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Riddler (Arkhamverse)

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You didn’t expect this, did you? That is because you are no match for me, Edward Nigma, the Riddler and your intellectual superior. Did you think I would forget our last meeting, Dark Knight? You HUMILIATED me. I know you will not beat me this time. It is utterly impossible. You cannot do it. I have won already. I will mock your attempts to solve my conundrums. I will stand triumphant over your bloodied corpse. And as the dim light fades for good in your tiny dullard’s mind, you final thought will be how I have bested you.
~ Riddler in Arkham Knight
Edward Nigma (born Nashton), better known as The Riddler, is one of Gotham City's most professional criminals who is obsessed with proving to the world that he is smarter than a majority of his nearby region, specifically the city's loyal protector, Batman.

The Riddler serves as a prominent antagonist in all four Arkham games where he tasks the Caped Crusader to optionally find his personal trophies and solve certain riddles in a series of challenging puzzles.

History

Becoming the Riddler

Think of me as an Information broker. I've got data handlers everywhere-feeding me all kinds of interesting stuff!
~ Enigma

Edward makes his first chronological appearance in the prequel Batman: Arkham Origins where he enters the city as a new criminal who goes only under the alias "Enigma". After gathering endless amounts of blackmail information that makes Gotham's officials look bad, Enigma plans to publically release this info on Christmas Eve, coincidentally the same night the Bat is being hunt down by Black Mask hired assassins, so the Gotham citizens will lose all hope in their officials and ultimately end up in the fall of the city politically. The genius criminal realizes that the only real obstacle standing in the way of his devious plan is Batman himself. So, he hires armies of brutal henchmen, plants Batwing jamming jammers around town, and cleverly hides the information's servers in order to slow down his new enemy, whom he later considers his first mentally challenging foe. However, Enigma's plan led to failure, as the Bat used his master interrogation and hacking skills to track down Edward's location and defeat him. After he was apprehended, the newly proclaimed "Riddler" was put into Arkham Asylum only to constantly break out again and cause chaos amongst the city, fueling the rivalry between the Dark Knight and himself.

Assault on Arkham

Riddler also appears as a minor antagonist in the animated movie; Batman: Assault on Arkham, and yet plays a major role in the movie. Riddler was portrayed by Matthew Gray Gubler.

Two years before the events of Arkham Asylum, Riddler was forced to work for Amanda Waller. When he was recurring, Waller implanted a nano-bomb inside his neck so that he wouldn't betray her or the Suicide Squad. During his time working for Waller, Riddler served her as her broker. One day however, Riddler discovered a way to diffused the bombs, and managed to disarm the bomb in his neck. Eventually Waller discovered that the Riddler diffused his nano-bomb, and sent a squadron of military soldiers to kill the Riddler. Just as they were about to kill the Riddler, Batman broke in and saved him. Riddler attempted to escape, but Batman managed to capture Riddler and interrogated him, believing that the Riddler knows the location of a bomb that the Joker had stolen. Unable to get any answers, Riddler was sent back into Arkham.

Riddler (Assault on Arkham)

Riddler in Assault on Arkham

Desperate to kill the Riddler, Waller sent several members of the Suicide Squad (including Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Black Spider, Killer Frost and King Shark) to Arkham. While most of the members were sent under false pretense that the Riddler had stolen top secret information about her Suicide Squad operation, Killer Frost was assigned to kill the Riddler. During a confrontation with Batman, Killer Frost made her way to the Riddler's cell. Before she was about to kill him, the Riddler told her that he knows how to defuses the bombs.

After which, Riddler and Frost made their way to the Medical Ward. They eventually managed to regroup with the other members of the Suicide Squad. Riddler explained that he can diffuse the bombs in their neck, if they can get him to the Medical Ward. After dealing with some SCU officers, they managed to make their way to the Medical center. When the group entered the facility, The Riddler explained that he was going to perform some electroshock therapy to fry their bombs. All the members, except for Black Spider (as Black Spider volunteered to keep guard) were strapped onto Ol' Sparky, and were given 1,000 volts of current to deactivate the bombs. However, Waller realized what was going on and rigged the bombs to explode. By this point, all the bombs were deactivated...... except for King Shark's bomb, which resulted in King Shark getting killed. Realizing that Shark's bomb went off the other members questioned why Black Spider's bomb didn't go off. It was there when the Riddler realized that the Black Spider was Batman in disguised. The Riddler pulled out a gun and attempted to kill Batman. However, Batman managed to dodged his shots, tossed a Batarang at him, and then knocked him out.

Despite this, The Riddler managed to escape Arkham during The Joker's outbreak.

