Well this seems to be a running theme with my characters so far lmao Edward was always the most intelligent person, both in reality as well as in his own head. He has always been able to soak up information like a sponge and retain it until he finds a use for it later on. This is turn makes his highly adaptable when it comes to situations, specifically involving other people (specifically Batman and other related heroes) as his ability to learn means he is constantly aware of their tactics and uses that to his advantage the next time they face each other. So yes, as the Riddler he is all about games, but he genuinely is good at problem solving in that regard.
In context: Edward’s IQ is roughly around the mark of 193; he is excellent at wordplay, able to create his own puzzles and word games and make them fit whatever scenario or scheme he has going at any given time; he is skilled in the art of escapology and knows several ways to escape his cell at Arkham Asylum, even going as far as to have specific escape methods for certain time restraints; and he can complete a Rubik’s Cube in just under 8 seconds.
Thanks to his degree in engineering and computer science, Edward is an expert when it comes to the understanding and construction of anything computer or electronically related. His mastery of these subjects means, from the engineering point of view, he is more than capable of designing and creating his own contraptions, more often than not relating to his criminal activities.
He has created a series of gadgets, all question-mark themed, ranging from blades in that shape, glowing trophies that he leaves amongst his games (mostly as a taunt to his victims, and a prize as if their lives weren’t enough) and perhaps most famously is his cane. Most would consider it a walking aid, but it actually has a multitude of functions. There is a retractable blade hidden in the curve of the handle which can be used in close combat. The rest of the cane contains several electronic elements that all link to a specific waveform of his creating, meaning that at the press of a button (usually hidden just under the handle) can activate certain elements of a trap, lock and unlock doors and interfere with enemy signals.
In addition, (going back to his academic achievements), his knowledge of computer sciences makes him an expert hacker, giving him the ability to infiltrate various other devices including, but not limited to, computers, emails and bank accounts. It is also known that he can hack into various communications devices and radio frequencies, keeping him up to date with what allies and enemies alike are planning. Also, his time working at the GCPD means he has extensive knowledge of their systems meaning that more often than not they are useless in trying to track or apprehend him without the outside aid of Batman.
I’ve decided to clump these altogether because parts of them sort of blend with each other, and it’s easier than making 45 different sections. Edward is a highly troubled individual, more than fully knows himself. His main issue is his obsessive compulsions, manifested in the form of leaving riddles and clues behind at all of his crimes. This started simply as a gimmick, but throughout his criminal career and after more and more defeats at the hands of Batman it has become something he can no longer help. He needs to leave his clues, and does so on instinct, whether he wants to or not. Batman specifically is part of this obsession as well. Sure, Edward feels the need to prove he is better than anyone that crosses him, but there is a special place in his heart and head for Batman. He sees him as the only person who is close enough to his level of intelligence. This proves an issue as he will often not eat or sleep until his plan is fully realised. His compulsions towards riddles and games also make it difficult for him to communicate with people effectively…not knowing what to do if he’s not testing them or manipulating them in some way.
Edward is also completely narcissistic. Everything is about him. The world revolves around him, even when it doesn’t. He is the best, he is the cleverest, he is perfect. Or that is how he perceives himself. Anyone he deems lower than himself (which equates to basically everyone) is merely a pawn in his grander plan, meaning that everyone else is expendable. He will hurt, seriously injure and kill innocent people just to prove a point and show no remorse for it, seeing himself as doing a good deed almost by “weeding out the stupid” from society.
A few other issues with Edward include: intense mood-swings and tantrums, akin to a child, when things are not going his way which can directly affect the way in which his schemes go; delusions of grandeur and his need to be extremely verbal about it, which tie in directly with his narcissism; and also unnatural association to things from his present to his past, with a prime example being issue with his father being projected onto Batman, and other such people being linked back to the various bullies in Edwards life.
Brains not Brawn
Unfortunately, Edward is not much of a fighter, preferring to act behind the scenes, or at the very least from a distance. He hires henchmen to fight for him most of the time. If faced with a situation in which his fist are required he will play dirty, relying on weapons and trickery to try and win, his cane being his main form of weapon. But for the most part, Edward will not win in a one-on-one fight, regardless of who it is against.
You will always find me in the past, but your future will never taint me. What am I?
Trivial. Pointless. That’s what all of this is, but I suppose you won’t leave me alone until I actually cooperate…am I right? Of course I am. I’m always right.
So where do you want me to start doctor? At the beginning? How predictable.
Everyone has a history, even someone as shrouded in mystery as myself. doctorI was always a smart child. Something about problem solving just clicked with me. I had the knack for learning and picked things up quickly. Mathematics? No problem. Advanced sciences? Too easy. Electronics and engineering? Simple. This was all from, what, five or six years old. Sure, I was the stereotypical nerdy child and it got me attention from the wrong people for the wrong reasons, but it was attention all the same. I’d simply tell myself they hated me because they knew I was better than them, and I proved it every single day.
