A true sociopath, Victor Zsasz grew up in a life of ease, but nonetheless became a serial killer. Indiscriminate in his prey, body count was the only thing that mattered to Zsasz. He took pleasure in arranging the corpses of his victims in life-like poses before carving a mark for each of his victims into his own body. He saved a special spot for Batman. Above all else, Zsasz represented what Batman hated most – pure, unadulterated and remorseless evil.
Zsasz proved more capable than regular Thugs who were employed by the super criminals, as he had no care for his own life. Zsasz possessed so little care that he was willing to kill a hostage if he got bored of waiting for his attacker to make a move. He served as a supporting antagonist in Batman: Arkham Asylum and the main antagonist of Gotham's Most Wanted Mission, Cold Call Killer.
Between Arkham Origins and Assault on Arkham Incident
Between Christmas Eve and the infiltration of Arkham Asylum, Zsasz lost his parents. He inherited millions of dollars, but missed them very dearly. To cope with his misery, he turned to gambling. Zsasz himself admitted that he wasn't very good, though.
One summer evening, he was playing poker at the Iceberg Lounge. Somehow, he did very well that night. He eventually worked his way up to the Owner's Table. Zsasz started playing alongside card-sharks, thugs, and princes. He kept winning hand after hand. Little did he know that the only person who won in the Iceberg Lounge was the Penguin. Zsasz went all in because he thought his four 6's would win. When Zsasz laid down his cards, Penguin laughed. Penguin laid down a 3, a 4, a 5, a 6, and a 7 (Cobblepot cheated during that game). Penguin's flush beat Zsasz's four of a kind. Zsasz lost all of his money and was thrown out of the Iceberg Lounge.
After that, he wandered the streets crying. Eventually, he made his way to the Sprang Bridge and prepared to jump off. As Zsasz contemplated suicide by jumping off the bridge, a homeless man threatened him with a knife, demanding his money. Zsasz became infuriated, took the knife, and held it to the man's throat. Something overcame Zsasz and he killed the man. Zsasz felt pure euphoria afterwards. Suddenly, without thinking, he carved a mark into his own arm.
Believing he’d found a new purpose, Zsasz became a serial killer, who believed that he did others a favor by liberating them from the mundane lives that they had lived. As he had no qualms about who he chose, Zsasz was hard to pin down, even for Batman. Two of his notable murders were a young artist, whom he forced to draw the most depraved images of chaos and murder imaginable, before he stabbed him four times in the back and left him to die; and a GCPD Officer, whom he strung up and sliced his throat.
At some point, Zsasz auditioned for Joker to operate on his henchmen, the Abromovici twins. When Zsasz pointed out that everything he operated on would end up dying, Joker laughingly rejected his services.
Assault on Arkham Incident
Zsasz was seen holding a woman at knife-point in an alley way, promising to ‘liberate’ her, but was quickly subdued by Batman with a knock to the back of the head by his Grapnel Gun and was apprehended by the GCPD.
After Assault on Arkham
After multiple murders, Zsasz was apprehended by Batman and was sent to Arkham Asylum, where he was under the care of Dr. Sarah Cassidy, who tried to help him rebuild his humanity. However, by their second interview, Zsasz had revealed that he had somehow been stalking her, learning where she lived and her habits. Disturbed by that news, and that Zsasz had picked a place on his flesh to carve a tally for her, Dr. Cassidy had him transferred to Dr. Gretchen Whistler, while she was given some leave time. Zsasz was left depressed that one of his victims had eluded him and loudly stated that he wanted the mark during his next interview.
By the time that Dr. Whistler was ready for their next interview, Zsasz had gotten a hold of a knife and was mumbling to himself about cutting. When a guard was told to remove him, Zsasz attacked the guard, only to be subdued by reinforcements, who disarmed him and forced him into solitary. Zsasz managed to break out and head out into Gotham City to find Dr. Cassidy and make her his next victim.
Road to Arkham Incident
Zsasz surprised Dr. Cassidy at her apartment, ironically at the exact moment that Dr. Whistler had called to warn her not to answer the door. After he managed to overpower her, Zsasz took Dr. Cassidy to the Old Country Hospital, where he planned to commence "liberating" her in an ironic fashion. However, Batman managed to track him down, knocked Zsasz out, and saved Dr. Cassidy's life.
