I rather like the fact that every Batman villain has his or her own origin story – sometimes several – which explains (but rarely completely justifies) how they turned villainous. The Joker is a case in point. His backstory is brilliantly told by Alan Moore in The Killing Joke.
Originally a lab assistant and then a failing (and therefore poor) stand-up comic, he agrees to help out in a heist to steal a million dollars. On the day of the robbery his wife dies in a freak accident along with his unborn child, but a distraught Joker is forced by the mobsters to continue. The job goes wrong, with our fledgling villain tumbling into a vat full of chemicals, which disfigure him forever. At the end of the story, The Joker says to Batman …
There is no difference between me and everyone else! All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy.
The Joker’s point is that Batman, too, had a bad day himself once – well, we all know that he did, when Joe Chill killed his parents –
… and it drove you as crazy as everyone else – only you won’t admit it.
Predctably, Batman does not agree –
… maybe ordinary people don’t always crack – maybe there isn’t any need to crawl under a rock with all the other slimey things when trouble hits.
This is one of several origin stories for The Joker. As he himself says of his past:
Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another … if I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!
The Killing Joke ends – appropriately – with a joke, told to Batman, who listens in ominous silence …
The Joker’s main base throughout the Batman series tends to be Funland, which is a massive amusement park surrounded by flashing lights and full of weird, scary rides – such as the ghost train, on which his victims are tortured or executed.
Our scaled-down version of Funland – which I have just finished tweaking a bit – is a chaotic, ramshackle affair, stuffed full with broken rides (although the ferris wheel, bungee jump and drop tower work just fine), dry weeds and an irritating clown who tells terrible jokes. You’ll find it on the ‘Hipsterville’ corner of the sim, just behind the boxing hall.
Incidentally, for visitors who don’t enjoy walking, we installed 28 teleport points around the city. So, if you prefer, you can take the weight off your pixel legs on your next visit.