- "Find my phone now, Batman, or I'll carve this man's existence into my flesh."
- ―Zsasz to Batman over a payphone within Arkham City[src]
Born into a life of luxury and wealth, Victor Zsasz lost his grip on reality after the tragic deaths of his parents at a young age and the loss of what remained of his inheritance money after a night of ill fated gambling at the Iceberg Lounge. Believing all life to be meaningless and worthless, Zsasz takes it upon himself to murder as many people as he can in order to cure them of life, seeing them as nothing more than zombies stuck in an endless loop of misery. Carving a tally mark into his skin after every murder as proof of his work, the only concern in Zsasz's life is body count and the amount of marks on his body.
Mr. Zsasz is one of the escaped inmates when the Joker takes over Arkham Island. He takes hostages that Batman must rescue, preventing him from harming innocent Arkham guards and doctors. He can also be fought in the battle rooms as one of Joker's thugs that Batman must defeat to earn points, fighting like the regular knife thug among Blackgate prisoners.
After frequent run-ins with Batman, Zsasz developed an immense hatred and fear of the hero and has been saving his final mark for the Dark Knight himself. Within Arkham City, Zsasz uses the facility to further his own sick desires of murder and mutilation and begins killing dozens of inmates who answer pay phones he dials, eventually becoming known as "The PayPhone Killer". He hoped that, one night, Batman would be on the other end of the receiver and the mark he saved specifically for the hero would finally be carved into his skin.
A true sociopath, Zsasz grew up in a life of ease and inherited a large amount of money from his parents. His life took a turn for the worse when he went to the Iceberg Lounge and bet nearly all of it in Poker. He was on a winning streak but lost to "the disgusting midget who ran the place", the Penguin. Now penniless and alone, Zsasz went into the streets where he was attacked by a mugger, whom he killed with his own knife. Zsasz, upon looking at the dead eyes of the man, realized something: in his now sick mind, he came to the conclusion that nothing matters, so there is no qualms in killing people of all ages. Using the knife, he carved his first tally-mark into his skin and found himself elated by it and became a serial killer. Indiscriminate in his prey, body count is the only thing that matters to Zsasz. He carves a tally mark for each of his victims into his own body, and is saving a special spot for the Batman.
- Sociopath with no regard for human life
- No pattern of killing, making him difficult to track
- Compulsive need to kill others
Batman: Assault on Arkham
Shortly after the Joker instigated a revolt inside Arkham Asylum, Zsasz managed to escape and pick up a female hostage when he was surrounded by GCPD vehicles and Batman. He then threateningly held the woman hostage, with Batman shooting his grappling hook and seemingly missing Zsasz by a hair's length. However, it was revealed he had actually been aiming for the wall right behind Zsasz and proceeded to knock him out by yanking the piece of the wall his grappling hook latched onto into him, freeing his hostage.
Road to Arkham
Victor Zsasz was already imprisoned in Arkham Asylum before of the events of Joker's takeover of the island. During a patient interview between him and Dr. Cassidy, Zsasz revealed through scary clues that he knew of Dr. Cassidy's four locks on her apartment door, how she forgot to buy cat food "again" and how every night she sat in her red chair with her cat on her lap (revealing that he stalked her before his imprisonment). Both scared and worried that Zsasz knew where she lived; Cassidy took leave from Arkham in order to get away from the insane serial killer.
Soon after Dr. Cassidy took her leave; Zsasz managed to smuggle a knife into his cell during another patient interview. Zsasz lashed out killing all guards sent into his cell to stop him. Victor was forced to surrender when four guards aimed their shotguns at him; Zsasz was then sent into solitary confinement for his actions, long enough to carve in 20 new tally marks. However Victor didn't stay long in solitary nor in Arkham for that matter; he soon escaped Arkham and returned to Gotham City to kill Dr. Cassidy.