A defeated Zsasz was sent back to Arkham, who was left with nothing to do but count his marks, wait for the next chance to escape, and resume his "righteous work". That wait wasn't long, as Batman soon returned with The Joker, who began an all-out riot on Arkham Island.
Arkham Asylum Incident
During the Joker's takeover of Arkham, Zsasz was let loose from his cell at the Intensive Treatment Center. Running free, he encountered two Arkham security guards in the Patient Pacification Chamber. After Zsasz killed one guard who tried to stop him, he took hold of another guard named Mike, and strapped him to an electric chair.
A third guard, Zach Franklin, came across Zsasz, sounded the alarm, and requested backup on the radio. At least three more guards responded to the alarm and arrived with Dr. Whistler. Zsasz warned them that he would kill Mike if he saw "anything that looked even a little bit like a bat" getting too close while the guards attempted to talk him down. Franklin and another guard stood barred at the entryway to the Pacification area, but were able to see Zsasz pacing behind his hostage in the electroshock chair. Franklin tried to call for more backup in the Processing Corridor in dealing with the hostage situation, but found no answer on the radio, as most of the other guards in the vicinity were murdered by the Joker after his escape through the area.
A surviving guard, Eddie Burlow, picked up the call near the door to the Decontamination Chamber, but was unable to respond. He directed Batman to the Patient Pacification Chamber. Batman arrived on the scene and met Franklin, who informed him of the situation. Batman used the chamber balcony and grappled behind Zsasz on the gargoyles that lined the top of the room. He snuck up on Zsasz, took him out, and left him back in the care of Dr. Whistler and the Arkham staff. Batman warned Dr. Whistler that it would take much time before Zsasz could be cured, if he could be cured at all. Soon after, Harley Quinn trapped the Arkham staff in the Pacification Chamber. One of the security personnel covered Zsasz with his shotgun to prevent any escape.
Zsasz somehow escaped once again, likely after the employees had managed to escape to a more secure wing during the chaos. He killed three security guards above the Penitentiary in Arkham West. He then proceeded to prop them up like rag dolls around a table as if they enjoyed a game of cards. After Joker's Henchmen had taken control of the Penitentiary, Zsasz proceeded to the heavily-guarded Arkham East.
While Joker's Henchmen wrestled the area from the guards, Zsasz invaded the Botanical Gardens. He entered the Glasshouse Entrance, where he encountered three more members of security at the doorway to the Botanical Glasshouse. Zsasz murdered two of them, and arranged the dead guards in a lifelike pose around a park bench. After he killed several more Arkham staff, Zsasz scratched out the tallies of his kills onto the bench. Shortly after, the Joker came across Zsasz in the Glasshouse Entrance with his latest victims. Joker took Zsasz to the Arkham Mansion after his henchmen had captured Dr. Penelope Young in the Library, and planned to torture the Titan Formula out of her.
Zsasz asked to be left alone with Dr. Young and successfully forced the secret out of her. Batman searched the Arkham Mansion until he came across Zsasz, who held Dr. Young hostage in the Warden's Office with a knife to her throat. The Joker, contacting Zsasz via a monitor, tried to convince Zsasz to hurry up and kill her. Zsasz began to panic as he knew that Batman would take him down if he did just that, but was also torn by his desire to kill her, slowly savored her fright, and said that she was "just begging to be slaughtered". Before Zsasz could make a decision, Batman knocked him out with a Batarang to his head.
Dr. Young was driven to tears while Zsasz had held her hostage and nearly killed her. She beat her fists against his unconscious body angrily, and yelled at him: "You monster! You evil, evil, evil monster!", while still crying. After Dr. Young was killed by an explosive that set in the Warden's Safe by Joker, Harley set her henchmen on Batman, and Zsasz disappeared, which suggested that he had escaped during the chaos, as no guards had arrived to detain him.
