So let's talk about our Romantic Interpretation of John and Bruce (Plot Discussion Thread)


[Spoilers for anyone that haven't finished the game yet; please be warned.]


[GIF credit to: phantomsearcher]

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Telltale has done a good job with this season, I loved it so much that I hope there's a season 3.

After finally finishing the game on the first day it came out, I played through both routes of Villain and Vigilante Joker's and throughout the whole game, I found the relationship they have seem to be rather romantic to me? At least on my side of things.

John in this game is someone I came to find endearing, including his obsessive admiration/crush for Bruce/Batman. He cares a great deal for Bruce so that he was willing to lie to Harley for him to retrieve the laptop, he was willing to put his life in danger, gave up on the pact, and even was willing to change for him-- hence the Vigilante path.

Even as a Villain, John still cared about him and tried to stall/protect him from Harley during the dinner party.

He even betrayed Harley again by giving Gordan the map, inexchanged for Batman If you choose to not sell him out and instead, tell him to not let Harley kill you, he'll do this: Video 18:17 to 18:45 Through that whole route was just him trying to have Bruce to his self, even going as far to make him feel the same pain he felt. He was basically acting like a salty Ex-boyfriend through that route, the writer even called it: The Bad Break Up on her blog: https://telltale.com/news/2018/03/villain-joker-the-bad-breakup/

Not to forget that: You broke my heart dialog, and how he wanted to be loved by Bruce in the Vigilante path.

The reason why I bring this up is that of how their relationship is portrayed, it's rather ambiguous anyway from the comics to the games, etc, so it could be taken as either as romantic or platonic in a way. But some like myself has taken to interpreting it as romantic, of course there are some that call it platonic.

This is a thread made for us to discuss the plot relating to the characters relationship in the story development.

--
**Based off of some of the Telltale staff actions towards this season, I notice that they seem to like them together, or is this just me? It's sort of hard to see it as anything else aside from romantic because of this* :smile:
(Credit to @Suzy222 for helping me)

(
Video - 4:46 to 5:19
"They were going for a Date Like Vibe" Video -

@Suzy222 Shows us that Telltale was always going for a "date like vibe" with John and Bruce's interactions rather than a brotherly one.

"KISS HIM" - 1:12:33 to 1:12:45

Bonus:

;) https://t.co/8e6c9t6ZD1

— GamebinoPlays (@GameBinoPlays) March 26, 2018

Please! Play both branches! They are both satisfying, heart-breaking and sinister. There's also a TON of #batjokes in this shit.

— GamebinoPlays (@GameBinoPlays) March 22, 2018

** Rules:**
1. Please try to keep a civilized conversation with others.
2. Be sure to try and keep the thread story-oriented please! Thank you!
3.** If you don't like the romantic interpretations of John and Bruce relationship, then please don't bash/troll others who do in this thread. Try to keep things civil between all, or avoid this thread entirely, thank you. **
4. And please do not go into other people threads to do what I mentioned in #3.

--




[GIF credit to Miyku ]

«13

Comments

  • more romance threads?

  • I wouldnt say an insane person with a strong obsession to a person is a "romantic relationship."

  • edited April 2018

    @Kaelthas I understand you meant well, but that thread has been closed down. I would have loved to post in that one, but unfortunately I can't. Thank you anyway though!

    @Dan10 I guess, but it took a lot of courage for me to even post this, due to the nature around the forums. I actually made this so fans like me would be able to talk about it, like how others have Selina/Avesta threads.

    @Poogers555 I understand, you're free to avoid the thread entirely if you wish or you're free to stay. I rather try avoid getting into arguments involving the pair since I've seen this in the past threads.

    Kaelthas posted: »

    You already have this one https://telltale.com/community/discussion/118381/how-would-you-feel-about-an-optional-john-doe-romance-edit-see-mod-post-towards-bottom-of-page-7/p1

  • @Saiyamon If you haven't watched it yet, I recommend taking a look at which covers Batjokes in different mediums. The pair have had a co-dependent relationship for quite some time. ( Not my video, I take no credit nor relations toward ShippersGuideToTheGalaxy channel, but it's well covered whether it's a ship you support or not. )

  • edited April 2018

    There is a thread already thick with discussion on their relationship since episode 5, but if this thread is to serve a slightly different purpose, then I'm happy to discuss it with you. You have referenced a good amount of evidence to showcase what Telltale were truly going for, all of which (except one) I was aware of, but it's great you've brought them up for others to see. In the other thread, I posted a fairly long post showcasing my own evidence. I'm a person that likes to see all the choices, whether it be playing it myself, or watching them on YouTube (I don't wanna replay the game too many times, but I will for things such as going for a different route and experiencing it for myself, such as the Vigilante and Villain routes).

