8.8: In-universe example. In the Campaign of Carnage DLC, a game critic gives one of Mister Torgue's favorite games a 6 out of 10. So Mister Torgue has the Vault Hunters kill the reviewer and his entire team. Their unsurprised reactions and preparedness when they see the Vault Hunters suggest this is pretty typical on Pandora.
According to the trailer, the game is "1000 Degrees Hotter" and contains "96.5% more WUB WUB". The more Wub Wub is Lampshaded in one interview with Randy Pitchford; who pointed out there wasn't any wub wub in the first game, so any amount of it would meet that quota.
The trailer also states that the "87 Bazillion Guns" in the original are now "Bazillioner."
The guy selling Hyperion propaganda in Sanctuary claims that the "This Just In" ECHO-cast now has 200% more libel!note Spoken words can still be considered libel if they are recorded, depending on how the law is phrased. Given that the Echo tapes are deliberately recorded news shows, they would likely be considered both slander and libel.
Amazingly averted with one of Gaige's skills, "20% Cooler", which actually does reduce Cooldown rate. But not by 20%. (it lowers it by 30% at 5 skill points.)
Quite a few skills have an arbitrary "+%" stat in their descriptions, like "Turret Shield +1" or "+100% Multi-Kill"
One of Scooter's Catch-A-Ride messages is "Now with 47% more than 26% death annually."
Scooter: That is down from last year; hold your applause.
The whole point of E-Tech is to make guns that shoot something that ain't bullets, using bullets. Sometimes it's just rockets, or grenades. But other guns have delayed-explosion elemental shards (pistols), or blaster bolts (assault rifles), or elemental globs that explode like grenades (shotguns).
Dr. Zed: After watching you waste those bandits with that E-Tech weapon, I have come to a medically sound conclusion: E-Tech is friggin' dope!
In Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon's Keep, there is a shotgun that fires exploding swords that happen to split into three other exploding swords each.
Mr. Torgue: I DID NOT KNOW THE MEANING OF HAPPINESS UNTIL THIS MOMENT!
The ammunition for elemental weaponry counts as well, especially for corrosive and slag weapons. If you look closely at the ammunition (most obvious on Bandit machineguns) you appear to be firing bullets actually loaded with corrosive chemicals or slag.
Accent Relapse: In Moxxi's bar, if you tip her, she will occasionally relate a story of how she used to be part of the Hodunk clan and why she left it. She then starts to slip into a more redneck-like accent similar to the other Hodunks in the game, then quickly corrects herself, and asks you not to tell anyone about it.
You can generally only sell back items for about 10% of what you'd have to pay from the vendors. So that gun that you spent $50,000 on will only be worth $5,000 when you sell it. Which is made more painful if the next vending machine has an even better upgrade, or you find one from an enemy or chest shortly afterwards.
This trope only applies to store-bought weapons. If you found the exact same weapon in a chest or as an enemy drop, the resale price would actually be much higher.
This trope also applies to ammo, which increases exponentially in price after you get past level 15. At first, each clip of ammo bought costs little more than your current level. But by level 20, pistol ammo costs 63 dollars per clip. Eventually, a purchased clip of 8 rockets can cost over tens of thousands of dollars. By level 61 they cost over $100,000!
Averted if you are playing in normal mode, where with the exception of Sanctuary's vending machines, all machines are locked at the level they appeared in the story. This means that you can travel to the starting area to buy ammo for your end-game gun for dirt cheap. However, since the machines are designed around what weapons they expected you to use during the storyline, rocket launcher ammo doesn't become available until around Bloodshot Stronghold or so because that's the first time you start seeing them in the game. Or in case of any non-rocket launcher ammo, just group up with a Gunzerker using the Hoarder mods and watch it go up.
Averted if you are using a Vladof absorb shield, a shield that has a chance to not take damage and absorb the ammunition being fired at you (The absorbed ammunition is added to your backpack). Also averted if that shield is "The Sham", which can have the highest absorb chance in the game (between 76 and 94 percent chance that ammo will be absorbed into your backpack rather than damage the shield).
Combined with the fact that it is rare to find Blue rarity guns at vendors, much less Purple's and Legendaries, and vendors are kind of worthless in Borderlands 2. For perspective, in game 1, Orange and Purple weapons were found in vendors commonly enough that you would travel to the different areas just to see if new stock was in. Not so in 2.
Added Alliterative Appeal: Maliwan rocket launchers all have names and prefixes that start with P. Krieg can also lapse into this occasionally, again with words that start with P.
Hyperionhas aerodynamic◊, space age◊ designs◊ with fins and wings to reflect that their weapons are supposedly the most technologically advanced. They are named after scientific or financial buzzwords. Hyperion weapons have internal stabilizers and gain more accuracy the longer that they're fired. The downside is they're woefully inaccurate if they haven't been fired recently (though sniper rifles get more accuracy from simply being scoped), so their rapid-fire weapons and large magazine weapons are often their best ones. Hyperion weapons have noticeably superior stats to most other weapons of comparable level, but the counterintuitive nature of their weaponry takes getting used to.
Maliwan makes hip, trendy weapons◊ in bold colors◊ with highlights and other fashionable accessories. Think weapons as made by Apple or Ikea and you get a good idea of what they look like. The naming scheme favors unusual poetic references and Purple Prose. Maliwan weapons always have some form of elemental damage, probably because it's flashy. Maliwan also forgoes 'traditional' magazine designs for glowing (and sometimes spinning) battery-like plug-in packs.
Tediore manufactures dirt cheap, disposable guns◊ that look like a collection of rectangular parts made of plastic◊ or, at the high ends, carbon fiber◊. You can actually tell that they use standard parts shared amongst many of their designs. Their names make a point of how cheap they are. The reason for this is that they're literal Throw Away Guns, meaning that when the player reloads the gun, they toss it away, the gun then goes on to self-destruct and a new gun digistructs for the player to use. Aside from the free grenade this provides, this means they reload almost instantly compared to other weapons. Owing to their cheap construction however, they often have below average stats overall.
Jakobs brings back the classic 19th to early 20th century bolt-action◊ and semiautomatic sniper rifles, revolvers◊, shotguns◊ and Tommy guns◊ with their infamous, oft-lampshaded wooden trimmings. Their names reference natural materials and hand-crafted manufacturing to the point of absurdity ("Leather revolver", anyone?) Due to this, Jakobs firearms fire as fast as one can press the trigger (although bolt-action sniper rifles made by them can also be found), and the only elemental damage they can inflict is blast (which are very rare). There are now four Elemental Jakobs guns as of Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt. The Stinkpot◊ (Corrosive) the Greed◊ (Incendiary) from Captain Scarlet and her Pirates Booty, the Cobra◊ (Explosive) from Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage, and the Twister◊ (Electric) from Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt. It's implied that this is due to post-purchase customization on the part of the guns' owners, meaning the Jakobs corporation still doesn't actually make elemental weapons.
Bandit guns are made out of scrap◊ and duct tape◊. They do make up for it with warm colored aggressive paint jobs◊ though. The names are either misspelled or made up. Being trigger happy in the extreme, bandits make a point of making guns with large ammo capacity. However, this often comes at the cost of reload speed. Beyond this, Bandit weapons have wildly varying stats and abilities, making bandit weapons even more of a random grab-bag than other manufacturers' weaponry.
Hyperion is Genre Savvy here. Their robots are explicitly forbidden to "develop self awareness" via speakers, and are tested for it:
Speaker Voice: A crying baby. A dying puppy. If any of those words elicited a emotional response, please report to your supervisor for summary destruction.
