- "What kind of psycho built this place? Don't look like no hospital I ever been in."
- ―Blackgate Prisoner[src]
The Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane (colloquially referred to as Arkham Island and Arkham Asylum) was built on a small island off the coast of Gotham City as a security measure. The facility was divided into a north, east, and west courtyard. In the east courtyard, there was the Arkham Mansion, which was presumably a relic of the Arkham family where much of the staff worked, as well as the Botanical Gardens, which was presumably meant for recreational uses.
The north section contained the main entrance to the Intensive Treatment Center and an unused, dilapidated structure. The west section contained the Cell Blocks, the Visitor Center and the Medical Facility. The asylum had a mainly gothic look, with many interior gargoyles, but had been outfitted with high-tech security, including forcefield security doors. There was an underground emergency Batcave on-site, which Batman found the space when he rescued an inmate from leaping down to the rocks below.
The security guards were heavily armed and armored, resembled riot police, and, unlike traditional mental hospitals, the head administrator was a warden named Quincy Sharp. Other prominent staff members included psychiatrist Dr. Penelope Young and senior guard Frank Boles.
On February 7, 1852, Cyrus Pinkney gave Amadeus Arkham plans to build the "greatest asylum the world has ever known". Amadeus named the Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane after his mother, whom he euthanized as treatment for her dementia. Building it on the old grounds of his family's historic mansion on the outskirts of Gotham City, Amadeus personally treated it's first inmate—Martin "Mad Dog" Hawkins, who had killed his wife and daughter. After he administered fatal electroshock therapy to Hawkins, Amadeus lost all grip on sanity and was admitted into his own institution.
Amadeus was a highly respected psychiatrist until his fall to insanity, and was the heir to the Arkham land and fortune. In his last years, Amadeus was diagnosed as a delusional schizophrenic and locked away in a cell within his own mansion, scratching writings on the walls of his cell. He eventually passed away within his own asylum and was buried within the cemetery in Arkham East, next to the Botanical Gardens, along with other inmates who died while in the asylum's care.
Before both Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, Arkham Asylum was closed down for many years as there was not a need for a dedicated facility to house the criminally insane in Gotham for quite some time. As a result, Blackgate Prison became the defacto penal facility in Gotham. After the events of Arkham Origins (when 2 riots occured in Blackgate on the same night), there were many discussions among Blackgate's Inmates, thugs, police officers, and talk show hosts based on the idea that Arkham could be reopened. Later that evening, Quincy Sharp, a political activist, revealed his intentions to reopen Arkham Asylum, partially due to the manipulation of Shiva under her master's orders, in light of the night's events in an effort to create a more secure facility for Gotham's most dangerous criminals. In the open-world of the game, Arkham Asylum could be seen in the background out into the sea that was similar to Arkham City.
Two years before the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum, Arkham Asylum was the subject of a break-in by members of the Suicide Squad relating to a suicide mission, with the criminal kingpin, The Penguin, being instrumental for their access to the isolated prison facility. However, the plan went to pieces due to both The Joker's involvement as well as a gas explosion that was caused by one of the members of the Suicide Squad, which placed the facility on yellow alert, and thus ensured that the GCPD and Batman became involved. Arkham Asylum, thanks to the Joker wanting to hold Batman off while he detonated a dirty bomb inside Gotham after he retrieved it, unleashed a riot inside the asylum, with inmates escaping including Bane, Scarecrow, Two-Face, and Poison Ivy.
Quincy Sharp had ran Arkham Asylum for the past three years and had dedicated his life to restoring to sanity the so-called super villains that plagued Gotham City. During the end of his tenure, Sharp started to campaign to become the next Mayor of Gotham. To facilitate this agenda, he instigated stringent new security and experimental research policies at Arkham. Sharp demonstrated an intense dedication to "cleaning up" Arkham, with a focus on his own political aspirations. He displayed contempt for Arkham inmates and a disinterest in the specifics of their treatments.
At some point prior to Joker's riots, Batman's second Robin, Jason Todd, was lured to the Asylum and captured by the Joker. Hidden in an abandoned wing of the Asylum, the Clown Prince of Crime tortured the youth for a year, going as far as to let other inmates and criminals partake in them. During a later riot organized by Joker, Todd managed to escape with the help of Deathstroke, eventually donning an identity based on the Asylum: the Arkham Knight.
- "Look at all this new security...how's a guy supposed to break outta here?"
- ―The Joker, upon his arrival to Arkham Asylum
Arkham Asylum came under attack when the Joker staged an elaborate trap for his arch-enemy, Batman. After numerous escapes by Joker, the asylum worked more to ensure security and had every guard present as Joker was returned to Arkham Island.
The Joker escaped custody in the Intensive Treatment Center, and caused chaos. Joker freed several Blackgate convicts that were housed in the holding cells and caused untold damage to the facilities in his personal vendetta against Batman. Running amok through Arkham Asylum, Joker paused only briefly to murder or vandalize. Most of the security force was overwhelmed by the freed convicts, and later, the more Unsettled Mental Patients were let loose, and rampaged throughout the asylum.