    It's clear as day that John holds great affection for Bruce, even though he also seems heads over heels for Harley. That's not to say he can only love one person, but it did make me wonder where the story was actually going. I thought perhaps it was just Telltale's little way of teasing the relationship without anything really showing for it. I had doubts that episode 5 would be the same, but I was also hopeful.

    What I experienced was pure shock.

    I played the Vigilante route first, and again, the hints were there, but I also found a heavily implied clue that Bruce held strong affection for John too, because of a choice I picked. If you pick "I can still save him", this happens:

    Alfred: You're not...?
    Bruce: What Al? (test me face here_
    Alfred: Nothing.

    I immediately caught onto the context of where that conversation was going. Bruce was clearly very defensive about the question Alfred was going to ask, i.e "You're not in love with him are you?" Alfred will then bring up the "feelings for John" line, and Bruce's expression from looking annoyed at Alfred to looking at pictures of John does a 180, because he's clearly very pained (even if you act like a dick to John, canon Bruce will still show that expression, so I think it's unavoidable that Bruce feels any different, even if you don't want it). Same goes for the Villain route, but more about that later.

    With the finale of Vigilante Joker and Batman nearing to a close, Joker actually says that he wanted to be loved by Bruce. You have to remember, in this version of Batman, Joker isn't in love with Batman first, he's in love with Bruce, then Batman, and then finds out that both are the same person. We know this because he's been tailing Bruce since season 1, and he told Alfred he'd be collecting tabloid photos of Bruce for years. Typically celebrity crush stuff. :wink: I'm just very annoyed that I couldn't say I felt that way back in the Vigilante route, which brings me to the Villain route.

    Though they are enemies, Joker doesn't shy away from dropping lines that can hold a sexual meaning ("Stop me Bruce", "I'm on top", "put your lips on it", etc), and the constant mention of having his heart broken. You already spoke about how he kept stalling Harley, so I'll go straight to the fight scene.

    "You... need me. I'm the villain of your dreams."

    And here's the shocker for me. While I had hope, I wasn't sure Telltale were going to allow us to actually pick a confession line. It's purpose and intentions were obvious to me, but sadly, some people will try to word their way around it, and it annoys the hell out me, because of something very vital that those people are clearly missing.

    And that's choices.

    In Telltale games, the player is the protagonist too. What the character does on screen is a reflection of what we want. We aren't just following a story, we're creating it as we go along. So if I want to romance Bruce with John/Joker, or at least the best we had offered to us, I'm going to pick "You broke my heart, John." If a person doesn't see or approve of their relationship (and by approve, I don't just mean by being homophobic, it could just be not to your taste, I have same-sex ships I dislike), then they pick 1 of the other 3 options. Each one has a purpose; stay quiet and leave Joker thinking whatever he wants/not admitting it, deny him completely, or just push feelings aside and tell him he's gonna be locked up.

    "You broke my heart" does not sound brotherly, or friendly, or... whatever. That's 100% love. And I'm not blind to looking at both sides when I looked at things, but with that... there isn't another side. It is what it is, it had a purpose, it's a 1 in 4 option that you never need to pick if you wanted to, and was there for people that do. It irks me greatly when people invade that space in attempt to twist it in their own image. Like I said, if it's not for you, then avoid it. I never romanced Selina, but there are people that will, and I let those people have their fun with that, but for me, I personally didn't hold that much love for Selina, ever since season 1, because of how she used Bruce and Harvey. She plays too many games for my liking, if I had to pick a woman for Bruce, it would be Avesta.

