Gotham Knights is one of the most highly anticipated games of 2022 – and for good reason! This open-world action RPG lets you finally step into the shoes of Batman‘s allies like Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood and Robin in a stunning next-gen recreation of Gotham City. But one of the main story missions called "In From the Cold" features a brain-teasing pressure plate puzzle inside the creepy Orchard Hotel that has stumped many players. In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll walk you through how to solve the tricky Orchard Hotel puzzle step-by-step so you can move forward and enjoy the rest of this exceptional game.
Introducing Gotham Knights: The Basics
Before diving straight into the puzzle solution, let‘s quickly recap what Gotham Knights is all about for those just getting started. In this game, Batman is dead, leaving Gotham vulnerable. Now it‘s up to his former sidekicks – Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood and Robin – to defend the city from chaos and crime.
You can play solo as any of these 4 characters, or team up in 2-player co-op multiplayer. Each hero has their own combat style, abilities, gear and skill trees to upgrade. For example, Batgirl utilizes her training in kickboxing and jiu-jitsu for up close melee attacks. Red Hood packs deadly firearms as his ranged weapons.
The game is presented from a third-person, over-the-shoulder viewpoint as you freely explore Gotham across its different districts like the neon-lit East End or the towering Glass Island. Besides random crimes and side missions, there is an engrossing main story campaign focused on the secretive Court of Owls.
Solving puzzles is a key part of progression in Gotham Knights. These brain teasers test your observation, logic and problem-solving skills. One of the earliest and most challenging puzzles is inside the eerie Orchard Hotel, so let‘s break down exactly how to beat it!
Overview of the Orchard Hotel Pressure Plate Puzzle
During the "In From the Cold" main campaign mission, you need to search for a person of interest named Xavier who was last spotted at the decrepit Orchard Hotel in East End. This hotel has a dark history of mob violence as it was once owned by Carmine "The Roman" Falcone as a base for his criminal empire before being bought out by Wayne Enterprises.
Upon arriving at the abandoned hotel, you take the elevator up to the 13th floor. In the hallway, you‘ll encounter some security drones to defeat. Then you enter the key puzzle room.
Inside this large chamber are four large statues representing Gotham City landmarks:
- Wayne Tower
- The Monarch Theater
- Gotham City Bank
- Gotham Cathedral
In front of each statue is a pressure plate on the floor. Your objective is to step on each of these plates in the proper order to open the secret passage, unlocking access to the rest of the 13th floor.
But how do you know the correct order? This is where keen observation and logic come in…
Step-by-Step Solution Guide
When I first entered this room and saw the statues and pressure plates, I‘ll admit I was stumped. Nothing indicates which plate to step on first. There are no instructions. However, this puzzle can be solved by carefully examining some key clues:
1. Inspect the Framed Photographs
Look around the chamber and you‘ll notice framed photographs hanging on the walls. There are four total, one corresponding to each statue. Approach each photograph for close inspection.
These reveal antique images of the Gotham Cathedral, Wayne Tower, Monarch Theater and Gotham City Bank – matching the four statues in the room.
Most importantly, pay attention to the date imprinted at the bottom of each framed photograph. They show 1836, 1841, 1842 and 1877. Make note of which date goes with each building picture.
For example, the photo showing Gotham Cathedral is dated 1877. The photo of Wayne Tower shows 1836. These dates will come into play shortly!
2. Match the Dated Photographs to the Statues
Now look back at each of the four statues around the room. You need to match up the building depicted in each dated photograph with the statues.
For example, the photo dated 1836 with Wayne Tower matches up with the statue of Wayne Tower in the corner.
Take your time checking each statue against the photographs to make sure you‘ve connected the dates properly. This is essential to figuring out the sequence.
3. Step on the Pressure Plates in Chronological Order
Here comes the "a-ha" moment! Based on the dates shown in the photographs, you need to step on the pressure plates in chronological order from oldest building to newest.
So the correct sequence is:
- 1836 Plate (Wayne Tower)
- 1841 Plate (Monarch Theater)
- 1842 Plate (Gotham City Bank)
- 1877 Plate (Gotham Cathedral)
Slowly step on each of the four pressure plates in this precise order. I recommend having detective mode enabled so you can see the plates light up as they are activated.
Listen closely for any sounds of gears turning or mechanics responding as you hit each plate. This confirms they are being pressed in the right sequence.