After the door was answered, Zsasz kidnapped Sarah. Zsasz took Dr. Cassidy to an Old County Hospital in order to kill her. An anonymous tip was found in Cassidy's office, leading Batman to the hospital, where he saved Cassidy from her gruesome demise. Zsasz was subsequently put back into Arkham; vowing that one day he will kill the Dark Knight if he ever got the chance.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
During the Joker's takeover of Arkham, Zsasz was let loose from his cell in the Intensive Treatment Center. Running free, he encountered two Arkham security guards in the Patient Pacification Chamber. After killing one guard who tried to stop him, he took hold of another guard named Mike, and strapped him to an electric chair. A third guard, Zach Franklin, came across Zsasz, and sounded the alarm, requesting backup on the radio. At least three more guards responded to the alarm and arrived with Dr. Gretchen Whistler, Zsasz's personal therapist.
He warned that he would kill Mike if he saw "anything that looked even a little bit like a bat" getting too close whilst the guards attempted to talk him down. Zach Franklin and another guard stood barred at the entryway to the Pacification area, but were able to see Zsasz pacing behind his hostage in the electroshock chair. Franklin tried to call for more backup in the Processing Corridor in dealing with the hostage situation, but found no answer on the radio, as most of the other guards in the vicinity had been murdered by the Joker after his escape through the area. A surviving guard, Eddie Burlow, picked up the call near the door to the Decontamination Chamber but was unable to respond. He directed Batman to the Patient Pacification Chamber.
Batman arrived on the scene and met Zach Franklin, who informed him of the situation. Batman used the chamber balcony and grappled behind Zsasz on the gargoyles that lined the top of the room. He snuck up on Zsasz, taking him out and leaving him back in the care of Dr. Whistler and the Arkham staff. He warned Dr. Whistler that it would take much time before Zsasz could be cured, if he could be cured at all. Soon after, Harley Quinn trapped the Arkham staff in the Pacification Chamber. One of the security personnel covered Zsasz with his shotgun to prevent any escape.
But yet Mr. Zsasz somehow escaped once again, killing three security guards above the Penitentiary in Arkham West. He then proceeded to prop them up like rag dolls around a table as if they were enjoying a game of cards. After the Joker's men had taken control of the Penitentiary, Zsasz proceeded to the heavily-guarded Arkham East. While the Joker's men wrestled the area from the guards, Zsasz invaded the Botanical Gardens.
He entered the Botanical Glasshouse Entrance, where he encountered three more members of security at the doorway to the Botanical Glasshouse. Zsasz murdered two of them, arranging the dead guards in a lifelike pose around a park bench. After killing several more Arkham staff, Zsasz scratched out the tallies of his kills onto the bench. Shortly after, The Joker came across Zsasz in the Glasshouse Entrance with his latest victims. ("No doubt acting out some twisted fantasy", according to Joker) The Clown Prince of Crime took Zsasz to the Arkham Mansion after his men had captured Dr. Penelope Young in the Library, planning to torture the formula for her secret Titan drug out of her.
Mr. Zsasz asked to be left alone with Young and successfully forced the secret out of her. Batman searched the mansion until he came across Zsasz, who was holding Dr. Young hostage with a knife to the throat. The Joker, contacting Zsasz via a monitor, tried to convince Zsasz to hurry up and kill her. Zsasz began to panic as he knew Batman would take him down if he did just that but he was also torn by his desire to kill her, slowly savoring her fright and saying that she was "just begging to be slaughtered". Before he could make a decision, Batman knocked him out with a Batarang to the head.
Dr. Young was driven to so many tears while Zsasz held her hostage and nearly killed her. She beat his unconscious body angrily, yelling at him "You monster! You evil, evil, evil monster!", while still crying. After Young was killed by an explosive set by Joker and Harley Quinn set her goons on Batman, Zsasz disappeared, suggesting that he escaped during the chaos, as no guards had arrived to detain him.
His final appearance was in Batman's hallucination of a replay of the game's opening sequence caused by Scarecrow's Fear Toxin. Batman was placed in the captured position, with Joker capturing him, and Zsasz among the Arkham inmates escorting Batman in the patient handcart. After this, Zsasz had no further appearance in the game and his status remained unknown.