    Saying the line wasn't romantic is one thing, because Bruce doesn't actually use the word "love" (but he does use the word "need", which is basically the same thing?), Joker does use the word love. He didn't say "if you ever cared for me". Yes, a brotherly love can use the word "love", but with how Telltale presented this story, the hints, the clues, the interpretations, and by including that confession choice... if all of that wasn't intended to be that way, then that would be very shitty on Telltale's part, and I 100% know they are not that. Like you said, they ship it too, as does Troy and Anthony. Did you know that Anthony actually commented on a BatJokes music video a while back that someone made? That's a pretty big deal considering that voice actors usually aren't going around commenting on videos, unless someone showed them, or unless they're very active in the community and the fandom's content, because some voice actors are, even on Tumblr, like Sean Chiplock who voiced Revali in Breath of the Wild.

    Telltale have also used several references from other Batman media, like Gordon getting shot in the legs was a reference to Barbara getting shot in The Killing Joke. Even the artwork for episode 5 was inspired by it. The whole fight sequence is that of a romantic tragedy, from the music, the expressions, the voice lines, and the poses. I analyzed it, and actually spoke about 9 difference sections of the fight. Some where shots in the dark, but others were pretty clear, or as good as. The big one was when the fight scene ended, it's a reference to Endgame, when Batman and Joker fight to the death, lying in a heart shaped pool of blood, with Batman saying "I'm going to lie here with my friend." Despite what choice you picked earlier, Bruce is always very distraught of the thought of losing John when he almost dies. Troy did an amazing job on getting the emotion off in that "Please!", if broke my heart (I cried a lot in both endings by the way, and I mean a lot!)

    I know I've spoken a lot here, but there's a lot to say. :smile:

  • Could go either way depending on how you look at it. Personally, I don’t think this relationship is too far away from a situation when John/Joker’s obsession/love for Bruce gets to the point where he ends up killing those close to Bruce because he doesn’t want any competition.

  • edited April 2018

    John and Bruce forever :D :D <3

  • really liked your text Bandiccot! I am more of a selina/Bruce fan, but did chose options that made Bruce say kinda 'loving' things to John and I was pretty sad when Bruce tries to revive John, so much emotions from the character!

    Bandicoot88 posted: »

    There is a thread already thick with discussion on their relationship since episode 5, but if this thread is to serve a slightly d

  • GudmoooreGudmooore Banned
    edited April 2018

    Okay, this is enough. The last time this thread was around staff wound up locking it because there was a huge backlash from longtime fans.

    [Mod edit: Rest of post redacted to get thread back on topic]

  • edited April 2018

    I guarantee if you people keep pushing and Telltale caves, it will be the end of the Telltale Batman games. Though it sounds like you really don't care about the franchise or its fans

    They're just talking about it.
    And it's not like we'll have the possibility to romance John after what he did at Ace Chemicals lmao

    Gudmooore posted: »

    Okay, this is enough. The last time this thread was around staff wound up locking it because there was a huge backlash from longtime fans. [Mod edit: Rest of post redacted to get thread back on topic]

  • edited April 2018

    Are you serious right now? LMFAO wtf.

    ANYWAYSSSS... did you not read the rules? If you're coming here to attack and leave nasty comments then by all means, leave. This is a discussion for people who see something deeper than just a regular friendship for John and Bruce. Why is it so hard to let us have one thread where we can discuss this without it getting closed down because of people who refuse to see different perspectives. You don't have to agree with it, but don't be hateful either.

    Gudmooore posted: »

    Okay, this is enough. The last time this thread was around staff wound up locking it because there was a huge backlash from longtime fans. [Mod edit: Rest of post redacted to get thread back on topic]

  • It's cool to me if they let the players decide if they want John and Bruce's relationship to be more than platonic, but I am not a fan of fans saying that Telltale did it on purpose therefore there is no other way to see their relationship other than romantic.

  • Bruno113Bruno113 Banned
    edited April 2018

    I think its because half of the batman telltale employes are girls so they made them kinda "gay" but i dont mind them i like very much how they made the game and i hope for season 3 too, you name it i will buy it. The thing with telltale is you wait for the game to be finished with all episodes half or whole year and you complete them all like in a day or two, thats not right but whatever i got use to it by now.

  • I agree that it's a stretch to interpret the story in this manner, but as long as discussion is civil, I think the thread should be fine provided things don't get out of hand. Your post seems a little harsh, and the guidelines state to preferably avoid posting in a thread instead of trying to destroy discussion if it doesn't interest you. If you notice problems, you are free to report posts if you believe they are breaking the guidelines.