Played straight in one sidequest which involves repeatedly installing an AI core from a destroyed Loader into various robot bodies, which promptly attempt to murder you each time. Eventually, frustrated with its failure, the AI gives up its attempts to kill you... and asks you to install it in a shield or gun so it can help you kill others instead.
In another sidequest, a malfunctioning Hyperion loader desires to become human. Its plan to become human, unfortunately, consists of asking you to find it clothes and then bandit body parts to wear, since humans have lots of clothes and limbs. Then it realizes that this is Pandora, and a vital part of being human on Pandora is killing other humans, so it tries to kill you. Subverted; after you shoot it a bunch, it realizes it is feeling pain, concludes that it must now be human since humans feel pain, and happily stops attacking you.
The C3N50RB0T and P3RV-E are malfunctioning loaders obsessed with conservative values and pornography — respectively, of course.
And then there's Angel, who subverts the trope for once. At the beginning of the game she tells you she's an AI (as the first game's ending hinted). Later on it's revealed that she's working for Jack - but she keeps helping you anyway, defying his orders. Finally, though, it's revealed that she is a human siren with free will (though constrained by Jack), not an AI at all.
Airborne Mook: Besides Rakks, we also now have Surveyors, Buzzards, and non-larval Varkids. Have fun shooting these as they fly about!
Alcohol Hic: While holding the Grog Nozzle, at random intervals your character will sway around drunkenly for a second or two, accompanied by a hiccup. Gaige actually has a chance of losing her Anarchy stacks because of this effect.
In a similar vein, the ECHO logs in the Caustic Caverns explain that before Dahl started trying to kill the crystalisks for the resources in their bodies, they were docile and even playful creatures, likened explicitly to kittens.
The Sheriff of Lynchwood really likes hanging people.
Deputy Winger: The sheriff has asked me to read off the punishments for breaking each of her two-hundred and twenty-three laws, but I figured I'd save everyone some time and just say this: DEATH. The punishment for everything is death! So please, keep your head down and be cool!
Hyperion would like to remind you that littering is a crime punishable with death. Insulting Hyperion is considered verbal littering.
Overlook, and presumably other settlements under the control of Hyperion, has a giant meat grinder in the centre of town...
Hyperion Announcer: For the next week the Grinder will only be used for egregious felonies, like littering and profanity.
All Deserts Have Cacti: Stinging Cacti only appear in the Tundra sections of the game, while regular 'stactus' plants appear in the sandy deserts.
Loot Chests, the good kinds with two to four green-or-blue weapons in them, are usually hidden off in distant areas, on tops of roofs or in little hidden nooks and crannies. Port-a-potty "chests" are a little more out in the open but that's just the game being merciful to you. Playing the trope even more straight are the Vault Symbols and hidden audio logs which are really, really difficult to find without a guide; usually you need to do a lot of roof-hopping to get even one. The game will give you the first few in any given area, if only so that the challenge prompt will notify you of the existence of the others (and possibly send you on a manic hunt for them).
A particularly egregious example is in the Tundra Express, where (in a nod to the first game) a chest is hidden underneath the edge of a cliff, on the edge of the explorable area.
Ambiguous Syntax: Mr. Torgue forgot to set you up with a sponsor because he was too busy suplexing a shark wearing a bolo tie at the time. He lampshades the use of this trope in that last detail.
Mr. Torgue: YOU MAY ASK, "WHO WAS WEARING THE BOLO TIE, YOU OR THE SHARK?" ANSWER: YES.
Captain Flynt uses an anchor as a melee weapon; he mostly strikes it against the ground to create far-reaching shockwaves.
Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty DLC introduces Anchormen, one of the several types of pirate Giant Mook, and the Big Sleep, a King Mook version. Anchormen prefer to keep you at medium range, as their anchors have short handles but long chains.
And That's Terrible: A mission outcome has the following text: "You've pleased Incinerator Clayton (which is good) by committing brutal violence (which is bad) against a group of people who only find happiness in immolation-related death (which is kind of a grey area)."
And Your Reward Is Clothes: The player can obtain numerous cosmetic appearance changes in the game. Each playable character has 17 heads and 88 skins, of which they start with 3 heads and 19 skins. Vehicle paint jobs can be be obtained as well. All of them can be gotten through various means: quest rewards, enemy loot drops, container loot drops, bought as an Item-of-the-Day, hitting Badass ranks, won from the slots.
The primary reward for the Headhunter DLCs are the bosses heads as well as a unique skin.
An Economy Is You: Scattered around Pandora are vending machines which will helpfully dispense guns, ammo, or health and shields. You'll usually find them conveniently located in cities such as Opportunity and Sanctuary, caves, factories, and the middle of frozen or dry wastelands. Helpfully there are even working vending machines inside the Leviathan in Captain Scarlett's DLC.
Anti-Hero: A lot of people, actually, including all the playable characters to some degree. We've got an ex-military glory seeker, a rage-filled mini-hulk, an assassin (which is inherently a gray area), a woman who's fairly heroic but still won't hesitate to put a bullet in the enemy's head, a teen genius who sees a killer robot as a suitable response to bullying, and an Ax-Crazy Psycho-turned-lab-experiment from hell. What a group.
Beside killing Helena Pierce from the last game before this one even starts, Jack kills Bloodwing (which players controlling Mordecai in the first game are familiar with) and the player grants the Guardian Angel a Mercy Kill. This may pale compared to Roland's death, as he was a PC of the first game. Add to that Shep Sanders' death at Brick's hands in the backstory...
At the endgame Brick and Mordecai go down with the literal ship. They survive (somehow) but given the massive amount of character deaths within the last few segments, their deaths seemed very permanent and it looked like the devs were ready to kill off the entire old cast.
Artificial Brilliance: The AI has been greatly improved from the first game. Enemies will move out of the way to deny you a second wind, and stalkers will climb onto buildings/behind things so they can shoot you from where you can't reach them (Since their projectiles arc and they can climb walls). Most will also stop chasing you if you run away, and human NPC's will comment that they won't bother chasing after you (provided you're still not shooting at them), giving you a slight breather. The AI retains its aversion to Gang Up on the Human. Don't want to fight those animals and bandits? Let them shoot each other for a while, then declare the winner with bullets.
Artificial Stupidity: Despite improvements, enemies can still make some silly mistakes, especially getting stuck on scenery or player turrets. They also may fail to notice you shooting them if you're really far away. Or rarely, they'll just casually walk right by you if you're out of their LOS for a moment, giving an alert player an easy chance to blow them away.
The Warrior suffers badly of this. There's one area in the entire arena where he can barely harm you with his rarest attacks, which are no more than 3 that he can use only once, and you can easily target his entire body including Criticals. The Exit to Eridium Blight. sit there with your back against it and he will be easier than The Destroyer was.
Enemies do not realize what an explosive barrel is and will not only shoot one in close proximity by mistake, but might actually try to take cover behind one. They will sometimes also not move out of the damage zone.
Friendly NPCs are also hit with this. While the original vault hunters and Axton's turret have simple enough behavior not to mess up most of the time, Deathtrap often makes incredibly stupid decisions — mostly getting stuck on things or being unable to approach enemies. One of Deathtrap's abilities also lets him restore your/your ally's shields for free, but he has a habit of using on hostile enemies. And to add insult to injury, the enemies he uses it on often don't have a shield equipped!
Ascended Extra: TK Baha was mostly just notable for being your first real quest-giver in the first Borderlands game, and once he stopped being relevant bandits killed him off-screen. Here, a whole quest is devoted to fleshing him out and making him much more important in retrospect than he appeared to be. He's even the star of his own DLC, TK Baha's Bloody Harvest.
Ascended Fanon: In-universe case. In one sidequest for Roland during the Tiny Tina DLC, you get a shotgun as a reward. Mr. Torgue chimes in, saying that the shotgun should shoot swords, that then explode into smaller swords that also explode. Tina says "okay."