Escaping from Arkham Asylum

Are you ready for some more? Explore! Find my challenges. And when you fail to solve them and lie blubbering like an ignorant child on the floor, you will know that The Riddler is better than you!
~ The Riddler

The Riddler makes an appearance as an unseen antagonist in Batman: Arkham Asylum where he, like all criminals, break out of the asylum in the Joker's intelligently orchestrated riot. Instead of staying on the hellish island like most, he leaves and hides out in his secret headquarters where hacks into the Dark Knight's communications to challenges him to solve all of his riddles, find all of his maps, and discover all of his cleverly hidden trophies. This is optional to the player, however, but Nigma will constantly taunt them for their "idiocy" until all of the puzzles are solved, Batman sends the cops a tracked signal planted on Riddler's HQ, and the police force burst into his unidentified placement before arresting him.

Taking hostages in Arkham City

Do you know any other inmate in your twisted little penitentiary who is a genius enough to arrange this little chat?
~ Riddler to Hugo Strange

The Riddler makes a third and currently final chronological appearance in Batman: Arkham City. After the asylum is torn down and is instead replaced with Arkham City, an isolated area of Gotham where the criminals are free to roam, the Riddler sets his crime syndicate again and sends his men out to intercept the Joker's, Two-Face's, and Penguin's ranks. With even more complicated traps and even larger burning hatred for Batman, the Riddler turns his evilness up a notch and captures a band of innocent security officers and doctors, setting them around in city in Saw-like deathtraps where the World's Greatest Detective must find them and save them before they're brutally murdered. After the knight saves a good handful, he moves on to the final location where he traced where the rest of the hostages and Riddler himself are. After entering, Batman witnesses that all of the hostages are forced to push a lawnmower like contraption on a railing. The gadget is strapped with explosives, and if the hostages were to stop for even a second, it'll detonate. After Batman managed to sneaks up to the Riddler's office and incapacitates him, Batman frees all the hostages and straps Edward to his own contraption, forcing him to tirelessly walk around with it at the possible cost of his life (but unbeknownst to him, it's deactivated). The Riddler was likely arrested afterwards.

Batman: Arkham Knight

Riddler returns in Batman: Arkham Knight. He appears as an antagonist and a member of Scarecrow's Army. Once again, he has riddled the city with Riddler trophy's and additionally has surgically planted explosives into the heads of rioters in Gotham City. Batman must find these rioters and shock them with an electric batarang to defuse the bombs.

RiddlerMech

Riddler in his mech

Also, Riddler has created an army of Riddler robots which he intends to use against Batman. He invited Catwoman into his lair inside an abandoned orphanage, claiming that he wanted to employ her to steal a device without the robot's wouldn't be working. However, the robots were completely functional and attacked Catwoman once she arrived. They knocked her out and put an explosive collar around her neck which needed nine keys to be defused. To save Catwoman, Batman must solve tasks in special Riddler rooms throughout the city, obtaining a key after each solved task. After obtaining all keys and removing the collar, Catwoman and Batman are faced by Riddler who has built a giant mech suit to be able to take on Batman in a physical fight. However, he swiftly uses a hidden elevator to enter his hidden bunker, claiming that he would only fight Batman should the Dark Knight solve all his riddles. After finding all riddler trophys and solving all riddles (243 in total), Riddler resurfaces and takes on Batman and Catwoman in a fight, losing to their combined forces. Batman knocks out Riddler and delivers him to the GCPD where he is locked up with the rest of the supervillains. Following Scarecrow's defeat and Batman's identity is revealed, the Riddler is the only villain who refuses to accept that Bruce Wayne and Batman are the same person.

Personality

Though his intellect is staggering, Nygma's IQ was only dwarfed by his insanity, inferiority complex, violent behavior and intense narcissistic hubris. Despite this he was emotionally immature and a child at heart. Still traumatized by his cruel childhood and his abusive father who undermined him at every turn. Though in his eyes, he is a flawless and infallible human "colossus" (or in his own words "The World's Greatest Everything") Nygma displays multiple flawed anti-social behavior, one of them his childlike behavior and because of this his characteristics, even into adult years similarly represents that of an adolescent teenager. Amongst these traits of his childishness are competitiveness, recklessness, stubbornness, pride, rash outbursts, fiery temper, aggressive tantrums and sullenness. Despite being megalomaniacal, psychopathic and egocentric, at his core Nygma is deeply insecure and emotionally scarred. Having never received the recognition he (or at least believed he deserved) it stands to reason that he pathologically has to prove how smart he is, especially to himself and displays what appears to be an inferiority complex in contrast to his overconfident demeanor. Also despite being defeated, incapacitated and humiliated multiple times his pride is never diminished nor is his magnificently over-fed ego and will constantly think that he would come out on top, never thinking that history would repeat itself. He shows cowardice at times, a prime example is when Catwoman, out of revenge for kidnapping her on Halloween steals all his funds, he begs her for mercy.