However, there was one person whose approval I never seemed to be able to grasp, and that was my father. Looking back, it was because he was an idiot and couldn’t understand genius when it was sat in the same room with him, but I digress. He would be what one would consider the typical jock. He loved his sports. He loved his beer. He loved his authority. But he never loved me. Nothing I did was ever good enough. EVER. Full marks on a test were received poorly because they weren’t points scored in a soccer game. First prize at the science fair ended with a black eye and a bruised rib because it wasn’t a trophy for baseball.
So I vowed to make him proud. Once and for all. Naturally, that failed as well.
It was a puzzle: something designed by the smartest teacher at school and the winner, the person who solved it in the quickest time, received a cash prize and book of riddles and puzzles. I won obviously, but alas, even that wasn’t enough to earn even a smile from daddy dearest. My cash was taken, my book was destroyed and my arm was broken. Because, and excuse the profanities, “that’s what you get for being a cheating fuck.”
Whether he knew he was right is immaterial. Was it really so difficult to just be proud?
You throw me out when you need me, but put me away when you don’t. What am I?
Things with my father never got better, but at least my mother gave me what I needed. Love. Attention. Purpose. I wouldn’t let him defeat me, nor my intelligence, nor my potential. I kept myself busy through learning. The library became my safe space. There was one a few blocks from my old family home that stayed open until midnight every night and opened at six every morning. Before school and after school I would be there. Anything was better than home. Anything was better than him. So, I learned. And I learned. And I learned. And I learned. I had no need for that old book of riddles because soon enough I would be making my own.
I got into college, obviously. Someone like me found no issues with the process and the administrators had no issues accepting me. They only accept brilliance and this face screams brilliance. Luckily for me, it got me out of Gotham. Finally. There was nothing to tether me down anymore, except perhaps my mother, but she was happy to let me go. Insisted I go almost. We went out for dinner and she gave me the question mark ring…you know the one you have stored with the rest of my artefacts. That was my going away present, and I wore it every day. I never took it off. It was almost as if she were embedded into it and I was taking her with me wherever I went. Shame I don’t deal in poetry.
It was four or five years’ worth of study…I don’t recall the exact amount of time that passed because I was semesters’ ahead of everyone else anyway. Engineering was my chosen practise, as well as computer science, meaning I could build anything and understand anything. I was meant for greatness and I could be anything. The world was mine to explore and conquer.
And then I returned to Gotham. After all the fuss and all the desperation to be free of this place, I returned. That anchor so firmly clasped around my ankle couldn’t let me be, not even for a minute, pulling me so far under I practically drowned.
I may have been submerged doctor, but I assure you I rose from the flames.
I’m always hungry and must be fed, the finger I touch will soon turn red. What am I?
Must we continue to talk about my past? Surely the traumas of my childhood are enough for even your primitive brain to come to some logical conclusion about me. No? Must I really give all the answers?
Fine. So I was back in Gotham but I refused to move back home. I had been independent for long enough that reverting back to that place would have been detrimental to my health and to everyone else around me. I got an apartment in the Narrows, nothing too fancy, but it was my own place. I contacted the GCPD for work and was accepted on the spot. Crime has always been an issue and they said that someone with my specific skillset would be the perfect asset for their team. I had money. I had resources. I had a title. I was the head of the goddamn Cyber Crimes Unit just like that.
But with all I had gained, there were things missing. Like human interaction. Put that in your notes, I’m sure it’ll be useful for one of your creatively written analyses. My work was important, so naturally I kept busy, much like I had in my younger years. Other old habits seemed to surface as well from my younger years, although not through my own actions. Cops, all dumb apes, immersed in some form of primeval lad culture. Beer and sports and women; those were the only three topics of conversation known amongst any of them so for anyone with more than half a brain cell, me being the only one that did might I add, found it draining. Not to mention I would be on the receiving end of pranks and tricks.
It was school all over again.
Make sure you don’t run out of ink doctor, because this is where the story gets juicy. There comes a point in a mans life when enough is enough and he has to do what is necessary. There are only so many times you can ridiculed for being an intellectual rather than a Neanderthal before the fire inside you completely consumes you. They liked playing games, so I would play one of my own.
Hacking their personal information was easy. I had the entire GCPD computer system at my disposal, and all it took was a couple of clicks here, a couple of numbers here and voila, I had the dirt on all of them. Every dark little secret was mine. Messages across social media platforms, comments on forums, dodgy transactions in their bank accounts: I knew it all. And I exposed it all. Affairs were brought to the surface; money laundering was aired for everyone to know about. And you know something doctor? It felt good having that much power over people…over everything they held personal and private and secret. So why should I stop there? A few square-faced dimwits at the GCPD was hardly going to remain a thrill, so I expanded.
Same process, same tactics, but better targets. I moved on from cops and onto politicians and wealthy socialites and less than squeaky clean charity workers, all people who were considering themselves to be doing the right thing and I exposed them completely. It was a Merry Christmas to me indeed. A certain mayor at the time offered me all the money I could ask for in order to take the information away from the public eye, and I was all too happy to oblige. I took the money, and true to my word, I took all the incriminating evidence away…but while it may have been erased from the screens it was not erased from people’s minds.