    But, for now, let's just see what happens.

    Gudmooore posted: »

    Okay, this is enough. The last time this thread was around staff wound up locking it because there was a huge backlash from longtime fans. [Mod edit: Rest of post redacted to get thread back on topic]

  • So following the guidelines then, should his comment not get deleted?

    I agree that it's a stretch to interpret the story in this manner, but as long as discussion is civil, I think the thread should b

  • I'm leaving it up because I replied to him, and I want the context of my reply to make sense for other people reading the thread.

    Suzy222 posted: »

    So following the guidelines then, should his comment not get deleted?

  • The way I see it is as a very close friendship. I have a girlfriend and a bunch of people at my school think me and guy best friend are gay for each other, when we've only been good friends for ten years. So when people ship john and bruce, because they're so close, it makes it seem that way, i know from experience. Plus john is in love with harley, and bruce with catwoman if you choose to. Not bashing john and bruce shippers, nor am i a homophobe, just saying you know the friend ship is real whe theres a rumor that youre gay for each other, i would know lol

  • edited April 2018

    It's interesting how the previous John and Bruce thread got closed down while the Avesta one stayed opened. Even though the arguments in that thread got started by nasty comments from people who dislike this topic and not the people who liked the idea of this romance. If anyone dislikes the topic of a gay romance so damn much then it's best to ignore the thread alltogether instead of ruining the fun for everyone else. Believe it or not, a lot of people loved and hoped for a romance between John and Bruce. And we actually got very close to it in episode 5, as close as Telltale can safely get without pissing DC off anyway.

    I mentioned it before in other threads but yeah the "to be loved by you", "you broke my heart", "if you ever loved me you'd see" comments aren't something you usually hear between friends, it sounded very romantic to me. And Alfred's comments "whatever feelings you might've had for him" is very ambiguous as well. Like the writers could easily write something like "whatever friendship you two had" or smth among more clear friendship lines. But they didn't and I think that was on purpose. Harley herself figures out that John cares more about Bruce than her.

  • Then you've shown you know very, very little about the dynamic between Joker and Batman. Instead you prefer to push your own ideas onto it and pretend that's the canon.

    That's not how this works.

    Avelyn posted: »

    It's interesting how the previous John and Bruce thread got closed down while the Avesta one stayed opened. Even though the argume

  • So why is it so bad to have a choice in a choice-based game? If you don't like it, don't pick it, simple as that. There is a choice to romance Selena, and people (who even strongly dislike the ship) aren't freaking out about that.

    But that wasn't even what we were trying to go for here in this thread. It is an interpretation of Bruce and Johns relationship, and if there is something deeper there. Analyzing the stuff that's already happened..

  • Well I dont think the majority of people anti Bruce and Joker romance are "homophobes" I think its more of the story in general.

    Joker is the bad guy, no matter how hard we tried to be his friend he is the villain, and it just wouldnt make sense for Batman to "be in love" with someone who murders people. I found John's relationship to Bruce to be kinda like wanting to be loved by his biggest hero. He just wanted to be Bruce's best friend for life as he says many times. It also doesnt help that John has only shown interest in women and so has Bruce.

    Another issue like this was a Rhys x Handsome Jack ship in Tales from the Borderlands that got a lot of hate, again not because it was a gay romance, but because it just didnt make any sense. Jack was dead first of all, he was just an AI, not even "real" and was still a murdering sociopath. Again, Rhys was the good guy, Jack was the bad guy. There was again no romantic situations between them, plus Rhys showing he was only interesting in Women countless times. In fact I would honestly say Rhys mentions his "affection" for women the most out of any Telltale character.

  • Blind SniperBlind Sniper Moderator
    edited April 2018

    Let's please get back on topic and avoid discussing the nature of whether or not threads like these are "dictating" anything.

