Batman Arkham Asylum
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Dem Bones Challenge

Written by: Daniel Bradburry
Email: daniel@mckinneyit.com



About this document
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This game has been out for a couple of years now.  Even so, there was still no
official FAQ for this challenge, and so I decided to finally post my strategy
on the web.  By following my advice, you can break 30-50,000 quite easily, 
and very quickly with a minimum of practice.



About me
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I've been playing games now for 33 years, the first of which I 'beat' was
Pitfall II for the Atari 2600.  My god that was a long time ago.  By now, I 
have completed hundreds, if not thousands of titles on dozens of systems.  

I own an onsite IT support company here in McKinney, TX where I live with my
family.

This guide is written from the perspective of what works best for me in
safety and consistency.  If you want to try to improve your score and your
best is 40,000 or below, then give my method a shot.  I think you will be
quite surprised at the outcome.  For the record, at the time of this writing 
I am officially ranked #175 at 115,000 on the Xbox360 leaderboard.  I have
personally made it to round seven, when I did a flying kick into a torch
wielder (dumb, I know).



Table of Contents
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What is the challenge?  ........[01]
General Advice  ................[02]
Combat Skills  .................[03]
Enemy Advice  ..................[04]
The Strategy  ..................[05]
Credits  .......................[06]



[01] What is the challenge?
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A never-ending onslaught of skeletons, with the single caveat that you cannot
take a single hit or you die.  It is a score based challenge, which is
optimized by maximizing your combat mulitplier.



[02] General Advice
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You should have finished the campaign before giving this a real shot, and I
would state that you should be quite comfortable with the ground combat on
Hard mode.

Batman has several moves at his disposal.  To stay alive in this mode and
maximize your score reliably, you will want to exclude a few of them, and put 
others to rare use.

Do not feel as if you need to use all of your skills in a single combo.  You
get no benefit from it like you do in other challenge maps - focus only on 
what you need.

Your single goal is to increase the multiplier as much as possible, as
opposed to taking down enemies.  They will die as the fight continues, so just
focus on chaining it all together, taking out priority targets, forcing
enemies to drop torches, and overall just staying alive.

I recommend not using the instant takedowns during the fight as it will
decrease your overall multiplier.  Having used both strategies extensively,
it is the focus on straight attacking that has consistently generated the 
highest scores for me.



[03] Combat Skills:
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Attack-

	The standard attack.  You will be using this to continue chaining
        the combo and increasing the multiplier.  Most of your enemies will
        be dying from these strikes.  This will increase your multiplier
        dynamically - one to two per hit (two if it is a critical).  You
        can gain a lot from one strike by hitting multiple enemies at once.

Counter-

	Do not misunderstand me.  Use this sparingly, and for a couple of
        reasons.  Timing of the counter (pressing it early, or late) can
        end the combo, or the challenge.  Also, with the way Batman flies
        around the arena, you can displace yourself easily and attempt to
        counter an incoming attack and have it fail because of distance.

        I have to state, however, that there are some attacks that due to
        how far into the animation the enemy is, that you can only survive 
        by countering.  This is simply put the only dynamic of the fight 
        that determines whether I live or die - when or when not to counter.
         
        Like the attack, this will increase your multiplier, and always by
        one.

Batarang-

	Use it only at the end of the round, when I tell you to.  You must
        however use it against the titans when they charge.

        No matter how many enemies go down, your multiplier goes up by
        one.  Because of this, and the damage it causes, do not use this
        during the fight.

Bat Grapple-

	You can safely ignore this.  I always use it at the beginning of the
        round out of habit (which will cause torch wielders to drop their
        weapon), but it's not necessary.  If you do pull a torch wielder
        towards you, run around him and engage another enemy - if you attack
        him as he is stumbling towards you, you'll die.

        It does nothing for your multiplier.

Cape Stun-

	Never use it.  You shouldn't have to ever punch out a knife wielder.
 
        It does nothing for your multiplier.

Combo Throw- 

	Never use it.  Period.

        This will increase your multiplier by one.

Ground Takedown-

	Use it on knife wielders immediately, and on the last enemy of the
        round if you have to.  Otherwise keep it in your pocket.

        This will increase your multiplier by one.

Ground Pound-

	NEVER use this during the fight, until the end of the round.  Batman 
        is indefensible while doing this, and a mis-timed ground pound will 
        end the challenge.  If you get cocky and throw it out there, expect
        to restart.