His final appearance was in Batman's hallucination of a replay of the game's opening sequence caused by Scarecrow's Fear Gas. Batman was placed in the captured position, with Joker capturing him, and Zsasz among the Arkham inmates who escorted Batman in the patient handcart. After that, Zsasz had no further appearance in the game and his status remained unknown.
Between Arkham Asylum and Arkham City Incident
Zsasz was briefly mentioned by Professor Hugo Strange as an inmate. Zsasz was intentionally, but anonymously, released so that TYGER could recapture him in order to boost Arkham City's credit as a safe prison. At some point after Arkham City was founded, Penguin captured him and placed him in one of his trophy cases at the Museum. He then escaped sometime before Bruce Wayne was imprisoned in Arkham City. He contacted The Broker in order to find a hideout in Arkham City in order to avoid the Arkham Gang War and continue his "holy mission" without interruptions.
Arkham City Incident
Zsasz managed to hack into the phonelines in Arkham City and proceeded to call the payphones all over. When someone answered, Zsasz challenged them to answer his other calls. Once they failed, Zsasz hunted them down, killed them, and left their bodies in poses. Those attacks quickly grew into a rumor about the Payphone Killer. Inmates with any common sense learned to avoid the phones, to keep Zsasz from hunting them down. Others were not so smart, and one ended up posed outside of the Sionis Steel Mill, next to a phone.
When word of Batman in Arkham City spread, Zsasz managed to kidnap three Political Prisoners. When Batman decided to find out why the phones rang, Zsasz answered and challenged him to answer the next ringing phone, or he would kill a victim. When Batman reached a phone, Zsasz recounted part of his origin. He felt compelled due to either a sense of guilt or a need to confess.
All the while, Batman was breaking the encryption code that Zsasz used to hide where he was calling from. As the process took too long, Batman even offered himself in place of the prisoners, but Zsasz told him to wait for his turn to come instead of being impatient.
Eventually, Batman tracked down Zsasz to a building in the Industrial District. By that time, Zsasz had partially broken his promise as a corpse of one of the prisoners was in the water; he was either killed or had committed suicide. Hiding from Zsasz's view, and keeping quiet, Batman eventually snuck up behind him. After he smashed through the glass, Batman knocked Zsasz out with a punch to his head against the floor.
After he was locked in his own cage, Zsasz awoke and begged Batman to let him out so that he could get more marks as they were the only thing that he had left to live for. His former captives, who were relieved to have been saved by Batman, called Zsasz a freak for liking to cut himself.
After Arkham City Incident
His true status remained unknown, though it was safe to assume that Zsasz was arrested and was put into custody when the GCPD stormed Arkham City if he was still locked up in his cage at his hideout (which was very likely).
Before Arkham Knight Incident
Due to Strange's highly illegal activities and Protocol 10, many prisoners sued for restitution and applied for release. Zsasz was one of those criminals and received a settlement from City Hall, took his release papers, and went out to look for another victim.
Arkham Knight Incident
Batman could see Zsasz in a recording that showed Oracle's kidnapping by the Arkham Knight at the Clock Tower. Zsasz seemed to look the same as he did in Arkham City. It was also revealed through a City Story that Zsasz had been active in Gotham, had resumed his killings, and Batman stumbled across three of his victims who were posed near Wayne International Plaza under a bridge on Founders' Island. Zsasz was revealed to still want to kill Batman, but was willing to wait for his moment.
Victor Zsasz was masochistic, sociopathic, sadistic, remorseless, murderous, psychopathic, and was completely capable and willing to kill and mutilate innocent people.
Zsasz was born into a life of ease due to his aristocratic status and family fortune, but when his parents died and he lost his entire riches to gambling, Zsaaz retorted to a fatalistic mindset, and once even considered suicide. Everything changed for Zsasz one day when he was nearly mugged upon Gotham Bridge, and came to understand that every man, woman, and child were all standing on the "brink of oblivion" and by ridding them of life, he was (he believed) helping them. On an impulse, Zsasz cut the mugger's throat, carved a mark into his arm, and began his descent into a serial killer.