More damage was caused as Joker used the asylum facilities to carry out his own experiments for the Titan Project, that was originally developed by Dr. Young. When the experimental drug was perfected, Joker allowed some to be given to Poison Ivy, who overran the asylum with her plants. The heavily-damaged and partially demolished facility was recaptured as the GCPD stormed the island and recaptured many of the escaped inmates after Joker's defeat.
Once Arkham City was approved, Mayor Sharp ordered Arkham Asylum sold. A number of prominent companies bid for the land, but it ultimately went to a previously unknown security company named TYGER. Within weeks of the sale, TYGER was also awarded the contract to police Arkham City and instantly used the Island to launch its fleet of helicopter gunships to police the new prison facility. The island was visible from the mega-prison itself, and was decayed and crumbling.
After the events of Arkham City, the asylum was obliterated from a trap that was left by the late Joker for Batman, who hoped to kill the Dark Knight in the explosion. The blast abandoned all hope of the island being reinstated as a mental institution, and forced its former patients into imprisonment at Stone Ridge Penitentiary.
Arkham Island was still abandoned by the following Halloween, with many of the buildings falling into disrepair. However, in the weeks before his attack, Scarecrow summoned many of Gotham's criminals to the old building, proposing an alliance to take down Batman and introducing them to the Arkham Knight.
Arkham remained mostly unvisited during the night, with Batman and the criminals focusing mainly on Gotham's three central islands. However, after a battle between the Dark Knight and his allies, Scarecrow fled to Arkham with both Commissioner Gordon and Robin, threatening their lives unless Batman surrendered himself. The Mansion served as the location for his broadcast to Gotham, where he unmasked Batman on camera. After Batman captured Scarecrow with the redeemed Jason Todd's help, he left Gordon and Robin at the Asylum whilst he took Crane into custody and restored order in Gotham.
According to trailers for the upcoming game, Arkham has been converted into the main prison for Amanda Waller and the Suicide Squad.
- Intensive Treatment
The Intensive Treatment Center was the center of Arkham Asylum. It housed the Holding Cells, the Patient Pacification Chamber, and even a Decontamination Room. It was here that Joker was transferred back to his cell. As Joker was being escorted by a doctor and a security guard through the holding cells, he broke free and killed both men. Batman, watching from a reception area, crashed through a window in pursuit. The Joker released all of the Blackgate convicts in the holding cells to attack Batman. He then made his way through the Processing Corridor, and killed four security guards in the area.
Joker continued to the Decontamination Chamber while the remaining security personnel were preoccupied with trying to recapture Victor Zsasz, who had already murdered a guard in the Patient Pacification Chamber and held another one, Mike, hostage.
After Batman arrived on Joker's trail and subdued Zsasz, the Arkham Staff retook control of the Patient Pacification Chamber. Meanwhile, Joker filled the Decontamination Chamber with his toxic gas, which killed some of the escaped convicts and security guards alike, and left only four survivors, who had managed to climb to safety. The Joker continued on to the Transfer Loop, killed more security guards, and vandalized everything with spray paint. Joker then proceeded to the Secure Treatment Transfer with several of his henchmen, who overwhelmed the guards. The Joker let loose a Mutated Blackgate Prisoner on Batman, and the prisoner died of natural causes after a short period of time.
The Joker escaped through Extreme Isolation, and the sole surviving security guard was not able to allow Batman through, due to the fact that Joker had rendered the computerized transport system to Extreme Isolation unusable. Around that time, corrupt security guard, Frank Boles, kidnapped Commissioner Gordon and took him through the Transfer Loop and into Secure Transit with Harley Quinn. Another security guard, Henry Smith, attempted to follow them, only to find that someone had jammed the elevator controls.
On the upper level, a team of Joker's Henchmen had seized control of the elevator area, which had been further disabled by Harley in an effort to slow Batman down. Armed convicts, meanwhile, had wrestled control of the Cell Block Transfer section from the guards. With the situation spinning out of control, William North and a security team were still guarding the Intensive Treatment Lobby, and were oblivious to the impending situation. Boles betrayed them, and killed at least three guards. An army of Blackgate Prisoners finished off the rest of the guards while North fled into the Utility Corridor.
Batman arrived on the scene, shortly after he re-secured the area and found Boles dead, who was betrayed by his employer, Joker. Later as Poison Ivy's Plants overran the island, the Blackgate Prisoners returned and recaptured the Intensive Treatment Lobby. The center by that point was heavily damaged by Ivy's mutated plants. Batman returned to the Cell Block Transfer section, where Scarecrow and an army of Blackgate Prisoners ambushed him. Batman followed Scarecrow back into Secure Transit and defeated the remaining henchmen. The Intensive Treatment Center was liberated by the GCPD when they retook control of Arkham Island after Batman defeated Joker.
- Arkham Mansion
The old Arkham Mansion, the former residence of Amadeus Arkham, became a regular part of Arkham Asylum after Amadaeus went insane. It included a Records Room, offices for the doctors, and a Library. Shortly after Joker had seized control of Intensive Treatment, security officer Louie Green and over a dozen guards were directed to Arkham East by Joker, where their radios went dead. At least three security guards patrolled around the Arkham Mansion, and one was posted inside the mansion Entrance Hall to prevent entrance.