Assassin Outclassin': The assassins after the new Vault Hunters in the Son of Crawmerax DLC are all assassinated by various allies.
Sergeant Jarter, Axton's old CO after him for desertion, is killed by Axton's ex-wife using a remote-detonated explosive.
Axton: Oh, good, I hated that guy. Kinda weird that he just randomly exploded, though. Don't remember that happening in basic.
Grill Holloway, the uncle of Marcie Holloway looking to kill Gaige to avenge his niece, is killed by Gaige's dad, who sabotaged his transport.
Gaige: Ha! SUCK IT, Holloway family! Even if your hitman hadn't fallen outta the sky for some weirdass reason, I woulda taken him out anyway. I killed Handsome friggin' JACK! You think one little assassin can take me down? BOOYAH. Also, sorry I killed your daughter.
Mordo Sophis, brother of the priest who was trying to use Maya as a weapon, is killed by an "anonymous admirer" who poisoned him. Implied to be Patricia Tannis, based on speech patterns.
Maya: Consider yourself lucky. That poison must have worked quickly. I wouldn't have.
Blendo wants revenge on Salvador for killing his entire bandit clan ("That was a fun weekend"), and is killed by Salvador's grandmother. He's found hanging from a tree.
Salvador: Aw, man. The last of the Chung clan and he got killed before I even showed up? Worst day ever.
Clements is some random Hyperion scientist pissed at Krieg for killing some of his buddies on the way out (it's unclear; Sparky wasn't in the mood to be detailed at this point). He is killed by Doctor Samuels stabbing him with dozens of needles.
Krieg: HE WAS THERE FOR THE BIRTHING! HE BROUGHT THEM INTO THE METAL FUN PALACE SO SHE COULD START THE PARTY!
A mysterious assassin after Zero (maybe?) is killed (probably) by ...someone. The corpse is found impaled on weird spikes. No one except Zero knows what's up with that.
Zero: I understand it. / A message sent, and received. / Mercy is coming.
Asshole Victim: Dave in Overlook. During one quest where you're helping out the house-bound citizens of that town, he constantly berates and makes sexist remarks at the lady who gives you the quest. Then when you help create a shield for the town to protect against Hyperion's bombardment, the lady tells you to fire a mortar at the town to test the shield. The first shot hits (and completely obliterates) Dave's house. Then she actually activates the shield and has you fire another shot to test it.
Dave: Karima, don't be upset that Jack fed your husband to the Grinder... heh, I'll bed ya if you ask nice enough! (cackles, then dies screaming)
Asspull: In-universe, the last couple of areas during the main questline of Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep. She's pretty much making that part of the game up as she goes because she didn't expect that the Vault Hunters would get so far in one game session.
Attack Animal: Roland and Axton's Scorpio and Saber turrets respectively count (since they're fully automated). Gaige's Deathtrap is an even better example, hunting down enemies on her command (she even speaks to it like a dog sometimes). There are also a few references to Bloodwing serving as one for Mordacai, as he did in the previous game (although we never get to see it).
Like the first game, enemies have predefined weak points, and hitting them causes Critical Hits. Unlike the first game, nearly every foe has more than one.
One of Zer0's skills highlights the weak points for the player.
Goliaths are an interesting example of the trope. They're human enemies and thus the natural reaction is to aim for the head. Suddenly their helmet pops off revealing their tiny skulls and they go into a rage, attacking friend and foe alike. The more kills they get, the more powerful they get. Granted now you can crit them on the head but when they're charging at full speed, it's a bit dicey at times. Plus their heads are really tiny and flailing about on what remains of their spinal chord.
Attack Reflector: The Antagonist shield in the fourth DLC has a chance of reflecting enemy bullets fired at you. It even has the flavor text "I'm rubber, you're glue."
Author Appeal: Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep has a lot of different types of skeleton enemies, each with different models. Apparently this is just because the model designer really likes skeletons.
Audience Surrogate: Zer0, of all people. Blank background, exclusively focused on killing, looting, and being cool; expresses itself with emoticons... it's a killer NinjaSniperAlienRobot with the personality of an FPS gamer.
Autosave: The game uses autosave both when a player changes areas and when they enter the proximity of a New-U station.
In the Son of Crawmerax DLC, the Victims of Vault Hunters has the heroes deal with people seeking to avenge jerks that the killed in the past (Marcie Holloway, Brother Sophis, Captain Flynt, etc.)
Awesome, but Impractical: The Pearlescent weapons, which have powerful stats or abilities but are also very difficult to use without a lot of practice or being in exactly the right situation. The same goes for a few of the Seraph and Legendary ones.
Ax-Crazy: The Psychos, as well as their protagonist counterpart, Krieg, in spades. For bonus points, they use Buzz Axes.
Back from the Dead: Roland returns in the Tiny Tina DLC as the white knight. Despite Lilith and Mordecai trying to get Tina to accept his real death, she insists on keeping him in the game to help your characters out. However, at the end, she nearly has the Handsome Sorcerer kill him, but suffers an emotional breakdown from having to accept he's really gone, causing the others to tell her its okay for her to bring him back for her story/game. She then also brings Bloodwing back, and has the bird kill the Handsome Sorcerer in a Disney Villain Death style fall off his castle.
Nearly all the named characters are introduced while in the process of creatively killing hapless bandits. On a more literal level, as in the first game, particularly tough varieties of enemies have "Badass" prefixing their name.
Now quantified! Completing challenges in the game earns you "Badass Ranks", which can be cashed in for upgrades that apply to all of your characters. In other words, acting like a Badass actually makes you more Badass! The bonuses are small at first, but can still be very useful to both low- and high- level characters alike.
Zer0: I won't die today / Not while I still have ammo / I am a badass
Badass Army: Hyperion's actual armed forces are a serious threat. The regular Hyperion Mooks encountered prior to the assault on Control Core Angel are mostly just repurposed utility robots with guns or lightly-armored engineers. The professional Hyperion soldiers and dedicated WAR Loaders and other military units are massively more dangerous, and the specialist military troops like the Hawks (airmobile heavy weapons troops), Infiltrators (cloaked shotgun-wielding assault troops), and Snipers (who, are, well, snipers) are extremely deadly. It can be pretty jarring to run into serious, dedicated, and professional troops wearing full body armor and toting personal turrets and shields and high-end weaponry who can drop you in a couple of shots.
Badass Biker: When Torgue announced the badass tournament, it mostly attracted bikers — namely, the dueling gangs led by Pyro Pete and Motor Momma, as well as the unaffiliated ones who patrol the Badass Crater of Badassitude.
Badass Bookworm: Gaige is 18 and built a floating, digistructible combat robot with energy claws for her science fair project, and likely would have won had the judges not been bribed against her. With or without said robot, she can kill small armies of trained soldiers, armed drones, you name it. She can even beat their "Badass" variants.
Badass Crew: Essentially the Vault Hunters from the first game. Also played straight when you're playing co-op games.
The first important mission in the main storyline is to rescue Roland from bandits. Shortly after you meet him, he is attacked by Hyperion robots that have broken into his cell. He then proceeds to rapidly mop them floor with them despite being unarmed. After he beats the robots he gets kidnapped a second time by a constructor.
You also meet Lilith when she's under attack from bandits and already exhausted. Later she gets kidnapped by Jack, and requests a Mercy Kill in the event you can't rescue her. "Better dead than a damsel."
Bad Bad Acting: The Handsome Jack double you kill in Opportunity is a laughably poor actor. He says everything in an extremely bored tone and reiterates that he is totally Handsome Jack virtually every sentence.
