There are many vent covers in this game, and I use a custom button map to allow the mousewheel to rip open grates. One swift scroll equals about 10 keyboard presses, so you can see how this helps to speed things along, especially over the entire run. In addition, I have custom bound the Xbox B button to the other mousewheel direction, which allows for fast conversation skipping. Using the B buttonbind prevents Batman from punching after every conversation (if you have the PC version, try mashing; it'll always happen.
The weak Titan will have his little heart attack faster if you can manage to take Batman down to low health; on Hard, this requires only 3 hits. After the fight, getting combo batarangs will speed up fights significantly, especially since they knock down thugs for twice as long as a punch.
During the movement sequence in the elevator shaft, and later on as well, you'll notice some camera manipulation during certain jumps. Turning the camera more than 45 degrees from Batman's back makes him jump farther during certain jumps because reasons.
The predator sections of this game are very interesting, because one wrong move and Batman dies. Seriously. In this game on Hard he can take maybe 3 bullets before keeling over. Also, along the way, Batman collects some extraneous riddles: these are for extra experience to get upgrades that will enhance Batman's speed.
After a fight at the Batmobile, you can just ignore Batman's need to scan things and go straight to Medical where Gordon is.
There isn't much to say until Scarecrow's first appearance, which was a pretty terrible sequence overall in this run. However, you'll notice that Batman can hide behind the exploding wall to skip a little bit of waiting.
Bane is a really good boss fight, mimicking every single Titan in the game. It's possible to sort of manipulate him into charging more often by walking, which Batman does. Batman can also punch Bane after every phase and do enough damage to only require two charges on the next phase; this is a very useful tactic.
An unfortunate death to the snipers loses around half a minute, and so Batman decides to resort to his tried and true tactic: rolling through sniper bullets, since they can't hit him while rolling.
The Bell Skip in the Mansion is perhaps the hardest trick in this game. The intended route is to do a lot of chores and stuff in the mansion, fight many many MANY thugs (some with guns), then go through Scarecrow's second nightmare, and then end up at the top of the bell tower to cut the bell. However, with fancy Batarang control and a well-placed hole in the floor, it is possible to cut the bell without doing anything. Then, all that remains is to hit Zsasz in the elbow, punch some friends and escape.
The Penitentiary is a pretty straightforward part of the game, with the Range and Power upgrades acquired to significantly speed up Batman's hacking prowess.
The Botanical Gardens is a really neat part of the game, since it has a predator room in the middle that the game requires you to move through three times, and every time it is possible to skip actually taking out any thugs. However, for the doors to remain open, Batman cannot be spotted by any thugs at all, or he'll have to either restart or take out the goonies. The later predator room fight is neat in that two thugs can be dropped before finding the operator because Joker is too slow
The double Titan fight is pretty straightforward, except that Batman can use one Titan to hit the other and do lots of damage to themselves. Also, it's important for them to blow up the canisters so Batman can just leave without removing them manually with explosives. Then, falling in the pit after Batman speaks saves another second.
Instead of talking to Ivy and then Cash before going to find Killer Croc, Batman can just checkpoint restart past Ivy before leaving the Gardens, and then not even go see Cash; the door to Intensive Treatment is already unlocked. Somebody dropped the ball on that one.
The familiar predator room in Intensive Treatment can be skipped by clever thug manipulation, superfast hacking, and a mad dash for the door. Then on to Scarecrow's final knightmare, which is the longest in the game. There are several times it appears Batman is spotted by Scarecrow's eye beams of death, but the actual range of detection is a bit smaller than the actual light.
The Killer Croc fight is just movement optimization and route memorization, with the occasional Batarang to Croc's face. Purchasing the Auto-Detonation upgrade before the final sequence with Croc makes him jump out of the water earlier, also for reasons, and this saves several seconds.
The Pump Room fights after the Caves are interesting because there are no fights; it's possible to hack the boxes from a distance and get out without fighting anyone. At this point, Batman is tired from his long night and needs to save his fists for the final fights.
During the elevator Titan fight, the Batclaw can be used to pull minions into electric walls: an instant KO. Also, gel can be used to perform the final KO on the Titan, allowing Batman to start removing the infrastructure a bit earlier.
Again, the snipers lust for Batman's flesh and manage to peg him as he goes through the door. Truly unfortunate.
The Poison Ivy fight consists of many Batarangs. The Multi-Bats work on a separate usage timer to the regular Batarangs, so Batman can spam faster with them.
The final Titan fight before Joker is nice in that the Titans are the only ones that must be taken down to progress. Using similar tactics from the Gardens Titans, and these guys are no sweat for the Caped Crusader.
The final boss fight consists of three phases of running around Joker and punching more goons. Using heights and the electric fence can help move the fight a bit faster. After the final punch to Joker's face, the game is done. Batman can rest in peace, except not really because crime never sleeps.
Overall, this was a pretty good run with good fights and boss battles, and only hindered by a few goofy sniper deaths. Thanks for watching and reading, and I'll see you in Gotham for our next adventure!
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