However, shortly afterward, an army of escaped Blackgate convicts stormed Arkham East and were armed with weapons that were stolen from the Guard Armory. The security guards posted around the mansion were overpowered and several were killed. The convicts entered the Entrance Hall, murdered the lone guard, and bypassed the security barrier. Three remained to guard the Mansion Entrance Hall, while many of the other convicts penetrated deeper into the mansion. Eager to find Dr. Young's Formula for the Titan Project hidden that was in the mansion, the Joker ordered many of his henchmen to search the mansion for the formula.
The disorganized facilities were stuffed full of scattered discarded documents, so Joker's Henchmen faced a hopeless situation in trying to find the paper with the formula on it. The convicts entered the reception area of the Main Hall, and killed four members of the security personnel who attempted to stop them. One convict entered the West Wing Corridor, and captured at least two Arkham employees. Batman arrived at the Arkham Mansion shortly after, defeated the three convicts in the Entrance Hall, the one in the West Wing Corridor, and the others in the Main Hall.
In the Records Room of the Arkham Mansion, six convicts intercepted Dr. Young along with two security guards, Zach Franklin and Aaron Cash. The two guards were taken hostage while Dr. Young escaped to her office. Batman arrived to free Cash and Franklin, while three convicts discovered Dr. Young's office and tried to break into it. Using the ventilation system, Batman reached the North Corridor, where two cells were, one in which Amadaeus Arkham spent his last years.
Meanwhile, many of Joker's Henchmen had moved down the South Corridor, and secured the multi-level mansion Library. It was here that Dr. Young had fled, and encountered an orderly and an unidentified member of security personnel, identified only as "Bill". Bill attempted to defend Dr. Young, but all three were inevitably captured.
Batman, meanwhile, had managed to defeat the convicts who tried to break into Dr. Young's Office and learned from the security monitors that Dr. Young had taken the Titan Formula from her office safe and fled. Batman rushed to the South Corridor and then to the Library, and found Joker's Henchmen tearing the area apart in search of the formula. Dr. Young herself had been taken to Joker, who decided to use Zsasz to torture the formula out of her.
On the lowest level of the Library, Batman discovered Bill and the orderly tied up in front of a bomb, that was revealed to have been a fake. Scarecrow, meanwhile, went into the mansion, and rigged the South Corridor with Fear Gas to entrap Batman. After he wandered around in a drugged state, Batman awoke from the intense nightmare in the Arkham Mansion's Bell Tower.
The Dark Knight cut the rope of the bell with a Batarang and sent it crashing to the floor below, which caused extensive damage to the entrance of the mansion's East Wing Corridor. Zsasz hid in the Warden's Office, and tortured the formula out of Dr. Young. Zsasz used her as a hostage, but Batman used a Batarang and knocked him out. Dr. Young was killed by a booby-trap that was rigged in the Warden's Safe, while she tried to retrieve the security codes. Harley Quinn took Warden Sharp through the mansion afterward, beat Sharp brutally with his own cane, and left several convicts to fight Batman. Quinn took Sharp out of the mansion, and Batman left in pursuit. Shortly after, Joker let loose the more unsettled mental patients of the island, who ravaged the mansion grounds but did not enter the mansion itself.
The Arkham Mansion suffered heavy damage when Poison Ivy's Titan-enhanced plants overran the island. Cash and Franklin regrouped with Dr. Kevin Liew and a third surviving security guard in the mansion's Main Hall. The mutant plants, however, smashed through the mansion's windows and killed the third, unidentified, guard. Batman returned to the Arkham Mansion shortly after, and found Cash and Franklin standing around the plants and Dr. Liew seated behind a desk. The Arkham Mansion's Entrance Hall was so overrun by Ivy's Plants that the hall became filled with toxic spores that were released from the mutated vegetation, and Batman warned Cash to stay away from the plants as they would most likely kill him. The remains of the Arkham Mansion were retaken by the GCPD when they recaptured Arkham Island after Batman defeated Joker.
- Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens of Arkham Asylum provided fresh greenery as possible rehabilitation for the institution's inmates. It included a Statue Corridor, an Aviary, and even a top secret Titan Production Facility that was used by Dr. Young.
With Arkham East the only part of Arkham Island under control during the early stages of Joker's takeover of Arkham Island, security guards were posted around and within the Botanical Gardens. While several guards patrolled the outside, one guard was posted at the Glasshouse Entrance, and two others at the entryway to the inner botanical gardens. Shortly after, armed convicts stormed the eastern side of Arkham, and the gardens fell to them as well. At some point, Victor Zsasz raided the Glasshouse Entrance, killed the security guards, and arranged them in a lifelike pose around a bench. The Joker's Henchmen then entered the inner gardens, and met little resistance.
Two Blackgate Prisoners armed themselves with security issue weapons and remained at the Glasshouse Entrance. When both Harley Quinn and Dr. Young mentioned a lab for the Titan Project in the Botanical Gardens, Batman decided to investigate, fought his way through Arkham East and entered the gardens through the Glasshouse Entrance. After he defeated the two convicts, Batman used the Cryptographic Sequencer to bypass a security barrier and entered the inner gardens. Meanwhile, several convicts led personally by Joker attacked the Flooded Corridor in the gardens. The guards fought back, and killed the convicts in the ensuing gunfight, although Joker had managed the defeat them and took security guard Thomas Armbruster hostage.