Zsasz displayed multiple times of being a compulsive killer and that was what separated him from the Rogues' Gallery was that he HAD to kill rather than chose to. Examples of such were when he held Dr. Young hostage, Zsasz stated that she was "begging to be slaughtered" and should Batman wait long enough, he would actually kill her, and ignored the fact that then Batman would attack. That was also shown during his capture in Arkham City where he screamed: "I need to make the mark! It's all I have left!"
His opinions of humanity and life in general became extremely bleak, a case of nilihism and misanthropy were pulled into question. Though it was ironic that if he was a misanthrope, who had nothing more than disdain and hatred towards humanity, Zsasz actually believed that he was helping the people that he killed by liberating them of life which he viewed as a "disease." Zsasz's obsession with collecting as many tally marks as possible led him to no longer view his victims as people. More than once, he referred to them as "zombies" and "piggies." His tendency to pose his victims in lifelike stances was a further testament to how, even in death, Zsasz believed them to be the same.
Zsasz did not only take intense joy in marking his skin, but was intensely proud of his first kill which he remembered in explicit detail that he told Batman in Arkham City.
Real Name: Victor Zsasz
Occupation: Serial killer
Base of Operations: Gotham City
Hair: None (formerly blond)
Height: 5 ft 8 in
Weight: 150 lb
Batman's Database Profile
Police records about Zsasz say that he is an insane serial killer. He poses his victims in a lifelike manner, and after each murder he cuts a tally mark into his skin. He is obsessed with gaining more marks, despite the increasing lack of room, and he saves a special place for the mark of Batman's life.
Dr. Penelope Young
"A Psychopath, Zsasz would fit perfectly into the disorganized asocial category of serial killer if not for his special fixation on the Batman. His motives are power and control, which he expresses quite literally by carving a scar into his skin to mark each of his victims. His obsession with the Batman is also manifested in a physical way: He is saving a special spot to scar when he kills the Dark Knight."
"It's rare than a asocial serial killer motivated by control would have no history of childhood trauma; the exact reason for Zsasz's behavior remain a mystery."
"His low IQ further hampers my attempts to treat him. He spent hours at a time ritualistically counting the marks in his skin."
Extremely unstable!!! Not a candidate for a new research.
Dr. Hugo Strange
There is no doubt that the world would be a safer place without Victor Zsasz, but why send him to the electric chair when he can serve to punish his fellow inmates at Arkham City? Zsasz's blood-lust continues unabated and rules his every action. Personnel are cautioned to avoid any form of contact with this enthusiastic and consummate murderer.
- Sociopath with no regard for human life
- No pattern of killing, making him difficult to track
- Compulsive need to kill others
- Expert Escape Artist
- Keen Intellect
- Surprising Agility
- Hand To Hand Combat
His patient interviews show the period when Dr. Cassidy was assigned to him, the events of Road to Arkham (albeit being moments before he kidnapped Dr. Cassidy) and the period with Dr. Whistler serving as his doctor (Dr. Cassidy took an fear of him after the incident).
Assault on Arkham
- "The zombie's mine to liberate. I have righteous work to do." (Holding woman at knife-point)
- "I see anything that looks even a little bit like a bat and this guard dies. Do you hear me?" (Holds Arkham Guard Mike hostage)
- "How many times do you need to be told? Keep away or this little piggy fries." (Mike)
- "Stay where you are, Batman! Listen to me carefully." (Holding Dr. Young at knife-point)
- "Come any closer and I'll paint the room crimson with her blood!" (Dr. Young)
- "I know you're still out there! Won't be long and you'll hear her final song!" (to Batman about Dr. Young)
- "But if I kill her, the Bat will get me!" (Joker)
- "Stay back, Batman! I mean it!" (Holding Dr. Young at knife-point)
- "I can see the veins in her neck throbbing. I can smell her sweat and tears as they run over her flesh!" (Dr. Young)
- "I...I need to make the kill, I can't...wait." (Dr. Young)
- "She's just begging to be slaughtered...." (Dr. Young)
- "Good night, Ms. Young..." (Kills Dr. Young if Batman took too long)
- "Hello... Batman. Do you recognize my voice?"
- "In the flesh. I'm so happy you remembered me. I'll never forget you. I've got a special game planned, Batman. A game just for you. Ring, ring."