Zsasz was briefly mentioned by Hugo Strange as an inmate he intentionally, but anonymously released so that Tyger forces could recapture him in order to boost Arkham City's credit as a safe prison. Upon admittance, Zsasz quickly became well known as the "Payphone Killer" in Arkham City, hooking up all the old phone lines with the help of the Broker, tracking and murdering anyone unlucky enough to answer on of his calls after being briefly imprisoned by Penguin in his museum. He briefly appeared in Two-Face's trial against Joker as a juror, and also agreed to condemn Joker to death.
Batman: Arkham City
- "Find my phone Batman, or the killing starts..."
- ―Zsasz to Batman over a payphone within Arkham City[src]
After being incarcerated in Arkham City, Penguin somehow managed to capture him and lock him in a display case of his museum. However, after he broke free, Zsasz continued his efforts to murder and targeted a group of political prisoners that had been placed into the city by Hugo Strange. Zsasz would call random payphones in the city and would use them to lure people to him. Batman eventually started to intercept the calls as they were being made. Using the batcomputer, Batman was able to deduce the location of Zsasz's lair and found him there with a group of people he intended to make his next victims. Batman engaged Zsasz and locked him into a cage in Zsasz's own hideout.
After Batman: Arkham City
It is unknown if Zsasz was among the many inmates who were released from Arkham City and compensated considerably for the highly illegal and unethical nature of the prison compound following the disastrous end of Protocol 10 and the death of Hugo Strange. Regardless, Zsasz would be at large once again by the time Scarecrow initiates his plans on Halloween and forces an evacuation of the city, allowing the villains and their gangs to take control of the streets. However, Zsasz was not among the villains that Scarecrow collaborated with, believing the psychotic killer to be too difficult to control, much to Zsasz's anger.
Several of Zsasz's victims can be found near the docks on Founders' Island, murdered and posed in life-like arrangements, with tally marks carved into the wall behind them. The killer himself can be seen near Oracle's clock tower as Batman reviews the security footage from the adjacent buildings as he searches for Barbara's abductors, with Zsasz seemingly seeking new victims to target and add to his tally marks. Zsasz continues to murder dozens of gang-members throughout the night and plans to target Batman once he ruins Scarecrow's plans, ironically predicting that it would be Crane who would be left beaten and humiliated.
Zsasz never receives his chance however, as Batman fakes his death following his reveal as Bruce Wayne and reestablishes himself as a far more terrifying and unseen vigilante. It is implied that Zsasz was also putting his own life in danger as the high amount of tally marks he carved into his skin, indicative of the murders he committed, within one night was leading to massive blood loss. Even if he survived the loss of blood, it can be assumed that Zsasz was arrested and put behind bars once again following the GCPD taking the city back after Batman neutralizes all major threats.
Psychological profile (by Dr. Penelope Young)
"A Psychopath, Zsasz would fit perfectly into the disorganized asocial category of serial killer if not for his special fixation on the Batman. His motives are power and control, which he expresses quite literally by carving a scar into his skin to mark each of his victims. His obsession with the Batman is also manifested in a physical way: He is saving a special spot to scar when he kills the Dark Knight."
"It's rare that an asocial serial killer motivated by control would have no history of childhood trauma; the exact reasons for Zsasz's behavior remain a mystery."
"His low IQ further hampers my attempts to treat him. He spent hours at a time ritualistically counting the marks in his skin."
Extremely unstable!!! Not a canditate for a new research.
Arkham City Profile: Dr. Hugo Strange
There is no doubt that the world would be a safer place without Victor Zsasz, but why send him to the electric chair when he can serve to punish his fellow inmates at Arkham City? Zsasz's blood-lust continues unabated and rules his every action. Personnel are cautioned to avoid any form of contact with this enthusiastic and consummate murderer.
Patient Interview #1, November 4th
- Dr. Sarah Cassidy: Taped patient evaluation 1. Patient name is Victor Zsasz, diagnosed clinically insane after the murder of at least 20 women in the Gotham area. Hello, Victor, I'm Dr. Cassidy. Seeing as this is our first session, let's spend some time getting to know each other.
- Victor Zsasz: I don't need you, Miss Cassidy. Everything is meaningless.
- Dr. Sarah Cassidy: Don't you think that's a very negative outlook on life, Victor?
- Victor Zsasz: You've no doubt read my file.