After he bypassed the six armed Blackgate Prisoners who guarded the Botanical Glasshouse, Batman entered the Flooded Corridor, and demanded that Joker let Armbruster go. Instead, Joker pushed the guard into an electrified pool of water, and killed him. The Joker taunted Batman with the slowness of his progress, left, and detonated the entrance behind him so that Batman would not attempt to follow. The Joker and his henchmen then continued through the Aviary, entered the Titan Production Facility and shot five asylum security personnel before they loaded the Titan into containers. Batman, meanwhile, had followed the power cables through the Statue Corridor and into the Glasshouse Generator Room, where he hoped to disconnect the power to the Flooded Corridor so as not to suffer Armbruster's fate.
The Blackgate Convicts took control of the Glasshouse Generator Room, and captured an Arkham janitor, Carl Todd. Batman swiftly defeated them, then used the Cryptographic Sequencer on a control panel that was set to release Joker Toxin if it was tampered with. After he bypassed the control panel, Batman proceeded back to the Flooded Corridor, and found an alternate way to an Abandoned Corridor through a ventilation shaft. Batman found an alternate route to the other side of the Flooded Corridor, and freed Jordan Fraser who claimed to have escaped from the Aviary, where Joker had captured two orderlies from the Titan Production Facility and suspended them in giant birdcages over a deadly chasm. Batman entered the Aviary, where he found that Joker did have the two orderlies suspended over a pit inside cages, and forced him to play a deadly game. Four armed hencmen patrolled the Aviary and one of them was in the control room with a lever that could drop the cages into the chasm.
If any of Joker's Henchmen spotted Batman or if Batman attacked one of them, the henhman in the control booth would pull a lever and drop the orderlies to their doom. Batman was forced to rely on his stealth skills to sneak up to the control room and take the operator out first. After he defeated Joker's Henchmen, Batman freed the orderlies from the birdcages, who explained that they thought that they worked for Dr. Young. One orderly, Robert Stirling, alerted Batman to the fact that he knew that there was a secret entrance to the Titan Production Facility.
Stirling, however, was not able to tell Batman exactly where in the Aviary the secret entrance was located. Batman followed a trail of Harley Quinn's fingerprints to find the secret entrance, and entered the Titan Production Facility via a drawbridge. Here, Batman encountered Joker and two Blackgate convicts. The Joker, who had perfected the Titan Formula, injected both of the convicts with it, and mutated them into mindless monstrosities that were three times Batman's size and strength.
The enraged and mutated Titan Henchmen attacked Batman, attempted to strike him with their huge hands and even hurled the bodies of fallen security guards that were killed earlier. While Batman battled the beasts, Joker took his perfected formula, fled back through the gardens, and killed Robert Stirling and the other orderly that Batman had rescued earlier in the Aviary.
After he defeated the two henchmen and destroyed the Titan Production Facility, Batman called upon the Batwing to drop him the Line Launcher, an upgrade to the Grapple Gun. Batman returned to the Flooded Corridor, and used the Line Launcher to cross another chasm to reach another part of the Botanical Gardens. An escaped Poison Ivy awaited him there, and bent the vegetation of the Botanical Gardens to do her will.
After Batman threatened her plants, Ivy revealed that an antidote to counter the Titan could be made from the spores of a rare plant that grew in Killer Croc's Lair under Arkham Asylum in the Intensive Treatment Center. Meanwhile, a group of Blackgate convicts gathered in the Flooded Corridor, and denied Batman access.
After Batman fought through the henchmen, he continued back through the Abandoned Corridor, and to the other side of the Flooded Corridor, where two more convicts had turned the power back on, and attempted to trap him on the other side of the corridor by re-electrifying the water. Batman grappled across the water using the Line Launcher and defeated the Blackgate Prisoners. Batman returned to the Glasshouse Entrance after he defeated more of Joker's Henchmen in the Botanical Glasshouse. Here, Joker broadcasted triumphantly over Arkham's intercom that he had supplied Poison Ivy with Titan.
The plants of the Gardens mutated, overran the gardens, and mainly destroyed the garden's facilities. Batman found his exit blocked by the mutant plants, but escaped by using an alternate route through the flooring. The remains of the Botanical Gardens became filled with Titan Pods which could spit out toxic gas orbs at any movement. Batman returned to the Gardens to battle Ivy, who cleared her vegetation out of the way for him to proceed. Ivy allowed Batman to re-enter the Flooded Corridor, where she unleashed two security guards, William North and Eddie Burlow, under her control to attack and weaken him.
After he was forced to defeat the zombified guards, Batman was lured further into the gardens by the mutated plants. Batman found Ivy in the Elizabeth Arkham Gardens, where she bounded with a Titan plant, which she controlled from inside its mouth behind a shell. Ivy powered toxic vines to grow out of the ground and sent multiple Arkham security guards that were infected by her mind-controlling spores after Batman. Batman finally knocked out all of the guards, fought off the vines, detonated Explosive Gel on the mutated plant and defeated Ivy. The ruined Botanical Gardens were reclaimed by the GCPD when they recaptured Arkham Island after Batman defeated Joker.