  • edited April 2018

    "yet another game destroyed by casuals who care more about politics and identity than they do the game itself"
    Actually I'm a right-wing, anti-Sjw here(I'm telling this because ironically you're the one who brought politics into this,like if wanting an additional option is related to be a left-wing or some social justice bs) and the reason why I started playing this game is because i'm a fan of most Telltale games. Before playing this one, I wasn't even into Batman or superheroes at all but i'm starting to get more intrested into that universe and I need to thank Telltale for that. What had led me to start playing this game(I didn't even know Joker was in there and I didn't give a damn,tbh) was the fact that Telltale gives you the possibility to create your own story, your own relationships,etc. I will indeed keep playing the game regardless of that option being added, but that doesn't mean that I can't simply have a conversation with other people(most of which would like this option to be added) and talk about the matter politely, like adults. I notied that most of the people who are against this possible choice to be added, usually make the argument "if you keep pushing for that, there won't be a season 3 at all" but this is not true because:
    1) No one is trying to impose their views over others, and no one is demanding things from anybody and never will. We were just wondering about the POSSIBILITY of a purely OPTIONAL choice that would have never interfeared with people who aren't confortable with this option's gameplay.
    2) We can't know for sure what's into Telltale writers's minds so we can't say "they would be against it" because again, what proof do we have?.
    3) From a purely market-perspective, the addition of this choice would not damage the game at all, quite the contrary. A lot of people would start buying this game and even though it can be argued that most of them could at first be intrested into buying it because of the possibility of going for a BatJokes relationship, they would eventually start getting more intrested in the game per se, and would even be more intrested into buying more Telltale games. More choices = more people would feel satisfied and intrigued = more people will buy the game = more money + positive reviews for Telltale = more games.
    Again, we are talking about a purely optional choice that would not affect your gameplay(unless you choice to) and will contribute making other people's gameplay more enjoyable. I personally hate the relationship between Catwoman and Bruce, but guess what?I simply IGNORE it because it's optional.

    Edit: like I said, I believe that we all love Telltale games regardless and we will continue supporting them, no matter what happens and regardless of the addition of a possibility. We were simply discussing it

  • I just hope we can all get back on track here and continue this discussion with what this thread is initially intended for. I really don't want to see it get closed down.

  • And that's the exactly verbage you people always use to try and push your way.

    "But it would be optional. Just don't pick it."

    When the whole point is that it wasn't an option before you started pushing it. Is that really so hard to comprehend? Anyway, ya'll can chill and stop replying to me all triggered and I'll stay out of your gatekeeping thread, cool? Cool.

    "yet another game destroyed by casuals who care more about politics and identity than they do the game itself" Actually I'm a rig

  • BYEEEEEEEEE

    Gudmooore posted: »

    And that's the exactly verbage you people always use to try and push your way. "But it would be optional. Just don't pick it."

  • Excuse me, but why is my reply to Gudmooore deleted but theirs isn't? I was asked a question and I answered.
    While the nasty post that started this argument in the first place is still up?
    Very fair, I see. Not biased at all.

  • This isn't the ship that I actually sail, but while I understand your point Catwoman is also a villain that Batman is able to befriend. There are a lot of people who also would like romances with Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, both of which are villains. In some mediums, these individuals have been converted to anti-heroes for the purposes of the story.

    I also agree that at this point of the story, it would be extremely difficult to build a romance. But psychologically speaking, I think the romance option is one people look to for a variety of reasons that far exceeds the gender between the characters.

    Some people want to experience something that's extremely different from the many paths Batman has tread before, and just see what the writers could do with that.

    Some might want a darker, more brutal story as this season aside from his interactions with John seemed to stray away from emotional turmoil for Bruce and focus on more physical threats ( such as Bane and the numerous injuries that Bruce sustains through out the game ) and threats to his identity ( which for some was a light bit of upping the ante but for others in the age of Ironman just going public really questioned if Waller had that much of an Ace as the game would have you believe. )

    It could be a means to explore abusive relationships, the damaging psychology, or unhealthy relationships as there are so many people that choose unhealthy relationships that just leave others puzzled as to why. How do they start? Why do they stay? Can't they see that they don't have the power to change them, fix them?

    Others might just have wanted the puns, giggled at the interactions, and might have been caught off guard by how brutal it could've turned when John finally snapped. Because I do believe that even if there were a full romance option involved - he should snap.

    Poogers555 posted: »

    Well I dont think the majority of people anti Bruce and Joker romance are "homophobes" I think its more of the story in general.

  • There are tons of reasons to support John x Bruce, some of them aren't that bad.