- Dr. Sarah Cassidy: Yes... yes I have. It says you come from a wealthy family. That your parents died. How you lost all the money gambling.
- Victor Zsasz: And none of it matters.
- Dr. Sarah Cassidy: Why do you keep saying that, Victor?
- Victor Zsasz: Because the only thing that does matter is the mark. Have you seen my work, Miss Cassidy?
- Dr. Sarah Cassidy: If you're referring to the marks on your...
- Victor Zsasz: Of course I mean my tally marks. And I have a space for yours. Do you want to see where?
Patient Interview #5, November 19th
- Dr. Sarah Cassidy: Taped patient evaluation 5. Victor is not responding well to treatment. Victor, yesterday we spoke about the people you killed.
- Victor Zsasz: Ah, the zombies.
- Dr. Sarah Cassidy: They're all people, Victor.
- Victor Zsasz: They are zombies, continuously shuffling through the daily grind, waiting for someone to liberate them.
- Dr. Sarah Cassidy: You mean kill them. The police report states that you have murdered, or liberated if you like, 20 young women in the last 3 months. Each had her throat slit and was left... posed.
- Victor Zsasz: They were all lucky to be chosen to receive my gift.
- Dr. Sarah Cassidy: I doubt they would agree with you.
- Victor Zsasz: Really? How about you, Miss Cassidy? As you take the elevator to your apartment each night, open the six locks to apartment 433, remember you forgot to buy your cat food. Again.
- Dr. Sarah Cassidy: How do you know where I... ?
- Victor Zsasz: As you sit down on your favorite red chair, cat on lap, just waiting for something to happen. I can make it happen, Sarah. I am your salvation.
Patient Interview #1, November 22nd
- Dr. Gretchen Whistler: Patient's name is Victor Zsasz. For the record, the patient has transferred from, Dr. Cassidy, who is on leave after the incident last week. (Zsasz enters with guards) Hello, Victor. Please, take a seat. Guards, you can leave us.
- Guard: Sorry, Doctor. Warden's orders. I can't leave you alone with him.
- Dr. Gretchen Whistler: I understand. Hello, Victor. How are you feeling today? Victor! I can't help you if you don't speak.
- Victor Zsasz: Depressed! Does that help you? Can you get into my mind, Doctor?
- Dr. Gretchen Whistler: Why depressed?
- Victor Zsasz: I'm just thinking about the one that got away. The one I chose. I needed the mark. I want the mark!
Patient Interview #4, December 12
- Dr. Gretchen Whistler: Victor has been more subdued recently. Response to medication has been poor. (Zsasz coming in with guards) Hello, Victor, is there anything you'd like to talk about today?
- Victor Zsasz: (mumbling) Cutting and cutting and cutting and cutting and cutting and cutting...
- Dr. Gretchen Whistler: Victor!
- Victor Zsasz: (mumbling) Cutting and cutting and cutting and cutting and cutting...
- Dr. Gretchen Whistler: This is going nowhere. Guards. Get him out of here.
- Guard: You heard the doctor, get up! Didn't you hear me? He's got a knife! Get a tranq in him! Get a tranq in him! Oh God! He's on Bill. He's cutting him. Get him off. Get him off. We need help here!
Case Study Notes, December 22
- Dr. Gretchen Whistler: Victor has been in isolation since the attack on the guard last week. As I wait for him to be brought to me, I have had time to review his notes. I am increasingly worried he cannot be cured. He has no empathy for his victims. Deep down, I believe he views all of us as potential victims.
- Guard: Doc, are you okay?
- Dr. Gretchen Whistler: What's happening?
- Guard: It's Zsasz. He broke out of isolation. He's gone.
- Dr. Gretchen Whistler: Oh God!
- Guard: Don't worry, Doc, you're in the safest place. He's definitely left the island.
- Dr. Gretchen Whistler: Of course. But someone needs to alert the authorities, he'll need to kill again. Do you understand me? Needs to. Oh no. He's gone after Dr. Cassidy. (dialing on a telephone)
- Dr. Sarah Cassidy: (phone rings) Hello?
- Dr. Gretchen Whistler: Sarah, it's Gretchen. Listen to me.