The caves were an underground part of Arkham Asylum, which consisted of an Old Sewer that emptied into the Gotham River, an unused Pump Station, and Killer Croc's Lair. The Caves also included a top-secret auxiliary Batcave that Batman had built on Arkham Island.
When Joker began to take control of Arkham Island, security guards were posted around the entrance to the Caves to the Pump Station, which was closed by Warden Sharp years earlier on the grounds that it was a security threat. When Arkham East was overrun by Joker's Henchmen, they killed the guards, infiltrated the Caves, and entered and secured the Old Sewer. The escaped Blackgate convicts killed an Arkham orderly near the entrance to Croc's Lair and remained on guard there under Joker's orders. Batman, meanwhile, had accessed the Batcave built near the Old Sewer.
The Batcave included a Batcomputer, which Batman used to do research on Dr. Young's Notes for the Titan Formula. Batman then assembled the Batclaw by using spare gadgets among the equipment stored in the Batcave. He proceeded to the Old Sewer, and defeated the convicts. The Joker was talking to one of his henchmen who positioned in the Old Sewer via walkie-talkie, but when he lost contact, contemplated aloud if the henchman had been cut off by Croc or the Bat. But Croc was still in his lair, and he spotted Batman as the Dark Knight passed a bolted metal door that leading into it. Croc smashed against the door and cracked the window glass, but was unable to reach Batman.
From the Old Sewer, Batman entered the Main Sewer Junction, which he found was filled with decrepit columns, archways, and platforms. Batman also found that he couldn't use his Grapple Gun in very many places there as most of the surfaces were not strong enough to support his weight. Batman then escaped back to the island surface using the Surface Access Corridor which lead into an abandoned building in Arkham North. Shortly after Joker had perfected the Titan Formula, one of his Titan powered test subjects wandered into Croc's Lair, which proved to be a fatal mistake. Poison Ivy's mutated plants began to destroy the asylum, and the Old Sewer and the Pump Station were increasingly damaged by the Titan-fueled plants.
Batman, following the villainous Scarecrow through Secure Transit in the Intensive Treatment Center, found an alternate route into the Caves through the Control Room Access in the lower level of Secure Transit. Batman entered, and found the remains of Joker's unfortunate Titan subject. He also found Scarecrow, holding a bag of fear toxin over the water and threatening to flood the Gotham River with it. But Croc leaped from the water, captured Scarecrow, and intended to kill him. Batman activated Croc's shock collar by using a Batarang, and caused him and Scarecrow to disappear under the water. Batman then entered Croc's Lair which proved to be a labyrinthine of tunnels that were not mapped. Batman set a tracking device that was tuned to lead him to the rare plant spores that were needed to create an antidote to the Titan.
After he found the plant spores, Batman reset the tracking device so that it lead him back to the entrance of Croc's Lair. Croc began leaping out of the water and chased Batman from under the floating wooden platforms that covered his lair. Batman made his way back to the entrance via the tracking device. Croc pursued Batman all the way to the mouth of his lair, and Batman found iron bars that had mysteriously blocked his exit. But then Batman detonated Explosive Gel on the breakable stone floor under Croc as he charged, and dropped him further into the Caves.
Batman slipped under the bars, then re-entered the Old Sewer. The Joker dispatched a group of convicts to find the Batcave, but Batman defeated them in the Old Sewer. Upon reaching the Main Sewer Junction, Batman found that the entire water flow polluted by Titan waste. The Joker was planning to flood the Gotham River with Titan, and cause chaos. Batman invaded the Pump Control Room to shut off the Titan flood. He defeated several of Joker's Henchmen in the Pressure Control Junction. Batman reached the Pump Control Room, and shut off the Titan pumps after he faced seven more Blackgate Prisoners.
As Batman backtracked to the Pressure Control Junction in the Caves, and entered the center of the junction, he was locked in by barriers and was forced to fight his way through hordes of convicts and one Titan Henchman. After he wrecked the Pressure Control Junction and defeated the henchmen, Batman destroyed the elevator that lead from Arkham West and exited the Caves. The Caves, mainly the sewer parts, were heavily damaged and shaken by more earthquakes that were caused by Poison Ivy's Plants, and toxic plant pods began to appear in the Old Sewer and the Main Sewer Junction. The Caves were reclaimed by the GCPD when they retook Arkham Island after Batman defeated Joker.
- Medical Facility
The Medical Facility was an important part of the asylum. It included the Sanatorium with holding cells, an X-ray Facility, and an Experimental Chamber which housed Bane and was used by Dr. Young for research on Venom.
The Medical Facility, located in the western part of Arkham, was one of the first areas where Joker had managed to seize control during the early stages of his takeover of Arkham Island. Joker's Henchmen and Arkham inmate Victor Zsasz attacked Arkham West, and killed most of the security guards in the area. The convicts entered the Medical Facility through the Medical Foyer after they killed two guards outside. It was there that Harley Quinn relaxed after she took Commissioner Gordon hostage, and was seated behind the front desk.