4. Access the Hidden Passage
When you‘ve stepped on all the plates in the proper chronological order – 1836, 1841, 1842, 1877 – you‘ll notice a section of the wall sliding open near the Gotham Cathedral statue. The secret passage is revealed!
Now you‘re free to continue your exploration of the 13th floor. But keep your guard up – dangers still lurk in the shadows ahead.
And that‘s it! The key is taking your time to carefully match the dated photographs to the statues in the room. Once you make those connections, stepping in chronological sequence is a breeze.
Helpful Tips and Strategies
Here are some additional tips to help you master the Orchard Hotel puzzle:
- Eliminate any enemy drones in the room first so you have time to properly study the photographs without interruption. Stealth takedowns from vents work great.
- I highly recommend using detective mode (up on the d-pad on controllers). This highlights clues and reveals the imprinted dates clearly.
- If you accidentally press the plates in the wrong order, you‘ll have to leave and re-enter the room to reset the puzzle.
- Take a screenshot of the photographs/dates just in case you need to restart. This way you don‘t have to re-examine everything.
- Equip throwing weapons to hit distant switches or buttons that might activate the plates.
- Your AI teammate can‘t actually help solve the puzzle, but provide support taking down enemies.
- During combat, utilize ability combinations like stunning foes with Batgirl‘s cape then executing a takedown.
Trust me, we‘ve all been stumped by a puzzle like this at some point in our gaming lives! But taking it step-by-step and using all available abilities will lead to victory.
The Significance of Solving the Orchard Hotel Puzzle
Clearing this pressure plate puzzle is mandatory to progress the "In From the Cold" main campaign mission in Gotham Knights. Solving it opens up access to the rest of the secretive 13th floor. Now you can continue your search for Xavier by exploring the abandoned hotel rooms, corridors and elevators beyond the statue chamber.
More importantly, overcoming a challenge like this requires tapping into your detective skills. Carefully examining your environment, deductions based on evidence, logic – these are all critical abilities for crime-fighting vigilantes.
The puzzle also provides some small insight into the history of Gotham City. Seeing photographs dated from the 1800s hints at how long this city has thrived and evolved. Wayne Tower has stood proud since 1836!
I love these moments in games that make you slow down and think. The satisfaction of finally cracking the code is so rewarding!
Gotham‘s Champions – The Playable Characters
Before moving further into the Orchard Hotel, let‘s spotlight the four playable characters who star in Gotham Knights. Each brings unique skills and abilities to the table for exploration, puzzle solving and combat.
Batgirl (Barbara Gordon)
Once paralyzed by the Joker, Barbara Gordon has overcome adversity to become Batgirl, a highly-trained fighter combining martial arts expertise with technological brilliance. Her signature ability is an EMP blast that disables nearby electronics.
Nightwing (Dick Grayson)
The original Robin, Dick Grayson has stepped out of Batman‘s shadow to protect Gotham as Nightwing. He‘s an acrobatic fighter adept with his signature escrima sticks and innate leadership skills.
Red Hood (Jason Todd)
The former Robin brutally murdered by the Joker and revived in the Lazarus Pit, Red Hood walks the line between hero and antihero as he ruthlessly wages war on crime using powerful pistols and handguns with no qualms about lethal force.
Robin (Tim Drake)
A gifted young detective, Tim Drake earned the trust of Batman and fights alongside him as Robin. In battle, he uses his collapsible bo staff and is an expert with throwing gadgets like shuriken.
Here‘s a quick stats table comparing the playable characters:
|Character||Combat Style||Signature Abilities|
|Batgirl||Up Close Fighter||Cape Stun, EMP Blast|
|Nightwing||Agile Acrobat||Escrima Sticks, Flying Grayson|
|Red Hood||Ranged Weapons Expert||Pistols, Ballistic Slam|
|Robin||Bo Staff Master||Shurikens, Stealth|
Having the right skills ready will prove useful throughout the rest of the Orchard Hotel mission!
The Eerie Secrets of Floor 13
After clearing the pressure plate puzzle, it‘s time to explore the rest of the ominous 13th floor. Right away, the creepy atmosphere hits you. Flickering lights, debris scattered about, ominous noises in the distance – this place has clearly seen horrific acts of violence in the past.
I highly recommend moving slowly and using detective vision regularly to spot clues, enemies in hiding, and interactive objects. Stock up on bat-themed throwing weapons and keep your combat reflexes sharp!