- Dr. Sarah Cassidy: (Zsasz knocking at her door) Oh, for the love of... Hold on. There's someone at the door.
- Dr. Gretchen Whistler: Sarah! Do not answer the door. Can you hear me? Do not answer the door. It's Zsasz! He's free.
Game Over Lines
- "I'm going to take my time, Batman. After all, you took yours."
- "You missed my call."
- "You took too long, Batman."
- If the player takes too long in rescuing Dr. Young, Zsasz will eventually decide to kill her thus causing the mission to be failed and bringing up a special Joker message in which he sarcastically announces "Now that was unexpected! Who'd have figured the deranged murderer would kill the poor little doctor?!"
- During Batman's first encounter with Zsasz there are actually many different ways to take him down.
- 1: The player can easily perform a glide kick followed by a ground takedown
- 2: He can simply drop to the ground and knock him out from behind with a combo.
- 3: Additionally the player can very easily knock Zsasz around the room and as long as they don't give him enough time in between hits to push the trigger they will not fail the mission. Sometimes Zsasz will actually try to fight back with his knives much like in the challenge mode. One particularly interesting way to defeat Zsasz is to use the cape stun attack on him repeatedly in order to push him around the room and into the electric barrier that barred your initial entrance to the room and the guards, however no matter where Zsasz falls after the cutscene his body will reappear next to the electrified chair.
- Zsasz appears as sort of a 'boss' enemy in many brawling type challenge modes. He fights like a common knife enemy among the High Security Henchmen, but the taunts made are in his voice particularly. He will appear in the final round of melee challenge maps only and this time can be taken down any way the player chooses just like a regular thug instead of from a batarang or a simple takedown like in story mode.
- All of the main enemies in the game have special messages if you lose in their levels. Zsasz, however, is the only enemy not to have a special message. Instead, Joker plays his messages if you lose during Zsasz's levels. He gets his own in Arkham City.
- Comparing Zsasz's appearance in Arkham Asylum to Arkham City, the most likely place Zsasz is saving to scar for killing Batman is his forehead.
- However, some comic adaptations say that he is saving his mark for Batman for the inside of his eyelid.
- In the museum in Arkham City, there is a display place in the entrance hall where Penguin kept Zsasz as one of his exhibits. However it is smashed, alluding to the fact that he is active in Arkham City. You are able to unlock concept artwork for Zsasz in his display case by finding Riddler Trophies and riddles in the Museum.
- You can't visit Zsasz in Batman: Arkham City as Catwoman for a unique conversation because she won't open the doors to his hideout stating that out of all the people in Arkham City Zsasz gives her "the creeps".
- During Zsasz's second phone-call in Batman: Arkham City, the player can read some of his most recent case history. In addition to his kidnapping and attempted murder of Dr. Cassidy, it mentions him stabbing one Mr. A. Rowse to death in an alley with a serrated blade and also his murder of an aspiring artist named Mr. J. Carpenter, whom Zsasz forced to create paintings depicting depraved acts of violence before slicing his throat and leaving him to die.
- Usually at least once during the side-mission, as Batman approaches a ringing phone, it will suddenly stop only to start ringing again when the Dark Knight begins to walk away. This implies that Zsasz is purposely toying with Batman for his own personal amusement by hanging up the phone when the hero gets close and then calling it again as he is about to leave.
- If you don't trace his phone-call, you will get two additional calls where Batman even tries to trade himself to save the two victims. After the call his Bat-Computer will automatically trace his location.
- During the second phone call, Zsasz mentions he has three victims, yet when Batman arrives in Zsasz's lair, there are only two. The third victim can be found deceased in the water near the floating bridge if you scan the water in Detective Mode.
- From the phone-calls, one can notice that Penguin cheated Zsasz at the poker game, where Zsasz lost everything. Zsasz recalls he had four of a kind of sixes, while the Penguin had a straight flush, three through seven. Zsasz describes Penguin laying each card of the flush down on the table from his hand, meaning that they were not playing a version of poker with communal cards. Penguin's hand therefor included a fifth six that could not have been from the deck.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Batman: Arkham City