His hypocritical arrogance can be evident at times. While he assures his hostage, Catwoman that he does not cheat he actually admits during patient logs to Doctor Young that he once did cheat in his school's competition as to impress his father who saw through this and hit him for lying. Later in the game he actually places his adversary, Batman in a "fight he couldn't win" by swarming him with Riddler-Bots that only Catwoman could hit. Nigma defends this while being taken to the GCPD stating that Batman should have been able to hack into the robots mainframe and defeat them all. Undeniably his greatest weakness was that he considered himself undefeatable (ignoring that he has been countless times in the past) and his arrogance makes him grotesquely reckless and overconfident. Examples include when Batman had defeated the final Riddle Room and rescued the hostage, he gave her no code, showing that he had no doubt in his mind that Batman would not be able to defeat his final room. His egomania was so powerful that in captivity at the GCPD while being confronted by Aaron Cash with a taser he still continues to defy his captor which leads to him being electrocuted.

As the Arkham series continues, or more specifically as he continued kept getting defeated, Nigma becomes more deluded and his mental health state deteriorates even further. While in Arkham Origins he focuses solely on releasing blackmail data to the general public, in later games he obsesses totally over assuring intellectual dominance over Batman. As well at the beginning of Arkham Knight he refers to himself as Batman's "one true enemy" when in reality, though he understands that Nigma is dangerous moreover considers him a plight annoyance and normally handles him after the major threats (Joker, Scarecrow, Bane etc.). This is further emphasised when Scarecrow reveals Batman's identity as Bruce Wayne to the world and Nigma mocks him over thinking he could hide his true identity from him, indicating that he was the one who unmasked Batman while in Arkham City when confronting Strange through the Interview Tapes he has no idea of the Dark Knight's real name something which stayed this way throughout the series. However it is possible that Nigma believed that he always knew Batman was Bruce Wayne because in AO he has a chart of two names whom he believed were the Bat; Wayne and Harvey Dent being them. However he does not confirm his own theory so it does not count.

Though the full aspects of Nigma's past have not been divulged, it's been hinted he was constantly bullied, by both his father and peers. In these regards it is a second factor of his intense resentment towards the Caped Crusader, not only how Batman constantly undermines his intelligence by defeating, imprsioning and humiliating him but how he has begun to compare the Dark Knight to his childhood bullies, specifically how he constantly uses physical force to arrest him, something that only worsened his obsession in defeating him. He even goes as far to describe Batman as both a "pugilist" and a "thug" and admits that he has a perfect memory of every time the latter hurt him. Amongst other things Nigma possesses deep-rooted hatred for his father, shown during his final battle with Batman at the orphanage he scream in his direction, "DIE FATHER! I mean Batman!".

Despite his signature penchant for riddles and tendency to place his victims in extremely complicated death traps, Nygma was also highly knowledgeable of people's metaphorical "skeletons" in their closets, dark pasts and secrets. He was able to amass enough data as to use it as extortion and blackmail in Arkham Origins which he planned to release to the general public. It's unknown what Nygma's incentive is in this, there have been hints that Nygma considered this another form of vigilantism but states that his methods were more "refined" than that of Batman's however he also knew it would cause anarchy, proving him to be the psychopathic cyber-terrorist he is. His knowledge of people's buried secrets was further shown during the Interview Tape with Strange in which he reveals he knows of him manipulating Jervis Tetch to use his mind control formula as to manipulate Quincy Sharp into opening Arkham City, as well he was also aware of Strange's custom-made Batsuit that he cried into, doubting that he "wasn't worthy" [to be Batman]. Nygma however was also extremely frustrated about how, unlike Strange he had no idea who the Batman was and when he discovered such he demanded for Strange to tell him, which he refused, leaving him totally blank for words.

Quotes

  • "Can you hear me, Batman? I know you can. It is I, Edward Nygma, the Riddler! And, more importantly your intellectual superior."
  • (sarcastically) "So you did it. Well done. I would expect a child to work that one out, let alone the world's greatest detective."
  • "Does your head hurt, Batman? Understandable. You're no match for me."
  • "Can we just agree I'm cleverer than you?"
  • "It's the E. Nygma Show!"
  • "I am Edward Nygma. The world's greatest detective."
  • "Riddle me this!"
  • "I pity you trying to defeat my challenges."
  • "Can you defeat a mind such as mine?"
  • "There's no shame in cheating. If you admit you cannot solve my challenges."
  • "Fiddle diddle diddle. Answer my riddle."
  • "You're response is as predictable as it as banal. Goodbye."
  • "You're quickly approaching the point of no return. I'd turn back if I were you!"
  • "I'm disappointed, Batman. You do realize there are other ways to overcome obstacles beyond smashing them!?"
  • "Crawling around in vents like a common rat. How...expected!"
  • "Puzzling, isn't it?"
  • "Well, well. If it isn't the King Thug himself."
  • "You're cheating aren't you? You're getting help from someone. But who...who's smart enough to outsmart me!?"
  • "You must be feeling pretty good about yourself, Batman. I mean, you took down all the towers! Which means you've foiled my plan...except, oh wait, I already have all the data I need. And as soon as I'm done uploading it-so will everyone in Gotham."