You‘ll pass through extremely eerie areas like:
- The crumbling hotel rooms where unspeakable crimes once took place
- Former ballrooms and conference halls now caked in dust and dirt
- The narrow maintenance corridors where staff members were brutally murdered
- The kitchens and room service areas where more ghosts linger
Eventually, near some elevators, you‘ll reach a locked door covered in strange symbols and markings. This leads to another puzzle unlocking the frequency locks using a radio tuner. Solving this door puzzle allows further access into the depths of the hotel.
After passing through the massive underground parking garage, you finally come face-to-face with Xavier himself in a tense cutscene. Stay alert, as more epic boss battles lie ahead!
My best advice for exploring the 13th floor is take it slow and use all your available abilities. Check every corner for secrets and clues. Help any spirits you encounter find peace. And most importantly, keep your guard up – surprises wait around every turn!
The Orchard Hotel‘s Haunting History
To understand why the Orchard Hotel is shrouded in so much mystery and criminal history, you have to look back over a century ago to its origins and ownership.
The Orchard Hotel first opened in 1916 and was designed to be a luxury hotel and residence catering to Gotham‘s wealthy elite. Standing 30 stories tall and offering over 400 guest rooms, multiple restaurants, bars, and amenities, it was a crown jewel of Gotham‘s booming early 20th century expansion.
However, by the late 1920s, organized crime had taken a foothold in Gotham, led by mafia boss Carmine "The Roman" Falcone and his ruthless "Roman Empire" mob which dealt in illegal gambling, smuggling, extortion, money laundering and murder.
In 1927, Falcone secretly purchased a majority stake in the Orchard Hotel through underworld connections. On the surface, it continued operating like normal. But behind the scenes, Falcone used it as a front and headquarters for his many criminal enterprises. For decades, it remained a hive of violence, threats, exploitation and fear.
Wayne Enterprises eventually acquired the property in the late 1980s in an effort to clean up its reputation. But the many dark secrets of its past still leave an unsettling presence within its walls. There are rumors of hauntings by victims of the Roman Empire.
Now abandoned, the Orchard Hotel is shrouded in mystery and believed to be cursed by many in Gotham. This makes it the ideal location for Batman‘s allies to investigate in search of answers. By overcoming the pressure plate puzzle, you‘ve taken the first step in unraveling the larger secrets and dangers that still lurk in the depths of this forensic nightmare.
My advice for exploring the hotel? Watch your back and take nothing for granted!
Comparison to Similar Puzzles in the Arkham Series
While Gotham Knights just released in October 2022, this isn‘t the first Batman game to feature complex environmental puzzles. Let‘s compare the Orchard Hotel puzzle to some similar brain-teasers from the acclaimed Arkham series:
The Clock Tower Puzzle in Arkham City – This puzzle required turning cogs to move the hands of a giant clock into the correct positions based on clues in the room. Like the pressure plates, careful deduction using visual evidence was required.
The Museum Puzzle in Arkham Origins – Players had to analyze a room full of exhibits and use cryptographic skills to decipher which order to activate the displays. Logic and pattern recognition were vital.
The Panessa Studios Puzzle in Arkham Knight – By closely studying comic book covers on the walls, players needed to recreate those cover spotlight placements in the room. Visual connections were key.
While each puzzle in the Arkham games requires different mechanics, they share core detective gameplay with the Orchard Hotel plate puzzle. Studying your environment for clues, logic to decipher information, activating sequences properly – these skills are constantly tested. Gotham Knights continues this tradition expertly!
Step Into the Knight – Conquer the Orchard Hotel
I hope this guide has prepped you to successfully overcome the challenging Orchard Hotel pressure plate puzzle in Gotham Knights! By taking your time to match the dated photographs with the statues, then stepping on the plates in chronological order, you‘ll unlock the secret passage and be ready for more adventures across Gotham.
Gotham Knights is one of the most visually stunning and immersive Batman experiences ever created. The open-world map is richly detailed with many dynamic missions to complete. Overcoming brain-teasers like the Orchard Hotel will hone your skills for the battles ahead.
Trust your instincts, utilize all the abilities of Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood or Robin, and explore Gotham from the rooftops to the underground tunnels. The city needs new protectors – are you ready to rise up and become the next generation of the Bat Family? Then let‘s glide into the knight!