- "Oh, Batman. You sound impatient. That is good. That is very good. You'll need that to solve my little game."
- "You may have heard that I've been providing salvation to the mindless drones lucky enough to answer my calls." (Arkham City Inmates)
- "That's just a question of perspective. For example, from where I'm standing, I can see three little piggies just waiting for me to cure them of life. From their perspective, I'd imagine they see things differently." (Political Prisoners)
- "I bet you will. But first, a little game. Right now, somewhere in Arkham City, there is a phone ringing. I know, it's a big place, but you need to find it. Take too long and I kill these piggies." (Political Prisoners)
- "And don't try anything clever. I had a friend help me bounce this signal through every relay from here to Bludhaven. You'll never find me."
- "Now, hang up that phone and start running. Ring, ring. Ring, ring."
- "Please hold for Mr. Zsasz. I'm sorry, he's not available right now. You need to find the phone."
- "My flesh is crying out, Batman. Can you find my phone or will I have my fun?"
- "Find my phone now, Batman, or I'll carve this man's existence into my flesh."
- "My flesh is begging you to fail, Batman. Will you? Ring, ring."
- "There's a phone ringing somewhere. Get ready to run."
- "It's me. Run, run, run, or the blood will start flowing."
- "Answer my phone and answer it quick, Batman."
- "Find my phone, Batman or the killing starts."
- "Ring, ring, ring. Find my phone, Batman."
- "You made it. Are you enjoying game?"
- "Stop being so impatient. I'll have you too, eventually. I recall telling you that I have a special place reserved for mark. A very special place. I'd show you, but you'd have to find me first, and that is very, very unlikely. Goodbye."
- "You and I aren't so different, Batman."
- "Of course you do. But think it through. We both punish the guilty, you on some revenge-driven crusade and me on a sacred mission from a higher power."
- "It is you who doesn't understand. The beauty of death, the quiet voyage into the unknown, the escape from the misery of the ordinary. But you will."
- "Your life is over. Accept it and prepare yourselves to sink into the oblivion of nothing." (Political Prisoners)
- "I cannot describe with mere words the joy I feel as I make that mark into my flesh." (Political Prisoners)
- "You are probably praying I will end your lives quickly. I won't." (Political Prisoners)
- "Your entire lives have been accelerating to this point." (Political Prisoners)
- "My body is a temple dedicated to your memory." (Political Prisoners)
- "Can you feel the time approaching, little pigs?" (Political Prisoners)
- "Oh, this is a glorious day for you to die on." (Political Prisoners)
- "Soon, I will carve your life on my arm." (Political Prisoners)
- "You...you I will gut like a fish." (Political Prisoner)
- "This is all too much fun isn't it, piggies? I'm enjoying myself so much I nearly forgot to give Batman another call." (Political Prisoners)
- "C'mon, Batman. Where are you?"
- "Don't worry. He'll fail. Maybe this time, maybe the next." (Batman)
- "I can see it now. He's running for that phone. Desperately trying to reach it in time to keep you all alive." (Batman)
- "This game isn't over." (Batman)
- "Maybe he doesn't believe I'm going to kill you all?" (Batman)
- "I'm losing my patience. Pick up already." (Batman)
- "Pick up the phone, Bat." (Batman)
- "This isn't right." (Batman)
- "Don't tell me you can't hear the phone. You're making me angry." (Batman)
- "What are you playing at, Batman?"
- "Where are you?" (Batman)
- "This is not over. It cannot be over. My blade will bathe in the crimson rivers of blood that will pour from the holes I cut into your body. You cannot deny me the mark. I need to make the mark. It's all I have left." (After Batman takes down Zsasz with a glass window takedown)
- "You are going to be mine. When you least expect it I will be there, cutting the flesh from your body, watching as your life slips away." (After being taken down by Batman)
- "I saved a special place for you, Batman. A place to symbolize your death. Do you want to see?" (After being taken down by Batman)
- "This won't end here. I will get out of here and continue my work." (After being taken down by Batman)
Game Over Lines
- "I'm going to take my time, Batman. After all, you took yours."