Meanwhile, the Blackgate Prisoners received orders from Joker to round up all the doctors in the Medical Facility, particularly Dr. Young. The convicts secured the Sanatorium, then entered the Upper Corridor, and killed the Arkham orderlies and security personnel on their way further into the Medical Facility. They rounded up five doctors and held them in the Sanatorium. One doctor attempted to escape, only to be brutally "torn apart" by Joker's Henchmen, and was thrown into the water.
Batman was alerted to Joker's move on the Medical Facility by an Arkham guard who hid in the Arkham West Watch Tower, and headed over there to put a stop to it.
The convicts took Dr. Adrian Chen hostage in the Surgery Room, then captured Dr. Young in the X-ray Room. They also secured Patient Observation, and trapped guard Cash and Dr. Stephen Kellerman inside, with orders to fill the room with Joker Toxin and kill them both. Batman entered the Medical Foyer and found Harley Quinn with Gordon, but was unable to reach them, due to the fact that his way was blocked by a security barrier. Batman used Explosive Gel to blow up part of the Medical Facility's roof, and entered Maintenance Access. From there, he used an air duct tunnel to reach the Sanatorium, where five gun-toting convicts held four doctors hostage, and strapped two of them to electroshock therapy chairs to prevent escape. Batman defeated the henchmen, liberated the doctors, and moved to the Upper Corridor.
He proceeded to the X-ray Room, where Dr. Young was held by five armed henchmen within a locked office.
Batman sprayed Explosive Gel onto the walls, and detonated it, which blew the men off their feet and knocked them out. After he rescued Dr. Young, Batman also proceeded to the Surgery Room, where Dr. Chen was strapped down in the center. It proved to be a trap, as the Blackgate Prisoners dropped down into the room from above and Batman had to fight his way through them before he freed Dr. Chen. Batman moved to Patient Observation, where he liberated Cash and Kelllerman. Batman proceeded back to the Sanatorium, and paused only briefly to deal with a "present" that Joker had left for him: a High Security Henchman. Back at the Sanatorium, Batman regrouped with the four doctors that he rescued earlier, as Cash and Dr. Young arrived from the Upper Corridor.
Young insisted on heading to the Arkham Mansion to find her notes, and Cash agreed to accompany her. Meanwhile, three of Joker's Henchmen arrived from the Lower Corridor to find Batman, which prompted the doctors to flee to Patient Observation. After he dealt with the convicts, Batman used the elevator to reach Secure Access, where several Arkham orderlies and a patient were tortured by Scarecrow's fear gas. Batman watched them panic to the point of death through a window in an operating room, but was unable to help them. Iron bars separated Batman from reaching Scarecrow, who then fled the scene after he saw him.
Batman eventually continued to the Lower Corridor, where a dead Arkham security guard was dragged and left as a macrabare marker that pointed Batman toward the Morgue. Batman, who was exposed to Scarecrow's fear gas, imagined that the guard's corpse was that of Commissioner Gordon. After he wandered into the Morgue in his drugged state, Batman imagined that the Morgue had housed his reanimated parents, his hallucinations turned into a full-fledged nightmare after the Scarecrow pumped more fear gas into the room. Batman dreamed that the ruined Morgue was turned into a fearful dreamscape, where he had to avoid the fatal gaze of a giant version of Scarecrow.
After the effects of Scarecrow's fear gas began to wear off, Batman left the Morgue, entered the Lower Corridor, and realized that for the first time that all that he had experienced was not real. After he was attacked by three Blackgate convicts, Batman followed a narrow hallway to the Experimental Chamber, where Harley held Gordon hostage inside a small room. The area around the room was patrolled by Joker's Henchmen, with orders to kill Gordon if they saw Batman. Using his stealth skills, Batman managed to defeat the convicts and Harley, but then found that Joker had left him a surprise in another room: Bane, who was strapped into hoses that Dr. Young had used to drain the Venom from his blood.
The Joker sprung his trap, and returned to Bane his supply of Venom, with chaotic results. Bane attacked Batman, and was aided by Joker's Henchmen. The Medical Facility was heavily damaged during the following battle, and the Boiler Room was destroyed after the battle had weakened the foundations. Batman and Gordon fled to Arkham West, where Batman rammed Bane with the Batmobile and knocked him into the Gotham Bay. As Batman rescued more Arkham staff, he told them to all go to the Medical Facility, as it was the safest place on the island.
The Medical Facility was further damaged by Poison Ivy as her mutated plants overran the island later, though its remains were recaptured by the GCPD when they retook control of Arkham Island after Batman defeated Joker. It was then converted into a makeshift hospital for those who were injured during Joker's takeover, including Cash and Louie Green. The holding cells in the Sanatorium were temporarily utilized to hold the recaptured patients, as the usual cell blocks were heavily damaged during the riot.
The Penitentiary was the main incarceration area for the various deranged inmates of Arkham Asylum. It included a Main Cell Block for some of the most crazed patients on the island, Extreme Incarceration, and the Visitor's Center.
As Arkham West fell to Joker's Henchmen during the Joker's takeover, the Penitentiary was taken by storm as well. The Joker made his headquarters in the Visitor's Center, had his henchmen construct a clown face facade over the entrance, waited in one of the prisoner rooms, and played a recording for Batman's arrival, while at least three Blackgate convicts entered the Penitentiary through the Cells Access, and shot several security personnel near the entrance.