A vote of no confidence at the next mayoral election? Was anybody surprised? I was a saviour...bringing down Gotham's corrupt one cretin at a time, but it still wasn't enough. The burning for something more was still there. You know what I was missing?
When I’m first said, I’m quite mysterious, but when I’m explained, I’m nothing serious. What am I?
You know doctor, I think I’ll finish my story this session. I’m feeling generous, and after all, you can’t solve a riddle without the full picture?
For a short while after all my exposing of the corrupt, I took my games in a new direction. From within the GCPD itself, I managed to send those oafs off on all manner of wild goose chases. Anonymous tip offs would appear on screen and officers would scramble to get there, only to find nothing. A few quick word spelled out on my screen again would spread across the precinct like wild-fire, get back to those officers, and away they would go again. And that was fun, watching them travel mindlessly from one end of the city to the other without a clue what was going on.
But I grew tired of that too. What’s the point in playing a game if you aren’t actually fully involved.
I left my job with little to no words, I know what you’re thinking: ‘how unusual that the great Riddler had no words.’ Alas, I was not fully myself then, but the seeds wee planted and I could feel myself growing into who I needed to be. The criminal mastermind that Gotham needed.
I went from creating imaginary problems from behind a screen to creating real problems out in the city. Having been so immersed in how the GCPD worked, I used every bit of my knowledge to my advantage. I could have one bank robbed empty and be gone without a trace before they even showed up. I know their response times. I know the quickest routes they would take to get there. Get there they would, and stumped they would be, that someone was one step ahead of them.
And that was fun to an extent but again I just needed something else. I needed them to be quicker. I needed them to be smarter. So, from that point onwards I started leaving my world-famous clues at every crime scene. Some would indicate where the next crime wold be committed, some would indicate where I could be found and so-on and so-forth. But they just wouldn’t play along. They dubbed me The Riddler, but that was it. I was just a name…something they considered a fab. Some troglodyte teenager trying to be an annoyance rather than a threat. They didn’t care unless it was life or death…and that was their next mistake.
The murder box, as it was called in its simplest form back in those days, was a culmination of everything I had ever learnt and every shred of anger I had built up towards those that were incompetent. I also had the perfect player for my game: welcome to the stage good ol’ daddy Nashton. That brainless meat-sack that once held the title of father, who had tried beating into me that you didn’t need brains to get anywhere. All he had to do was answer one out of three riddles correctly to survive, but unsurprisingly, he failed.
Believe it or not, when the saw took off the top of his head, there was a brain in there after all.
Riddle me this, riddle me that, who’s afraid of the big bad bat?
You know doctor, I was surprised when you wanted to see me for one more session…after all I’ve given you everything you could possibly need for whatever mediocre diagnosis you wish to bestow upon me. What? You want to talk about Batman? Very well…
After killing my father, I made sure to get rid of his name from my life completely. Edward Nashton was basically dead at this point anyway…but Edward Nygma had such a ring to it. Fitting as well with the title of Riddler to go along with it. I was finally being taken seriously! So I would do as I did before and leave them a clue as to the whereabouts of my latest hostage, as I would give the hostage a clue as to how to escape from their predicament. The more intelligent among the Gothamites survived of their own accord, although that number is exceedingly low. The police never show up in time to save them, and the captive is too stupid to save themselves.
But, I didn’t account for the new player in the game.
Obviously I had heard of the Batman, but why would he have bothered with a small-fry like me? I was still robbing banks it was understandable, but now that there were lives on the line he took notice. He was quick. He was clever. He was always one step ahead of the cops and always too close for comfort for me, but I didn’t let it phase me. He’d catch me and send me here, and inevitably I would escape, several times in fact, but he kept coming back. No clue was too difficult, no trap was inescapable, and no riddle was unsolvable. Ergo, this is where the issue with him lies and this is what I think. The self-proclaimed World’s Greatest Detective is simply a scam. He cheats at my puzzles and doesn’t play the games by the rules that I set and nothing infuriates me more than that.
So when I get out of here later doctor, because I will be getting out of here later, I’m going to find him. And I’m going to give him a puzzle so taxing that his little rodent mind meltdown completely and he will willingly surrender to me, The Riddler in the battle of the brains. And then I’m going to cut his out and keep it in a jar as a trophy for being the second smartest man on the planet.
ooc name Brandon
timezone - 0 gmt
original earth prime earth
May put a wanted ad at some point in the future for Query and Echo (his two main henchwomen), but that's not a definite yet. There are also potential wanted ads for other Gotham rogues, because who wouldn't want an Arkahm Asylum reunion thread?
I don't think there is anyone I need to confirm things with backstory-wise (unless Batman maybe??? But that's mostly just the usual "played the game, got caught, escaped, tried again").
Also, the last time I played Riddler on a site, I did this thing where I'd always have certain parts of his clues coloured in green, just to help out the other players. not that I'm able to make impossibly hard riddles, but for some of the challenges just to help the other player. Either that or just ask me, and I can tell you where I hoped his game would go haha