        This will increase your multiplier by one.

Flip/Dodge-

	Do this liberally during the entire fight, flipping over the closest 
        enemy after every strike.  It gives you a few moments to breathe and 
        plan your next move.  When consistently used with the standard attack, 
        you will watch your enemies be slowly torn apart, while you maintain
        control of the event.

        It does nothing for your multiplier.



[04] Enemy Advice:
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The skeletons come in a few standard flavors:

Unarmed-

	Nothing to speak of.  Basic rabble. 


Armed with sword- 

	Functionally, the same as the unarmed version.  A longer lead up to
        his attack, with a greater reach.


Knife wielder-

	A very dangerous enemy.  Not for the fact that he can kill you, but
        rather he is resistant to standard attack and can't be countered.  He
        has a very good chance of interrupting your combo and cancelling out
        your multiplier unless you take him out with an instant takedown.  I
        highly advise you do so at the earliest opportunity.  Once he's out,
        you have eliminated the threat - the knives can't be used by any
        other skeleton.

Torch wielder-

	Dangerous for the opposite reason of the knife wielder.  He will go
        down fast if you follow the approach I lay out here, however he can
        kill you easily if you accidentally attack him directly.  Because he
        will drop his weapon if hit or knocked down, any skeleton can pick
        it up and become just as dangerous.

Titan-

	A one-time threat that is easy to eliminate, or can end your run in
        seconds.  Once he is on the field, keep him in sight and on the far
        side of the arena.  While rythmically flipping over and striking down
        the skeletons, listen for his roar.  As soon as you hear it, toss
        the batarang and jump sideways, preferably over an enemy.  You have 
        about two seconds to toss it successfully - he will charge in a 
        linear trajectory once hit, and as long as you have flipped out of 
        the way, continue the combo on the remaining skeletons.  He will 
        shatter once he hits the arena wall.  If you fail to throw it and
        have somehow survived his first charge, then you MUST take him down
        immediately at his next charge.  You cannot stand long against the
        skeletons with this loose cannon on deck.


Gun wielder-

	I've heard that eventually guns will fall onto the field.  Honestly,
        if you've gotten that far then you don't need my guide.




[05] The Strategy
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The thugs/skeletons remind me of the ninja movies of the 1980s.  No matter how
many enemies surround you, only one will attack at any moment in time.  Use
this to your advantage, and if you see a skeleton running towards you, expect
him to be the brave soul that will attack as soon as he gets into range.

Beginning of the round:
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Open every round the same way - engage the skeletons in a manner you are
comfortable with.  Start with a counter, a grapple, or a strike.  The first
2-3 hits will not cause a critical, so if you are going to punch a single 
enemy 3 times in succession, anticipate that one of his friends may try to
intercept you.  It's safer to punch twice and then flip out of the way.

Middle of the round:
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This is what you will be doing 95% of the time.  Flip over an enemy, and
strike him from behind (or another target).  That's it.  Prioritize torch
wielders with this method, and retrain your fists on any fool that decides
he wants to pick it back up.  If there are any knife wielders on the field,
isolate them and take them out with instant takedowns.  Do it immediately,
as they can and will break up your combo inadvertently.  Drop the titans
when they charge.

End of the round:
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Keep tabs on attendance - once there are three enemies left, flip over one
positioning all three in front of you with no more than a 90 degree spread,
and toss the batarang when you hit the ground.  This will either drop or kill
them, depending upon how much damage they have sustained.  If they all die,
the round is over.  If one or two are left, ground pound the remaining.  If
all three survive and are on the ground, ground pound the first two and
instant KO the third - chances are you won't have time to jump on him.  If 
your batarang doesn't take them all out, don't get greedy.  Jump around some 
more and try it again.


At the end of round one, I typically have between 6,000-8000.
At the end of round two, I typically have between 14,000-16,000.
At the end of round three, I typically have been 30,000-35,000.
At the end of round four, I typically have been 60,000-70,000.

It's not about perfection.  It's about survival.  Remember that.



[06] Credits
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Feel free to repost anywhere, just please give me credit when doing so.

Any additional advice, suggestions or comments email them to me at:

daniel@mckinneyit.com

Copyright 2011 Daniel Bradburry