Victor Zsasz also invaded the Penitentiary, and killed three security guards in the Penitentiary's upper guard room. Several convicts also dragged two orderlies and guards outside to kill them. After they knocked them down, the convicts remained on guard near the entrance of the Penitentiary, and destroyed an ambulance by pushing it down into the lower courtyard of Arkham West. Batman arrived on the scene, defeated the convicts, and freed the surviving orderly, who promised to take the wounded guard to the Medical Facility. Batman infiltrated the Cells Access, and disposed of the three convicts inside. Meanwhile, Harley Quinn had infiltrated the Penitentiary with Warden Sharp as her hostage. Harrley took Sharp to the Security Control Room and held him there. Batman followed the Warden's DNA trail through the Penitentiary, passed through the Main Cell Block and the Green Mile, where Poison Ivy begged to be freed. Batman proceeded to the Security Control Room, and found and freed the Warden, who gave him the security codes and used the Cryptographic Sequencer, a device that allowed the user to hack Security Gate Control panels.
Harley set Ivy free, then went about freeing those on Joker's "Party List", which included the Penguin and the Mad Hatter. The Joker then loosed the more insane patients from their cells, and freed Two-Face and Calendar Man. Batman headed back to the Green Mile, and paused only briefly to knock the escaped mental patients out. The patients stormed through the Penitentiary, and left both the Arkham Staff and Joker's Henchmen at the mercy of their rampage. Harley made her way to the Main Cell Block and awaited Batman's arrival. As he reached the scene, she fled to a control platform atop the unlocked cells and activated the Patient Pacification System: an electrified floor. Quinn killed a security guard on the floor as a demonstration, but Batman avoided the floor by grappling up to the control platform, where a wave of Blackgate Prisoners had overpowered the two lone guards and turned on him.
The convicts fought Batman but were eventually defeated. A dismayed Harley accused them of being "idiots" and reminded them that "Their guns are everywhere!", which referred to the emergency riot gun lockers.
The convicts failed despite attempts to use the guns, and Batman deactivated the Patient Pacification System before he followed Quinn. Harley reached the Guard Room, where she took two security guards hostage, including Louie Green. Quinn strung them up over electrified pools of water as Batman arrived, hot on her heels. After Batman shut down the power that electrified the water and freed both guards, Quinn revealed that she had a canister of Joker Toxin set to be released in the room. Batman hacked through the security gate and saved both of the Arkham guards.
While Green and the other guard attempted to get the ventilation system working. Quinn fled to Extreme Incarceration, where Mr. Freeze recently escaped. Batman followed Quinn through Controlled Access, where she had allowed them through the security gate. Batman entered Extreme Incarceration, where he found himself standing on a set of three electrified floors. Harley, from the control tower, loosed an army of Blackgate Prisoners on Batman while electrifying one section of the floor. After he defeated the henchmen, Batman was attacked by Quinn, although he easily evaded her and put her in a solitary confinement cell. Batman scanned Quinn's fingerprints, and hoped to follow the trail to Joker's secret lab at the Botanical Gardens. Harley attempted to trap Batman inside a sealed cell, but he blew his way out by using his Explosive Gel. Batman then left the Penitentiary and went to the Botanical Gardens. On his way out, Batman knocked out a mental patient who had killed the guard and orderly that he rescued earlier.
Batman then exited to Arkham West. The Penitentiary was the least damaged by Poison Ivy's Plants when they overran the island, and Joker continued to make his headquarters in the Visitor's Center. After Batman defeated Ivy, Joker was so proud of all that he accomplished, and decided to have a "party" in Batman's honor.
Joker's Henchmen set off fireworks to direct Batman to the western side of Arkham, where they cheerfully awaited him, urged him on, and allowed him access. After he entered the Visitor's Center, Batman listened to Joker make a short speech to him before he blew up the Visitor's Center to reveal his secret headquarters. A disoriented Batman staggered through the Visitor's Center guard office and holding cells, and entered Joker's headquarters. The Joker awaited him atop a throne of gag toys, and vented his frustration on the Ventriloquist's dummy, Scarface.
There, Joker had massed all his remaining henchmen and two security guards that he injected with Titan. Having lost their sanity to the chemical, the Titan-powered guards turned on Batman with Joker's Henchmen, although Batman managed to defeat them all. The Joker then revealed that he had Commissioner Gordon hostage. After he tried to fire a Titan dart at Gordon, Joker was delighted to see Batman take the shot himself. The Joker was willing to take a chance on Titan-because Batman had used up all of the antidote on himself. The Titan-powered Joker mutated and took Batman up to the Penitentiary Roof, where he left Batman to fight in an enclosed arena against an army of Blackgate Prisoners.
The Joker also strapped Gordon to an electroshock therapy chair, which sent bolts of electricity into him at random intervals. Several news helicopters circled the upper roof, and filmed Batman's desperate battle. Eager to get into their film, Joker stood on the upper roof, and posed for them. As Joker commented on the news helicopter, Batman pulled him off his perch with the Ultra Batclaw. Batman did that twice, although Joker loosed high security henchmen out to fight Batman and tossed explosive gag wind-up teeth into the arena to kill him in an explosion.