Nomads boss other Bandits around and seem to be tyrannical at best, constantly insulting and belittling their underlings. Nomad Torturers tie midgets to their shields both to patch holes and because they hate midgets that much.
Captain Flynt loves to torture people, and has no qualms about using his own men. It's implied that he would go easier on them if he had Claptrap to play with, though.
Handsome Jack to a somewhat ridiculous degree. He insults, demeans, overworks, underpays, torturesand/or kills people working under him - and, as one ECHO recording reveals, their families. And if you think you're in the clear if you survive being fired, think again. He may not actually own you, but he owns damn near everything else.
The Slab King, AKA Brick is openly contemptuous of his bandits, often ridiculing them as you carve your way to him. The only Slabs he actually respects are the Vault Hunters after they pass his initiation. He also approves of killing the Sarcastic Slab.
Slab King: Just so you know, my slabs will probably still try and kill you — cuz they're idiots. So don't feel bad about killing them. I never do.
Bad-Guy Bar: Pyro Pete, of all people, owns one in The Beatdown. His secret hideout is just under it, in fact.
Bag of Spilling: A case of Gameplay and Story Segregation, the opening sequence shows Axton's Sabre turret is almost fully upgraded, including the magnetic upgrade that allowed him to deploy the turret to the ceiling. He also had a really sweet looking rocket launcher. The opening is only designed to show off what each character can do, but it is kind of disappointing to see what the sabre turret starts off as when you've already seen what it can become. The train exploding is reason enough to explain how he loses his rocket launcher (and Salvador his own guns), but Axton stole the sabre turret, and he obviously still has it afterward, so where'd all the upgrades go?
Bandit Mook: Rat Thieves and Rat Bastards pick your pocket while you're distracted by their Rat brothers. If you can kill them before they get to their cash stashes, you get your money back. It's very easy to lose a lot of money to these guys, though thankfully they don't show up very often.
Bar Brawl: You start one in Pyro Pete's Bar as a story mission in the Torgue DLC. It's actually Pete's idea; he wants you to prove yourself tough enough before you go meet him. The mission is repeatable, with the difficulty increasing every time you do it.
One of the bosses at around the mid-point of the game is a rather big critter that shifts between slag, fire, shock, and corrosion modes, and like other enemies it becomes resistant to whatever element it is at the time.
Certain Anshin shields can turn you into this by changing your elemental resistance to whatever you were just hit with. This can backfire though if two or more elemental enemies are present, especially if one of them has a slag elemental weapon.
Batman Gambit: All the actions by the Vault Hunters from the original game and new Vault Hunters during half of the sequel, actually played right into Handsome Jack's hands. The original Borderlands begins with Angel leading the original Vault Hunters - Roland, Mordecai, Lilith and Brick - against the Atlas Corporation to aid in their effort to open the Eridian Vault. Believing that the Vault contained immeasurable riches, the Hunters went along with the entire thing. Upon seeing that the Vault contained a colossal monster with more than its fair share of Combat Tentacles, they simply destroy the beast and leave, believing that it was the only consequence of the Vault's opening. Unbeknownst to the group, the opening of the Vault prompted rapid mineral growth on the planet of Pandora; namely Eridium. Handsome Jack, who was a low-ranking Hyperion lackey at this point, took advantage of the situation by alerting the corporation to the mineral's presence. In doing so, he gained the requisite power and wealth to rise to the head of Hyperion. Over the course of the next five years, Jack learns of a second Vault on Pandora - the one containing the Warrior - and the method by which it is opened. With the only Vault Key in his possession depleted, he crafts a convoluted plot to ensure that a Siren is available to interact with vast quantities of Eridium to charge the key so that he can summon and control the Warrior. Knowing that the original Vault Hunters are still alive and Angel's - his Siren daughter - tendency to assist such people, he uses the layered defences of the Control Core (his daughter's prison) as a bottleneck to lead the Vault Hunters into a trap, knowing full well that their camaraderie will prevent Lilith - another Siren - from staying behind in Sanctuary. So, by allowing them to attempt to liberate Angel, he has a Siren within easy reach regardless of the outcome.
Blades on guns existed in the first game, but in this one any weapon can have a blade attached, and even if a melee bonus isn't noted in the gun info it'll always change the animation. On rifles the animation is a thrust, like with a real bayonet. Humorously, spiniguns, multibarreled sniper rifles and some rocket launchers have barrels that extend well past the blade.
Two bladed/bayoneted weapons stand out in particular: The Law pistol, which doubles your melee power, and the Rapier assault rifle, which triples it. Melee attacks with the Law also heal you if you're wearing the Order shield. No melee-focused Zer0 is complete without one or both of these guns.
Bearer of Bad News: One of the late-game quests is titled such, with the player being said bearer. The bad news in question is Roland's death.
Become a Real Boy: Parodied ruthlessly in a quest chain where you help a robot become a human. Except not really.
Pretty much anything you do for the Zafords or Hodunks to the other family which angers the other side till the culmination of the final quest in that chain.
Mordecai destroys quite a few badass robots almost entirely on his own shortly after Jack kills Bloodwing.
Handsome Jack when you're trying to free Angel from his control. Although he seems to lose his cool during other quests from time to time as well. In addition, merely speaking about Angel or his wife is enough to piss Jack off, to the extent that he strangles an aide to death just for bringing it up.
Salvador is a variant with guns (hence the term "Gunzerker") — he's all about charging into the fray and laying waste to everything he sees.
If you knock a Goliath's helmet off, his hideously mutated head will be revealed. This development angers him so much he drops his guns and attacks anything he sees, friend or foe. He can even get bigger and stronger by killing other enemies in that state.
Brick also returns as an NPC, still focused on punching.
Gaige is this when using her Ordered Chaos tree. She has to get up close and personal in order to do any major amount of damage.
Krieg, as befitting a Psycho fights in a style that's either completely suicidal (the Mania tree) or erratic and reckless (the Bloodlust tree).
Every gun compared to Salvador, but special mention must be given to the shotguns Salvador is holding here◊. The bore looks to be about 20mm in diameter! And there is likely more to come.
Torgue makes these as a matter of course. Every Torgue guns fires exploding bullets.
Rocket Launchers in general. Gearbox saw what they were doing wrong and beefed them up since the first game so that they resemble their namesakes and not just underpowered fireball makers like they were in the first game. Now practically every direct hit is a One-Hit Kill on mooks that aren't five levels above you, even if the launcher itself is five levels below yours, no matter the brand. There are a few particular examples:
Ever got a Vladof Rocket Launcher? High Rate of Fire, fast reload, reduced ammo consumption... You can kill pretty much everything in a single sweep!
E-Tech Rocket Launchers. They must either shoot very fast projectiles or immediately explode energy at the point. Either way, literally a BFG 10k. Some E-Tech launchers are literally named 'PBFG': Pretty Big Friggin' Gun.
There's one sniper rifle from the DLC and two legendary shotguns that MUST be considered BFGs:
Pimpernel is a sniper rifle that not only causes a high damage on direct hit but also has a "5-point star spread" similar to that of a MIRV on impact. You can easily cause five times the damage!
Conference Call is a shotgun whose projectiles spawns other projectiles horizontally as they fly. The DPS used to be so huge that you could kill Terramorphous in less than one second given the proper exploited conditions.
And the Flakker causes several wide explosions within a medium-short range. The DPS isn't that big, but have fun tearing the guys a new one in a hallway.
And the above are just weapons that are available to the players, making no mention of Boom and Bewm's Big Bertha, the enormous shoulder-mounted guns used by Badass, Super Badass and WAR Loaders, or Piston's energy cannons.