- "You took too long, Batman."
- "You missed my call."
Batman: Assault on Arkham
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Batman: Arkham City
Batman: Arkham Knight
- If the player took too long to rescue Dr. Young, Zsasz would eventually decide to kill her, thus causing the mission to be failed and bringing up a special Joker message in which he sarcastically announced "Now that was unexpected! Who'd have figured the deranged murderer would kill the poor little doctor?"
- During Batman's first encounter with Zsasz there were actually many different ways to take him down:
- 1: The player could perform a Glide Kick followed by a Ground Takedown.
- 2: The player could simply drop to the ground and knock him out from behind with a combo.
- 3: The player could drop down and perform a Silent Takedown.
- 4: Additionally, the player could very easily knock Zsasz around the room and as long as they didn't give him enough time in between hits to push the trigger, they would not fail the mission. Sometimes, Zsasz would actually try to fight back with his knives much like in the Combat Challenge Maps. One particularly interesting way to defeat Zsasz was to use the Cape Stun attack on him repeatedly in order to push him around the room and into the electric barrier that barred your initial entrance into the room and the guards. However, no matter where Zsasz fell after the cutscene, his body reappeared next to the electric chair on the ground unconscious.
- Zsasz appeared as sort of a 'boss' enemy in many Combat Challenge Maps. He fought like a common knife enemy among the High Security Henchmen though he used two knives instead of one like a regular High Security henchman, but the taunts made were in his voice particularly. He appeared in the final round of the Combat Challenge Maps only.
- All of the main enemies in Arkham Asylum had Game Over Screens if you lost in the places that they were the main target. Zsasz, however, was the only enemy who did not have a special message. Instead, Joker played his messages if you lost during Zsasz's level. However, he gained his own lines in Arkham City.
- Zsasz's incessant need to kill other people was often questioned and ridiculed by other inmates and prisoners. But there were also those who were intimidated by Zsasz because of that tendency.
- Zsasz had a display case at the Museum in Arkham City. The glass front was smashed from his escape.
- Zsasz had his own set of weapons as seen in the Gallery. Zsasz may have had more ways of killing his victims than with just his knife.
- The spot saved for Batman was unknown, though many had mistakenly believed that it was the inside of his left eyelid - that spot was actually saved for Jeremiah Arkham. It was likely his forehead, as the large tally mark was not complete.
- During the Cold Call Killer Most Wanted Side Mission, Zsasz recalled a poker game with the Penguin: he had four 6's while the Penguin had a 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. That made five 6's, which was not a very fair game. It was most likely that Penguin had cheated because Zsasz said he was.
- This would not be the case however, if they were playing the Texas Hold'em style of poker.
- Zsasz was not the one who smashed Penguin's eye into a bottle. In Penguin's last Interview Tape, he said that the person had taken his eye lost both of his and tried to walk across the freeway at rush hour. However, whenever someone brought up the "accident", Zsasz couldn't help but laugh.
- In Zsasz's Hideout, Zsasz killed the hostages if he saw or heard Batman.
- Zsasz's takedown in Assault on Arkham was a direct homage to the classic scene in 1992's Batman Returns.
- It was possible that Zsasz was a Sado-Masochist given his need to kill people, and by keeping the tallies of his kills on his flesh.
- By his own admission, Zsasz thought that he was helping people, whom he thought no longer had a desire to live.
- Besides a small cameo in a video recording, Zsasz didn't appear at all physically during the events of Arkham Knight.
- Unused audio files in Arkham Knight hint that Zsasz would have had a larger role in the game. Originally Batman would have acknowledged Zsasz's presence in the video recording detailing Barbara's capture by promising that he would regret returning to Gotham. Hinting at a future confrontation. However this audio file went unused and the video recording is Zsasz's only appearance in the final game.
- In addition, there is a mountain of unused dialogue for Zsasz in Arkham Knight, along with a conversation with Batman that takes place in the Batmobile. This almost certainly indicates that Victor Zsasz was meant to have his own side mission at one point. This side mission was removed for unknown reasons.
- There is an unused profile picture of Victor Zsasz in Arkham Knight's code, most likely used for a character bio.