Although Gotham Knights has an amazing narrative, it leaves a lot to the imagination when it comes to the backstories of the characters that we get to play as protagonists. We get the choice of playing either Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl, or Red Hood. While we get to enjoy a playable storyline for each individual, the game seems more focused on the future and the narrative than the past. Fans who were hoping to find out a little bit more about their pasts might be disappointed, but it does leave room for their stories to be explored in future updates or DLCs to the game. While few details are given about all four of the characters, the backstories of Dick Grayson’s Nightwing and Tim Drake’s Robin don’t have the tragic and juicy backstories that Jason Todd’s Red Hood and Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl do according to the comic book, but some hints are graciously laid down for us in Gotham Knights.
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Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl in Gotham Knights
Not many know this about Barbara Gordon (Batgirl), but Gotham Knights hints at the fact that she once took the name Oracle when she was confined to a wheelchair after a debilitating spinal injury. This was a significant time in the life of the young woman and forms part of the personal trauma that she is still working through in the game.
The game doesn’t explain how she ended up in the wheelchair in the first place, but according to the source material, it was none other than our favourite King of Clowns, Joker, who was responsible for paralyzing her with a gunshot wound, after kidnapping her father, Batman’s favourite Police Commissioner, Jim Gordon.
While this isn’t expressed in the game, and devs leave room for players to come to their conclusions, an alternate suggestion for the source of her injury is never implied, so it’s the best we have to work off. Gotham Knights fans did notice that Batgirl’s miraculous physical rehabilitation was a little less easy to explain, so maybe that’s why the devs have left it open for interpretation.
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Jason Todd’s Red Hood in Gotham Knights
Just as with Barbara in Gotham Knights, not many fans know that Jason Todd was once Robin, long before he was Red Hood. Jason only became Red Hood after he was resurrected from death by the League of Shadows, using the Lazarus Pit. While it isn’t an important plot point and is easy to overlook, it is mentioned in the game as Talia Al Ghul, who resurrected him, says the Bat Family should be less ungrateful towards her for his resurrection.
As for who killed Jason, Tim tip-toes around mentioning Joker’s name around Jason during the course of the game, and Jason confirms this is because Joker was the one who killed him. With a nod towards the very solemn source material surrounding his origin, Joker captures Jason and tortures him, driving him mad, and turning him against Batman. When he goes back under Batman’s Wing and reunites with the Bat Family there is no doubt that he has a tragic backstory.
Although nothing is confirmed, we have a lot of reliable source material to look back on to help us fill in the blanks. Will it ever be properly explored? Only time will tell, but we can’t wait.
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Would you like to see more of Gotham Knights’ protagonists’ backgrounds?