You know those enormous gatling guns the Badass Goliaths carry into combat? Those are the machine gun turrets the player character encounters from time to time; such as the ones in Thousand Cuts, Sawtooth Cauldron, or the Forge; the ones the size of a truck.
Vladof also makes fully-automatic sniper rifles with somewhere between 20 and 30 rounds. Cut loose with a top-tier one, and watch the madness.
Big Damn Heroes: In-game, your characters do this a lot during missions. Also played straight in a co-op game if you rescue someone who's either dying, or trapped by a lot of enemies and unable to get out from where they are.
Roland appears to be one of the vanishingly few people on Pandora who isn't a bloodthirsty psychopath. He tends to be calm, reasonable and demonstrably heroic in the backstory elements, in sharp contrast to the other vault hunters (past and present) and named characters. It doesn't end well for him.
In another example, during Marcus's first quest where he trains you on elemental weapons, the targets you shoot have various names such as "cheapskate", "shoplifter", and "competition" when you shoot the elemental weapons at each one.
Jack: Mister Tassiter, "blackmail" is such a dirty little word, isn't it? Actually, you know what, come to think of it, it's not a dirty word at all. It's kind of awesome. Blackmail! Say it with me...
Blatant Lies: An AI core you meet will reassure that it totally does not intend to murder you. You should put it in this war chassis, over there! A more benevolent example is Marcus, who will reassure you multiple times that you're his millionth customer.
Body Horror: Shooting a Goliath's helmet off will make its skull erupt from its head, suspended by little more than its spine and overextended nerve tissue.note This is caused by a positive feedback loop with airborne eridium, causing them to undergo possibly the most insane adrenaline rush ever.
Body-Count Competition: Dahl apparently keeps track of how many people have been killed by Dahl weapons as part of their sales pitch.
Dahl: Because sixty-eight billion enemy corpses can't be wrong.
Bold Inflation: "Torgue weapons ALWAYS fire EXPLOSIVE ROUNDS. They are also LOUD and require EXCESSIVE use of CAPITAL LETTERS." - Loading screen tip.
Bond One-Liner: All of the PCs, but Axton is particularly fond of this when he scores a critical.
Several, but the biggest, best example is Terramorphous the Invincible. He doesn't even show up in game until after you beat the main storylinenote Except for a small cameo off in the distance during the fight with the Bn3kr, has a crapload of health and damaging attacks, costs eridium to fight, and at least one dev has gone on record as saying "If you don't die at least five times on your way to killing him, we haven't done our jobs."
The mission to kill Crawmerax in the first game was called "You. Will. Die.". Crawmerax was, however, vulnerable to several rather disingenuous strategies and an explicit A.I. Breaker. The developers stated no such exploits will be possible with Terramorphous and therefore named the mission "You. Will. Die. (Seriously)".
Then players found a small little rock cropping that existed as part of the zone's geometry near the door exiting the area that allows for one player to hide behind and be completely invulnerable to all attacks, provided Terramorphous doesn't move too far over to the left (which it almost never does.)
If you let a Ultimate Badass Varkid morph, you will have Vermivorous the Invincible. Letting a Goliath morph four times has a similar effect, netting you a GODliath and an achievement for killing it.
In the Tiny Tina DLC if a Warlord Orc levels up enough times he will become the Duke of Ork, an all but unkillable machine of terror.
The Captain Scarlett DLC comes with Hyperious The Invincible (combine Shao Kahn and The Engineer) and Master Gee (a Puzzle Boss). As of the Hammerlock DLC there's a few too many to list without going on too long.
Mister Torgue's Campaign of Carnage has Pyro Pete the Invincible, who is apparently just Pyro Pete after a good workout. Despite possessing new attacks and being much stronger than his original incarnation, he's considered easier to beat than other raid bosses.
Combined with a Boss Rush is the Four Ancient Dragons in Tiny Tina DLC. Each Dragon is one particular type of element and has a gimmick that compliments the group as a whole, which means you can't just split your fire between them.
Both games begin with an unfortunate skag being hit by an automobile. It's Marcus's bus in the first game, and in the second, it's the Hyperion train carrying the Vault Hunters to their impending would-be doom.
The very last words of the ending cutscene should sound very familiar if you've seen the first game's intro
Lilith: No rest for the wicked.
Your first real mission and the last mission both begins with Claptrap failing to open a Hyperion gate. Despite the second one being much larger, they are very similarly designed and are even re-locked in the same way.
In both cases, Claptrap's progress is halted by his greatest weakness: stairs.
Boom, Headshot: Once again, headshots do amplified damage on human enemies. Trying it on a Goliath, however, will send him into a rage.note After that, you can still go for the head, but it's a very small target. Also, Hyperion Engineers wear welding masks that must be shot off in order to score a headshot.
Generally with low level melee enemies it makes more sense to punch them to death than to waste bullets. Even more boring and even more practical is to use a spike shield and just sit still, not even bothering hitting them. Let them hit you and the shield will kill them effortlessly and recharge immediately afterwards.
Non-specialized weapons fall into this trope as well. Rocket launchers will tend to 1-3 shot anything you shoot (provided the launcher is a good one, and the enemy is about equal level or lower than you), and lower damage elemental weapons can do wonders on certain enemies. But for the vast majority of mobs you face, a good, high damaging, non-elemental weapon does the job.
Jakobs brand weapons in particular. The weapon line is the standard high damage vanilla bullet firing weapons. The guns can come with some mods like bonuses to accuracy or damage but it is fairly common to get one without any bonus at all. The weapons almost always feature semi-autonote Fires as fast as you can pull the trigger method of firing their weapons. It is worth noting that Jakobs sniper rifle have a hidden increase to critical hit damage compared to other sniper rifles: most will add the weapon's damage on top of whatever bonus that weak point gives. Jakobs sniper rifles add 4.2 times the weapon's damage.
This is also how Axton's playstyle can be described. It's not as flashy or full of crazy skills like the other characters, but is very straightforward and effective nonetheless.
In any mode above Normal, the basic strategy for killing boss-type enemies is: Apply the slag debuff (Slag Crossfire and purple-rarity Magic Missile are popular options for this), blast them with a high DPS weapon with an element they are weak to until the slag wears off, repeat. In fact, this is pretty much THE strategy for all enemies you encounter in Ultimate Vault Hunter mode.
Badass Pyro Threshers. If you're fighting one solo, you will need either a vehicle or a place to hide if you don't overlevel it by three or more.
The badass psychos can soak up a ton of damage and can easily 1-2 shot you if you're careless. And if you run into 2 of them...
Some named mobs, such as Madame Von Bartlesby or Saturn, can also have high hp and hit harder than a normal enemy can. Although they don't have "badass" in their name, your character will occasionally call them one when they appear.
Badass Constructors have incredibly strong armor and attacks. They have a fairly vulnerable weakspot (their "eye") but still take a long time to destroy. It doesn't help they have the ability to create Loaders to defend themselves either.
From Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt, Witch Doctors. They're either elemental, vampiric, or vortex, able to dish out huge damage. They can also heal themselves, and upgrade their allies to stronger versions. You need to take them out quick, or you'll be facing down an army of Ultimate Badass Savages in no time.
Allowing a goliath or an iron golem to level up to GOD status will give you an enemy with raid boss-level toughness that may take all of your bullets to bring down. Similarly, Vermivorous the Invincible is a Bonus Boss in Mook Clothing that you can choose to create in any location with Varkids in True or Ultimate Vault Hunter mode.
Boss Subtitles: They do return for bosses and NPCs alike, but they're somewhat less common than in the first game - one of the many hints that things are getting more serious this time around. As in the first game, they're much more common towards the beginning, though obviously that's when you get introduced to most of the important NPCs. Only a handful of the bosses who must be fought in order to continue along the story lack them...except in "Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep", where none of the bosses have intros for whatever reason, though a few NPCs do.
