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Rory's thoughts on Batman (Telltale): Harvey Dent

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I've been watching Arch's play of Batman by Telltale, and what really stuck, what I payed attention to was his gushing over Dent/Two-Face. He's pointed out several things I didn't notice: angles and play on lighting with Harvey forshadowing his fate, his frequent switching between the solemn/grim expressions and his gentle/positive sides. When Dent's transformation reached its climax, he gave it a big ol' minus for not being a determinant plot point. I've created this thread to counter that.

Early on, Harvey seems like a giant paragon, literally. What keeps his character from towering above everyone is his habit of worrying, and his ambition for the mayoral seat. As the story chugs along, we see him influenced in ways that weaken him to his later trials with Two-Face. What drew me in was the introduction of the split personality to Harvey's character, which personified the disgusting and horrible Two-Face. Instead of being purely influenced by external stimuli and "conditioned" from a young age, Harvey's struggle in the Telltale game is also a fight for control of his mind.

That plotline is very potent for story and drama. I would consider any playthrough that prevented Dent's transformation a negative if we weren't given a character in Dent's exact situation in a prominent role later. If we could prevent the change, that would be premature. We would barely get a glimpse into that conflict. If you're an old player, Two-Face is gone and all his material with him, none of that juicy action sees the light of day in Telltale Gotham. If you're new to Batman and starting with this game and somehow prevent Dent's change, you're just confused - you don't even know what you've missed, someone has to tell you or you have to read about it later. Without hints, and without Dent's problem recurring later in another character who is either struggling like he did or has succumbed and ultimately must be booted to the asylum, a prevention of Two-Face would be a dry and blurry resolution.

That does not mean I want Two-Face to win. Bruce and Dent's relationship fields the possibility of one day getting through to Dent and helping him beat his "demons", and that is what would be truly awesome: an up close and personal plot centered around Dent's inner conflict, fall from grace, and finally rescue. Prevention is nice, I would not wish for anyone in real life to go through this and then beat it (a la Mother Theresa*), but in a story, without showing us what happens when the bad wins out, or showing us the suffering it causes or making it the big bad or even monster-of-the-week, it's taking the water out of a prevention story hook, leaving behind a dry well.

...Telltale, sequel plz?

A complaint I have about the game's story is that while the plots were intertwined (great), they were set up slowly but knocked down in rapid succession in the penultimate and final episodes. They blew their load all on one game and could have easily made it last, intertwining the remaining plot with the storyline of a sequel, tying it up between Game #2's launch of its overarching conflict and the middle of the story.

* - I acknowledge the possibility that it is incorrect to name this person in reference to their work and the crazy things she thought.

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I actually find myself mostly agreeing with you (my main reason for the negative mark was the fact that the game 'teased' saving Harvey and... you can't. OR CAN YOU, thought to be continued after this parenthesis) but one thing I'd absolutely love is if in a Season 2 (fingers crossed) they let you actually legitimately save Harvey from inside Two-Face because of all the crap you went through to reach out to him in the first season. This would remove my major complaint (the teasing) as well as introduce an additional positive (because, honestly, pulling Harvey out really makes more sense literally and literary'ly).


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I find it best to think of Telltale choices as opportunities to shape your character, rather than to change the story. It's not about saving Harvey, but about how Bruce reacts to his downward spiral, which is a very character defining experience for Batman considering most Gotham villains have some kind of mental disorder.

I'm not sure what else they could do with Two Face in a Season 2 as far as redemption goes. In Lore's PT he reverted to Harvey at the very end, then he sent him to Arkham and committed to improve the Asylum at the end of the season; that seems like the best case scenario to me. Maybe a scene showing his rehabilitation would be nice?


RorytheRomulan wrote:
Bruce and Dent's relationship fields the possibility of one day getting through to Dent and helping him beat his "demons", and that is what would be truly awesome: an up close and personal plot centered around Dent's inner conflict, fall from grace, and finally rescue.

But the thing is there's no inner conflict to resolve, his problems are paranoia and that he hears violent voices. How can Bruce rescue him from that?

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The attitude I took with Harvey was "is he going to turn into Two-Face now, or will that not happen here/now? You decide. By the way, Selina's about to get shot by crooked/incompetent cops." Hmm, if they'd ran with that, maybe you could have chosen Catwoman as your late face-heel-turn villain, but clearly that's not the case.

And then I saw him changing without my input. I never thought of it as teasing. I guess the real choice is "is he going to look like Two-Face? You decide." Which is kinda shallow, so negative granted in that respect.

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