It’s an expansive wellspring of lore, how can they not call back to it?
You can’t make a game like Gotham Knights without paying homage to the source material. The Bat-family has experienced plenty of journeys, both as a team and individually separate from the game. Outside the main story, character backstories and memories are interwoven in dialogue and the surrounding environment.
Whether it’s a connection to a specific storyline or series, or simple reminders of the history of each character, Gotham Knights is chock-full of recognizable moments and dialogue throughout the city streets and secret hideouts. These are the best references to the source material in Gotham Knights.
Jason Todd always comes with his own fair share of emotional baggage. And considering that he was literally murdered and brought back to life, it makes sense that he’s still reeling from his past. The fact that Jason is Red Hood and that Tim Drake is Robin is a reference within itself, as Jason is the second Robin and Tim is the third.
But still, the writers aren’t very subtle when addressing Jason’s Under The Red Hood storyline. In fact, Jason is always bringing up his death in his dialogue and emails with other characters. He also addresses his anti-hero past. Though he’s currently using rubber bullets, flashbacks will show that he once used real ones when fighting crime.
Since she's on her feet, you may think Batgirl's Oracle storyline hasn't happened yet. But once you find her wheelchair and hear her reference her past, you'll realize that The Killing Joke has already occurred. In Alan Moore's popular comic book, Barbara Gordon is paralyzed from the waist down by the Joker. Because she can no longer walk, she takes up crime fighting behind the scenes as Oracle.
Aside from her clear references to Oracle, you can also find a couple of easter eggs in the Belfry. Batgirl's wheelchair and other tools can be found throughout the hideout.
You can pick which of the Knights you want to main, but it’s still undisputable that Nightwing is meant to lead the team in Batman’s stead. It’s not uncommon for Dick Grayson to be a team leader. He’s led the Teen Titans, later known as the Titans, and he’s even taken up the Batman mantle.
Dick Grayson took over the Batman role while Bruce Wayne was away or supposedly dead. Though he doesn’t don the cowl in Gotham Knights, his leadership is a nice touch of accuracy in the game.
Catwoman is one of Bruce Wayne’s most well-known love interests, taking up the role in comics, films, and live-action and animated shows. She seems to be among the other funeral-goers in mourning, dressed in sunglasses and an updo.
But she’s more directly referenced by Alfred during a conversation in the Belfry. The team finds a cat lurking through its walls, in which Alfred jokes that it wouldn’t be the first time a cat infiltrated a hideout.
Each of the Knights teamed up with Batman long before they joined any other groups, but nonetheless, each of them has been a member of a separate team. It’s not clear whether Young Justice exists in this universe, but it’s clear that the Teen Titans, Birds of Prey, and the Outlaws have already been established.
Both Starfire and Roy Harper reach out to their respective teammates through email, but Birds of Prey is referenced all over the Belfry. With Black Canary posters, phone calls from Huntress, and even a photo of the trio, their existence can't be denied.
One of the common restaurants in the comics and animated universes is known as Big Belly Burgers. The fast-food chain has its own spot along Gotham's streets. The burger joint is already eye-catching to those familiar with the comics, but the characters also reference it. In a conversation between Barbara and Jason, she asks if he’d like anything from the takeout restaurant.
The chain can be found throughout the cities of DC’s many earths and is frequented by numerous heroes, like Batman, the Flash, Superman, and many others.
There are few characters that know the true identity of Batman, and Doctor Leslie Thompkins is one member of this exclusive group. Though she doesn’t make an appearance in Gotham Knights, her daughter Jada has taken up after her mother.
Jada can be found throughout Gotham City in her mobile clinic, caring for the people of Gotham, just as her mother did. You’ll see a lot of her if you handle any organ trafficking missions. Her friendly face and interactions with the Knights suggest another great allyship may be formed.
Who knew emails could be so fun? The email inboxes of the Knights can easily be overlooked, but taking the time to read through them is the ultimate fan experience. Not only can you see messages from fellow DC Comics heroes, like Superman, but you can also read emails from side characters.
Nightwing and Batgirl receive emails from friends within their respective series. Alysia Yeoh, a close friend and roommate of Barbara Gordon, tries to contact her, along with other friends like Frankie Charles.
Comic book writer and artist George Perez, unfortunately, passed away in 2022, but his legacy lives on in the comics and in Gotham Knights. You can find a plaque memorializing Perez in Old Gotham. The tribute shares his birth and death years alongside a meaningful quote, stating “He brought heroes to life.”
Perez famously contributed to Teen Titans, co-creating characters like Raven. It makes sense we see Perez here in Gotham City, as Dick Grayson is one of the most well-known members of the Titans.
Each character has numerous alternative costumes that are part of separate themes. Many of the themes reference the comics, but two of the most substantial are the Beyond and Knightwatch costumes.
The Beyond suits directly reference Batman Beyond, a series set in the future when Bruce Wayne has retired. Terry McGinnis takes up the mantle with a new suit similar to the ones the Knights are wearing. The Knightwatch costumes also pay homage to comic artist Jim Lee. Both themes are available in the Deluxe Edition of the game.
Next: Relatable Things Every Player Does In Gotham Knights
Erin McKendrick is a List Article Writer for TheGamer. She has a Master’s degree in English and writes for a variety of publications. She loves video games and DC Comics.