One of Salvador's kill skills gives his shots a chance to refill his magazine instead of emptying it. A similar skill makes it so sometimes he doesn't use up ammo during a shot. Finally, he has class mods that give him and his teammates ammo regeneration.
The Infinity also applies, as it has a one round clip that never needs to be reloaded.
Krieg's "Blood-Filled Guns" skill increases his magazine size based on his Bloodlust stacks. With certain guns (especially Bandit guns), he'll be able to fire off a ridiculous amount of ammo before reloading.
Bounty Hunter: Axton before he became a Vault Hunter. Most of the bandits who try to kill you are after Hyperion's reward money.
Claptrap: I've decided to let you use that stash to share items between my minions. Specifically the ones that.. umm.. that you control. (Look, it's for twinking items between your characters.)note Justified in that explaining the stash would be impossible without breaking the fourth wall.
Gaige: DON'T ACCIDENTALLY RELOAD, DON'T ACCIDENTALLY RELOAD! Gaige:(Later on with more stacks) I THINK MY RELOAD BUTTON IS BROKEN! Gaige: Player! WHAT! ARE! YOU! DOING!? Gaige: ALLEN! WRITE SOME DIALOGUE HERE! Gaige:You're breaking the game, dude!
Bribing Your Way to Victory: A very minor version. Having preordered the game, or purchased the collector's edition DLC pack, you get three gold plated Gearbox guns (Assault rifle, SMG and a sniper rifle) in your inventory as soon as you start the game. They're slightly more powerful than the piddly little pistol Claptrap gives you and make the first couple of missions considerably easier but are replaced pretty much as soon as you find any other gun of the same type.
As you're searching for the Firehawk, Jack echoes you that he hears the Firehawk "liquifies bandits and drinks them like flesh smoothies." After the Firehawk is revealed to be Lilith, one of her echo recordings reveals that she did, accidentally, liquify at least one of her creepy worshippers thanks to the Eridium boosting her powers. Jury's out on whether she actually tried drinking what was left.
When Scooter first sends you to Ellie, he warns you that if you make fun of her weight, he will have to tie you to a vending machine and light you on fire. Later on, during the Clan Wars arc when you are sent out to talk to Steve near the entrance to the Dust, on the other side of the building from Steve is a charred Dr. Zed vending machine with a bandit corpse tied to it.
During Get to Know Jack, you have to collect five echos that tell the history of Handsome Jack on Pandora. In the third one, as he is strangling someone, he explains the difference between choking and strangulation. In the fifth one, he asks his boss if he is familiar with the distinction.
The Claptrap and his inability to climb stairs. It shows up in a moment that would be crucial or climactic were it not for the low expectations on Claptrap, anyway. (It's also got a double-punchline: The staircase has banisters Claptrap could easily roll up if he wasn't freaking out.
In the very beginning of the game, Handsome Jack taunts you about having just purchased a horse made out of diamonds, and naming her "Butt Stallion," after you. Butt Stallion plays the Queen at the finale of the Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep DLC, released almost a year after the original game, and despite never actually being shown before.
Bulletproof Human Shield: A particularly audacious example: Nomad Torturers are equipped with a powerful riot shield with midgets chained to the front. The shield would already be bulletproof if not for the midgets. Their shields have holes in them that the midgets cover up, but bandits are known for ingenuity when it comes to simple metalwork; the Nomads just want midgets to die.
Bullying a Dragon: Professor Nakayama does this to you in Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt DLC. Hammerlock simply wants to spend time with you hunting dangerous game, but the professor takes it upon himself to be the Designated Villain, and it becomes quite obvious late in this campaign that he's not ready to take you on as you mow down his best troops.
Toyed with, but never fully invoked, by Hammerlock with the Symbiosis quest. He'll still talk to you even if you don't do it.
Hammerlock: Would you care to do battle with a midget riding piggyback on a Bullymong? If your answer is yes, please go to the Southern Shelf and defeat Midge-Mong for me. If your answer is no, you are sad and I have no desire to speak with you further.
Played straight with story missions. You can take your time to explore, but some areas aren't opened up until you finish certain story missions. Loot from the vendors in Sanctuary are tied to the level of the story mission. So if you're level 40 for example, and you're wondering why the slot machine in Moxxxi's bar keeps spitting out level 34 items, then you should probably finish those story missions.
In the Tiny Tina DLC, you must punch Ragnar the Emancipator to death. Attempting to talk to him will have Brick insisting that he just wants to punch him.
Later on, even if you free Greedtooth from the curse, he'll still try to kill you after what you did to Ragnar.
Button Mashing: Jakobs guns can all fire faster the faster you press the trigger.
The intro cutscene contains a few: both have a skag get hit by a car, and both have the title card be shown with a vehicle driving towards it- a bus in the first game, and the train in Borderlands 2.
When you meet Dr. Zed for the first time (again), he's sedating a Psycho Bandit... with the same action he used in Borderlands 1.
Dr. Mercy is a Nomad Bandit... and uses a Generally Hospital sign as his shield.
When you meet up with Mordecai in the Tundra Express, his line when he wakes up is the same one he uses after killing a badass enemy in the first game.
Mordecai: So loud, so angry, so dead.
The biggest one is in the endgame: the characters actually go back to the Arid Badlands and Fyrestone, which have been taken over by Hyperion. There's also a mission in that area where you look for gun parts and turn it in to the Fyrestone bounty board when you're done, which players of the first game should find very familiar.
One of the ECHO logs in the "Get To Know Jack" mission has Jack instructing Angel what to say to the original Vault Hunters as Marcus drives them to Fyrestone. In addition, the same ECHO log has Hyperion's then-President, Mr. Tassiter, demanding to know why Jack has dispatched one of Hyperion's satellites to Pandora - the very same satellite seen in the first game's ending.
When revisiting TK Baha's house, there is a box full of brains on the floor.
At the Fyrestone bus station you can find a red chest from the first game and a skag leveled to what the skags in the area from the original Borderlands were leveled at.
The first Crimson Raider you meet is Cpl. Reiss, apparently some relation of Hank Reiss, the wereskag from the first game's first DLC campaign.
The red text on the Cobra sniper rifle is a quote from Tiny Tina about how she customized it to mimic the same-named sniper rifle from the first game.
Lilith's final line in the main game , "No rest for the wicked," is a reference to the intro song from the first game.
The music in Moxxi's bar is the same one from her DLC in the first Borderlands.
Captain Flynt is actually related to Baron Flynt from the first game, as shown from an unused audio clip.
Captain Flynt: I'm still offering a reward for whoever brings me the head of the man or woman who murdered my brother, Baron. Yes, his name was Baron. It wasn't a title. Our parents were douchebags.
The flavour text Legendary Siren, Hunter, Soldier, and Berserker class mods each feature a notable quote from one of the original four Vault Hunters. Roland's quote "It's like Christmas", in addition to being on the Legendary Soldier mod also gets several more references, as a few of the new Vault hunters will say things like "It's like Hanukkah" or "It's like Arbor Day".
Completing the sidquest "Animal Rights", given to you by Mordecai, rewards you with the Trespasser sniper rifle, which bypasses an enemy's shields. Mordecai had a skill called Trespass that allowed him to do the same thing. The flavour text "I infrequently perish" is an Expospeak Gag referencing Mordecai's tendency to scream "NOOOO! I NEVER DIE!" upon being put into Fight For Your Life.
Calling Your Attacks: The Tiny Tina DLC has grenade mods that take the form of magic spells which the player actually shouts the name of as they "cast" them.