Game Over Lines

  • Arkham Origins
    • "Ugh, and here I thought I'd finally met my intellectual equal... So much for that."
    • "Brains always triumph over brawn, my friend! Always!"
  • Arkham City
    • "This is hardly a surprise. I always knew I was better than you."
    • "Well, well.  So the shaved monkey has failed. How utterly, utterly expected."
    • "What's wrong? Has your primitive brain given up and accepted I, the Riddler, am better than you?"
    • "Riddle me this. What lies on the ground, is full of holes, and gives off a slight burning smell?"
    • "Question: what do you call someone who prevented a guard from turning to minced-meat? Answer: not you, Batman."
    • "You picked wrong, Dark Knight!"
  • Arkham Knight
    • "I did it! I actually did it ! I mean, of course I did. Good. As expected."
    • "I don't think you'll be solving this one."
    • "Riddle me this: What's dead? You!"
    • "My apologies, Catwoman. But you see, I had a point to prove."
    • "Now to be fair, Catwoman, in cat years you had a very good run."
    • "I did it! I actually did it! I mean, of course I did. Good. As expected."
    • "Your death was inevitable, I'm afraid. A statistical certainty."
      • Catwoman's revenge
        • "Now to be fair, Catwoman, in nine lives you had a very good run."
        • "My apologies, Catwoman. But, you see, I had a point to prove."

Gallery

Arkham City

Arkham Knight

Trivia

  • The Riddler is one of the two villains of the saga to appear in all four titles and play an antagonistic role against Batman, the other being the Joker.
  • In all four titles, Nashton is portrayed by Wally Wingert, who also voiced one of the Almighty Tallest in Invader Zim.
  • The Riddler has a very similar voice to the Cluster Ambassador in My Life As A Teenage Robot also voiced by Wally Wingert.
  • As one would expect, the closer the player gets to beating the Riddler, the angrier and more aggressive he gets. At first, he is a level headed taunter, but later, he is bursting into outraged tantrums. He even slightly breaks the forth wall by accusing the player of looking the answers up on the internet.
  • As the game series progresses, The Riddler become more and more filthy. It's possible that the Riddler has become so obsessed with outsmarting Batman with his riddles and traps, that he began to ignore his moral hygiene.
  • Outsidexbox made a video stating 6 reasons why Riddler, or at least the Arkhamverse version, is easily the most worthless Batman villain. Reason 1: His plans make absolutely no sense (Riddled with problems). In Origins, he plans to blackmail key city figures with data packs of valuable information...that he leaves lying on the street, in Asylum, he escapes the island and leaves trophies everywhere, that let the authorities track his location and later repeats this plan in City, which ends poorly again, and finally, he built lots of elaborate race tracks in Knight, for no reason. Reason 2: He is terrible at riddles (May not know what a riddle is). Many of the riddles he gives are poorly written or make no sense, "What's dead? YOU", "What walks on four legs, then two legs and finally three legs", Answer: A baby if you cut off it's legs and then give it a crutch. Reason 3: He lets Batman try to solve his puzzles over and over with no penalties, this is pretty self explanatory. Reason 4: He builds a Batman-proof robot (Uses it on Catwoman). In Knight, Riddler builds an army of Batman-proof robots, which sounds great, but he fails to foresee a scenario in which someone other than Batman fights the robots, like Catwoman. However, he also builds Catwoman-proof robots, that he only uses when Batman is around, instead of just building a Batman and Catwoman-proof robots. Reason 5: He is allergic to punches. Since most Batman villains are characters who can go toe to toe with Batman mentally or physically, Riddler is useless because, as stated before, he is an complete idiot and can't take a solid punch without going to pieces. Reason 6: Batman's identity eludes him (STILL). Despite being a genius with a knack for solving puzzles, Riddler can't deduce Batman's obvious secret identity and comes up with random and stupid explanations for how he gets his equipment, and even when Batman is unmasked for all the world to see, Riddler denies who he really is, simply because he didn't figure it out himself.


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