Batman finally yanked the Titan-powered Joker into the Penitentiary Roof for the third time, which caused it to collapse under Joker's weight and knocked him into the generator that was used to electrify Gordon's restraint chair. The Joker was finished off as Batman detonated Explosive Gel on his fist when he punched Joker, and won the fight despite extensive damage that was done to the Penitentiary. An attack force by the GCPD stormed the Visitor's Center, captured the remaining henchmen and watched over the Titan-powered guards and henchmen as they returned to normal. The shambles of the Penitentiary were retaken by Arkham's security forces, and the Green Mile was still mainly intact, which allowed for Poison Ivy to be placed back in her usual cell.
Arkham Island was heavily damaged during Joker's takeover, and many of its deranged inmates remained on the loose after Joker's defeat, including Bane, Calendar Man, Scarecrow, Killer Croc, Mr. Freeze, and Two-Face. The asylum also suffered in losses among Arkham Staff. At least 113 personnel died during Joker's takeover, 103 of which were security guards (which Joker had earlier promised to kill when he learned to his disappointment that he had only killed three guards during his prior escape). Identified casualties included guard Thomas Armbruster and chief member of security Frank Boles. Aaron Cash, Louie Green, Eddie Burlow, William North, and Zach Franklin made up much of the surviving members of security. At least 10 medical staff also fell during the chaos, including Dr. Young and orderly Robert Stirling. Additionally, dozens of Arkham patients and members of Joker's Gang were also killed throughout the course of the night, largely from Poison Ivy's Plants.
Unknown to Batman and the general public, Warden Sharp had already made several proposals for Arkham's relocation to a new, fortified enclosure in the heart of Gotham's most notorious slums. The success of his subsequent mayoral campaign encouraged Sharp to proceed with his plans, and one of the asylum's former psychiatric consultants, Professor Hugo Strange, was appointed Warden in his stead. Under Strange's direction, all former Arkham Asylum patients and Blackgate Prisoners were relocated to the new facility, Arkham City, and the asylum's doors closed for good. The island itself was repossessed by municipal authorities and auctioned off to TYGER, a firm that was awarded the contract to police Arkham City. The Arkham Mansion itself was used for the unofficial administrative center of Arkham City while the latter remained under construction, with TYGER storing its helicopter aircraft elsewhere on the grounds.
Following the events of Protocol 10, TYGER was disbanded and was forcibly removed from Arkham Island. The damage caused by Ivy's Plants was never sufficiently repaired, and the asylum structures began to fall into an even more dilapidated state. Batman returned to the Arkham Mansion to recover the disarming code for a series of explosives that the Joker was believed to have planted around Arkham City before his death, and was allegedly hidden in his former cell. However, the Joker had rigged the mansion's foundations with the explosives instead, and hoped to draw Batman into a final deathtrap. Batman survived, while the mansion partly collapsed.
By the events of Batman: Arkham Knight, Bruce Wayne had offered to fund Arkham's reconstruction. The mansion was in the process of being restored when it was again the target of sabotage, that time by the mysterious Arkham Knight. Despite that, it remained stable enough to be appropriated by Scarecrow, who stored several vats of his hallucinogenic fear toxin in the Main Hall. He later hooked up a number of old monitors to a live video feed and brought Batman there to be unmasked before the world. Although Batman nearly succumbed to Scarecrow's fear toxin, he was eventually freed by a reformed Arkham Knight, turned the tables on the supervillain, and injected him with his own fear toxin.
- Penelope Young
- Sarah Cassidy
- Stephen Kellerman
- Kevin Liew
- Robert Stirling
- Jonathan Crane (formerly)
- Harleen Quinzel (formerly)
- Adrien Chen
- Gretchen Whistler
- Ian Kennedy
- Thomas Elliot
- Hugo Strange
- Aaron Cash
- Frank Boles
- Thomas Armbruster
- Henry Smith
- Eddie Burlow
- Maria Andrade
- Louie Green
- Zach Franklin
- William North
The following is a list of inmates in Arkham Asylum, past and present:
- The Penguin (shipped in from Blackgate)
- Catwoman (shipped in from Blackgate)
- The Ventriloquist
- Great White Shark
- Humpty Dumpty
- The Mad Hatter
- Killer Moth (shipped in from Blackgate)
- Venom Henchman (shipped in from Blackgate)
Background Information and Notes
The island concept is a departure from the traditional mansion in DC Comics, located on land in the outskirts of the city. This version draws more inspiration the gothic mansion Mercey Island, the second Arkham Asylum created in 1995. It also suited Rocksteady Studios' needs to have a explorable environment with believable limitations.
- A number of locations in Batman: Arkham Asylum were heavily inspired by areas visited by the game's development team, including Alcatraz Prison served as a model for the Penitentiary and Intensive Treatment Center, and the Palm House at Kew Gardens in South London, to which the Botanical Gardens bore some resemblance.
- Batman: Arkham Knight Genesis by Tomasi & Soy. Vol 1 #3.
- CGS Feature Special