Maya's signature ability is projecting a black hole that sucks enemies in and holds them trapped. Every Mass Effect player should recognize a Singularity when they see it. She and other Sirens also seem to glow blue when their powers kick in, much like biotics.
The Thresher also has remarkably similar appearance (such as head tentacles) and behavior to the Mass Effect creature called a Thresher Maw.
Saturn's appearance and armaments closely resemble a Warlord Titan redesigned by Hyperion. As if its name wasn't enough of a clue...
Captain Obvious: In "Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep", NPCs in Flamerock Refuge might warn you about spiders and their venomous bites, then berate themselves under their breath for giving you such obvious advice.
Car Fu: While it's not the insta-kill death machine it was in the first game, you can still run over enemies and kill them by hitting them repeatedly in a vehicle. While hitting them does tend to knock them down, you're probably better off just shooting them with the vehicle guns.
Knuckle Dragger - This is gonna hurt! Bullymongs love to throw nearby heavy objects at you, and can even toss your own car your way if you aren't careful!
There's actually a Bad Ass Challenge for killing enemies by power-sliding your car over them; the name of the challenge references Mario Kart.
The enemies in technicals will actively try this against you, since they're often at your level or higher so they can actually deal more damage to you than you would to them. The Caravan car can and will destroy you if you try to stop it by blocking it's path with your car (because it is flagged as part of the environment and can't be destroyed). Bikers and Sand Skiffs won't try this, as the former has much less HP than you while the latter would rather just strafe you with their guns.
Cargo Cult: The Bloodshot bandits worship guns. This has led them to worship Marcus after he sends them a shipment of complimentary weapons better than the stuff they use. They actually erected a giant golden statue in his honor combining him with a many-armed Indian goddess... with a gun clutched in every hand. In co-op you can sacrifice a teammate to it and it'll spit out a gun!
Axton:(throws out the turret) HAVE YOU MET THE MISSUS?!
Gaige and loot.
Gaige:(spotting a high-value item) What's your name, sexy?
A set of audio logs in a mission reveals Tannis was in an open relationship with two ceiling chairs. One of the radios scattered around will play a 'personals' ad from Tannis looking for a relationship with someone with furniture, please send pictures of the furniture.
According to Hammerlock, Claptrap once attempted to integrate with a random fusebox.
Bandit Marauders are very attached to their shotguns, to the point of jealousy.
Marauder: Are you looking at my Shotty? STOP LOOKING AT MY SHOTTY!
Amp shields have an interesting variation on this. When the shield is full, the first shot taken will take a small amount from the shields to boost the damage of the shot.
Pangolin shields/class mods reduce your max HP in exchange for other benefits, their shields having some of the best stat lines in the game.
Gaige's Blood-Soaked Shields ability greatly refills her shields at the cost of some health every time she kills an enemy. It is a very powerful but very dangerous ability, like everything else in the Ordered Chaos tree.
Cherry Tapping: Once again, thanks to the procedurally generated loot, it's possible, even likely, to get a weak weapon that has a spectacular scope, so you can whittle away at enemy health from long range. Or a gun that does pitiful damage but has a high chance to apply an elemental effect.
Elemental effects themselves apply, as they slowly nibble away at an enemy's health instead of removing huge chunks of it all at once as normal weapons do.
Loot Midgets, which pop out of chests, lockers, and even boxes that are way too small for them. A far cry from regular midget enemies, they're badasses who can both take and dish out incredible damage. In Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, they're likely to drop Pearlescent equipment, too.
Loot Goon Goliaths invert the mold, seeming like normal enemies until you notice they carry loot chests on their backs. The Hyperion equivalent, the LWT Loader, is literally a loot chest with legs. Unlike Loot Goons, LWT Loaders are very easy to kill, probably to balance out the fact that Loaders are tougher enemies in general. However, the loader chest also disappears a lot quicker.
There's also a variant of the Loot Goon Goliath called the One Armed Bandit where they carry a slot machine instead. It will still dispense guns and other items like any other slot machine.
Mimics in Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep are the more typical version of the trope: loot chests that come alive and attack you. They're fairly random (except for one scripted encounter that introduces you to the concept), and unlike Loot Midgets they're limited to long loot chests.
Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: There is a sidequest where a broken Hyperion robot core, Loader #1340, asks you to help find him a new body. The first three times you do this, he tries to kill you. He only stops when he decides he can live with just helping you kill things and you get to place the core in a gun or shield.
Chokepoint Geography: The game's zones are still separated by loading screens, although by now largely as a measure of style rather than neccessity - the updated engine is definitely capable of rendering massive draw distances (as becomes evident by a major part of the story mid-way through) and could probably be used to create a seamless world.
The psychos in Southpaw are distinctly darker than the rest, with their conversation having overtones of rape or Death by Childbirth.
Tannis, Scooter, Tiny Tina, Mr. Torgue and Shade all qualify to varying degrees.
Krieg is an interesting middle ground. Being a Psycho, he throws pretty much around every comment the enemy types do, but as player character you can actualy hear a sane second voice in his head which tries to keep him under control.
Take off Handsome Jack's mask, and you'll find out he's actually Scooter in disguise! Behind Jack's mask is the entrance to a tiny Vault that you can enter like a portal!
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Different weapons have their rarity identified by colors. In order from most common to most rare: white, green, blue, purple, orange, cyan (Pearlescent weapons), pink (Seraph weapons that can only be obtained from raid bosses.)
Combat Pragmatist: Both you and your enemies. Taken up to eleven with shields, which now can actually impale and inflict elemental damage on enemies who melee you.
Dying solo in an arena fight, which forces you to restart the entire thing, so too bad if you died on the last mob. In a co-op game, the dead players respawn outside the arena. While they can still fire into it, its nowhere near as good as fighting alongside other players, so sometimes its better to just restart the quest, particularly if too many players die.
Fighting a tough boss. Solo, they recover all of their health, while in co-op its not as bad unless you all die around the same time, such as all players being in Fight For Your Life mode, and not enough stuff to kill for a second wind.
If the Mechromancer goes into Fight For Your Life, she'll quickly lose Anarchy stacks. Dying removes them all.
If you're fighting a badass loader solo, and you die after having shot its arms off (or your entire co-op party dies at the same time), it'll be back at full health but without its arms, so you won't be able to get crit hits from blasting them off. Super badass versions also don't have the eye weak point like the other loaders do (or at least it's almost impossible to hit). Enjoy Cherry Tapping it to death.
Most of the "Invincible" Bosses combine the arena problem with bosses: all of them have unique arenas that reset the entire boss fight if all players die. On top of having a metric crapton of health, some of those bosses also have tricks about them to lower their defenses. In some cases the boss's arena can only be entered once per payment, so you'll have to pay the eridium cost again just to have a rematch. The only one that completely adverts all of this is Dexidous, who spawns on a giant map that you can comfortably sit behind cover while cherrytapping him to death.
The first game had the "Lady Finger" pistol. This one ups the ante with the "Lady Fist". The quest that awards the Lady Fist can also award the Tidal Wave shotgun, based on the "T.K.'s Wave" shotgun from the original game.
In the Clan War mission line, Mick Zaford talks about his son Lucky and how he was murdered by an ex-Hodunk. Anyone who played the General Knoxx DLC from the first game would know that Scooter killed Lucky Zaford. He told you he was gonna do it!
When visiting Fyrestone, a hidden ECHO log of Dr. Zed's has an offhand mention of how the original Vault Hunters helped Mr. Blake with the Claptrap uprising - this was the main plot of the Claptrap's New Robot Revolution DLC.
In the same area, you can find an ECHO log of Handsome Jack giving Angel orders to tell the original Vault Hunters the speech she gives them while stepping off the bus.