    But the whole "is just an option, you don't like it? don't pick it" is flawed, because then Telltale can do anything. Batman is batman, it's his own character, you can't make Batman a talking cat who works as a mechanic, because is not Batman, would you be okay if Telltale wastes time, money and resources in giving some people the option to have Batman become a janitor?

    Is not some "It doesn't affect you", it does, it affects everyone. What would happen if I wanted a janitor path for Episode 5? Does Telltale have to make y'all wait another month, waste money in the voice actors, resources, waste time, etc just so I can have my dream of Batman janitor? a thing that doesn't even match Batman? That would be really selfish of me.

    If people want to ship John and Bruce in their head, sure, there is no need to force Telltale and tell everyone that they can't complain because it would be "optional".

    "yet another game destroyed by casuals who care more about politics and identity than they do the game itself" Actually I'm a rig

  • "And that's the exactly verbage you people always use to try and push your way."
    Who exactly is this "you people" you're referring to?. I don't see why trying to turn this into some kind of conspiracy theory and like I said, no one here is pushing anything.
    "Anyway, ya'll can chill and stop replying to me all triggered"
    Actually I'm quite calm and relaxed here but ironically you seem to be the one who got triggered by the simple talking about an optional choice so you're the one who is acting like an Sjw here.

    Gudmooore posted: »

    And that's the exactly verbage you people always use to try and push your way. "But it would be optional. Just don't pick it."

  • "What would happen if I wanted a janitor path for Episode 5? Does Telltale have to make y'all wait another month, waste money in the voice actors, resources, waste time, etc just so I can have my dream of Batman janitor? a thing that doesn't even match Batman? That would be really selfish of me."

    The strawman fallacy once again.

    Kaelthas posted: »

    There are tons of reasons to support John x Bruce, some of them aren't that bad. But the whole "is just an option, you don't li

  • Care to explain why?
    Pretty please. <3

    "What would happen if I wanted a janitor path for Episode 5? Does Telltale have to make y'all wait another month, waste money in t

  • Re-read what you've written, read what i've written before your reply and then google "strawman fallacy". Easy peasy.

    Kaelthas posted: »

    Care to explain why? Pretty please.

  • "Optional". There's that word again.

    Do you know what a fallacy is? Because having to do additional writing, story path branching, concept, animation, etc. for an "optional" choice does increase the waiting time involved and increases the costs involved with development. I don't think you respect how much time and effort goes into creating an entire "optional" sub-plot for an overly vocal minority's head-canon.

    "What would happen if I wanted a janitor path for Episode 5? Does Telltale have to make y'all wait another month, waste money in t

  • You're still here? I thought you said you were leaving....

    Gudmooore posted: »

    "Optional". There's that word again. Do you know what a fallacy is? Because having to do additional writing, story path branchi

  • edited April 2018

    Said it in the last thread that discussed this and I’ll say it again. DC is pretty lenient with what they allow TellTale to change about Batman’s character. But I doubt very, very highly that DC would let TellTale take their most famous character, a pop culture icon and let them change his sexual orientation. You want something like that? You better hope that DC does it first because that’s the only way it’s happening.

  • I agree. I think that they def wouldn't let telltale do something like that without DC doing it first.

    AnimalBoy posted: »

    Said it in the last thread that discussed this and I’ll say it again. DC is pretty lenient with what they allow TellTale to change

  • KaelthasKaelthas Banned
    edited April 2018

    I was hoping for more than the typical "Educate yourself" meme.

    I don't think my argument is wrong, I am applying your logic of "If you don't like the option, don't pick it" to a situation you didn't like, who would like a janitor Batman?.
    If we are going to apply the "Let everyone have the option they want, if you don't like it, don't pick it", then we are going to do that with everyone, and everything, doesn't matter if it doesn't fit Batman, it would be unfair otherwise.

    I for example think if Batman had killed John it would have saved him a lot of trouble, for him and the people of Gotham in the future, but I don't ask Telltale to give me that option because I know it doesn't fit Batman, Batman doesn't kill, and I know people wouldn't like that option neither, either because it would take time and money for TTG to do another ending, or because there are people who want Batman to have options according to what Batman is and does.

    Re-read what you've written, read what i've written before your reply and then google "strawman fallacy". Easy peasy.

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