The end-of-mission text for the Monster Mash questline: "If you think Zed's creepy, be happy you never met his brother." His brother was the eponymous Dr. Ned of The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, a DLC for the first Borderlands.
On that note, buying a shield from one of Dr. Zed's machines might yield the line "That oughtta keep your insides, inside." "Keep your Insides Inside" was an infamous bugged quest in the first game, and involved buying a shield from one of Zed's machines.
Dr. Ned is mentioned by name in T.K. Baha's Bloody Harvest. T.K. also mentions Ted, then quickly chastises himself and says that nobody is allowed to talk about the "Forbidden Brother".
While most of the original four Vault Hunters have similar but modified versions of their original outfits (save Roland), Lilith's clothing is the exact same outfit she wore in the first game - minus the parts that have been ripped off or repaired.
During the main game, you have to collect crumpets for Tiny Tina's tea-party; Tina says she'll eat so many it'll be (in her own words) "a crumpocalypse". In Tiny Tina's Assault On Dragon Keep, you have to gather provisions for the town of Flamerock Ridge. They're crumpets. Oh, and the quest is called 'Post-Crumpocalyptic'.
Contract on the Hitman: One optional mission has Handsome Jack (in the throws of a Villainous Breakdown) contact you and offer you a nice reward to kill yourself. He instructs you to go to a specific cliff and throw yourself off of it. Alternately, there is a phone there which will contact a suicide hotline, which tells you "Thank you for calling the Hyperion Suicide Prevention Hotline, Handsome Jack regrets to inform you that you are a coward". Whatever you do, it doesn't really matter; the Hyperion New-U station will instantly resurrect you if you die, taking a portion of your money but earning you 12 Eridium as a reward; Jack knows this, he just wants to watch you die for kicks. If you call the hotline instead, you get no Eridium, but triple experience for the quest.
Averted and Inverted; immunity to Phaselocks and Standard Status Effects is based on enemy type rather than importance most of the time. Some immune enemies are bosses, but most bosses are as vulnerable as anyone else. Phaselocks still damage enemies who are immune to it.
Phaselock seems to depend more on whether the target can move normally or not. It damages turrets, threshers, constructors and vehicles. It also does it to bosses which are much larger than your average enemies. Humorously, this means that King Mong and Blue, some of the the biggest enemies in the game, can be phaselocked. It's a hilarious sight.
Contrived Coincidence: Played for Laughs in the Son of Crawmerax DLC. The six assassins out for revenge against one Vault Hunter each are each killed off by allies before they get a chance to do anything. None of these allies were coordinating with each other; they all independently decided to kill one assassin.
Convection Schmonvection: The area where the Warrior is located and where you fight it. The Eridium Blight averts this a little. Falling into the slagma is an instant death, and splashes of slagma and fire jump out that will severely harm you as well.
Could Say It But: When Axton's wife (who is also his superior officer) informs him he's going to be arrested, then executed, and notes that she can't tell him to leave. Immediately.
Crapsack World: To the extreme. Most towns are just bombed-out dust (or ice) bowls full of makeshift lean-tos. If they're not deserted, they're exclusively populated with bandits who shoot on sight. In between are vast expanses of rough terrain filled with Spiderants, Skags, Bullymongs, Varkids, Crystalisks and/or Threshers. Smoking, toxic mines and industrial areas full of rusty, greasy machinery dot the landscape. Everywhere you look, there are piles of garbage and wildlife dung. There's an entire cavern filled with nothing but acid, and another one brimming with lava. And those aren't even the ones called "Eridium Blight," and "Arid Nexus." Everything, from the animals, to the inhabitants, to the plant life is actively and constantly trying to kill you. To top it all off, the entire planet is run by a lunatic evil industrialist who delights in sending you special messages regarding just how very much he hates your guts, and can't wait to murder you personally. Putting it simply, Pandora is even crappier than it was in the first game.
Creator Breakdown: In-universe, Dragon Keep is the result of Tina's struggle to accept the death of Roland.
Creator Cameo: Writer Anthony Burch is the Handsome Jack double in Opportunity; Gearbox president Randy Pitchford is Crazy Earl
Applies to every gun. The game was deliberately designed so that the guns you find have a mix of benefits and drawbacks, so you're constantly changing your strategy.
Dahl guns have burst fire while zoomed in, and their recoil reduction means you can stay on target while holding down the trigger, or fire in controlled bursts (while not aiming down sights) to keep accuracy at a maximum. However, their pistols only fire once per trigger pull when not zoomed; burst fire while zoomed means their sniper rifles, while accurate, waste a lot of ammo; and their balanced weapon stats don't stand out in any one area.
Jakobs do some of the highest raw damage in the game, but kick like a mule and never have any element besides the very rare blast rifle (And 4 unique weapons we mentioned above), which causes them to lag in True Vault Hunter Mode where elemental modifiers are magnified. They also have the smallest magazine size of any manufacturer — a Jakobs shotgun will rarely be able to fire more than three times before needing to reload. Also, apart from the sniper rifles, they tend to be semi-automatic, meaning they fire as fast as you pull the trigger.
Maliwan is the exact opposite to Jakobs in that they have some of the lowest raw damage but always have an element that isn't explosive. This can make them amazing if you're fighting enemies that are weak against that element (bugs and fire, loaders and corrosive, ect.), but do scratch damage against most anything else (except Slag, which does even damage against everything). Additionally, Maliwan pistols consume more than one unit of ammo per shot, making them a fast drain on your pistol ammo reserve.
Hyperion weapons can be seen as opposites to Dahl's - rather than fire in short bursts, you need to keep firing to maintain accuracy, which can burn ammo rather quickly. This also makes the first several shots very inaccurate; a Hyperion SMG might have to empty half its magazine before it reaches max accuracy, and Hyperion sniper rifles lack the one-shot accuracy that sniper rifles are generally prized for.
Torgue's guns are all explosive. All the time. No other elements. That's not even going into their infamous Painfully Slow Projectile habit. They are, however, amazing at crystalisk hunting (explosive damage is the only type that goes through their shell, other than attacking their weak point crystals directly), and explosive guarantees good damage against all kinds of defenses. Their shotguns are also especially effective at the range for which they're designed.
Vladof guns may shoot quickly, be fairly accurate, and do shocking amounts of damage, but their magazines and possibly your ammo stockpile usually can't keep up with their rate of fire, especially if you're trigger happy.
Bandit weapons have insanely large magazines, but their other stats tend to suffer for it (usually accuracy). Bandit guns, especially shotguns and rocket launchers, also have the longest reload times in the game, sometimes in excess of ten seconds.
As a non-weapon example: Gaige and her Anarchy skill. Massive damage at the cost of negative accuracy. The gain/loss starts out at a cap of 262.5% then only goes up from there with points in another skill (up to 700%, can be boosted with a specific item to 1050%). Summed up perfectly with one of her stack gain quotes: "God help you all if I actually hit something!"
Critical Existence Failure: Surprisingly averted, for the enemies at least. You'll usually be too busy blowing away enemies to notice, but all enemies have unique "I'm nearly dead" limping-around animations and quotes, including the animals.
Players get "Fight for your life" mode, which allows them to revive by killing an enemy (or a friend helping them up). However, they move much slower, can't aim normally and also can't use grenades or abilities unless they have certain skills that allow them to do so.
Critical Failure: The "Critical Fail" mission from Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep has everyone roll ones while they attempt to pick up the gun that is the object of the mission, causing it to slip out of their hands and be thrown off into the distance, slip out of their hands and be thrown away again while breaking all of their fingers (putting the player in ("Fight for your life" mode), and turning the gun into a monster. Tiny Tina decides to just give you the gun after that. The gun you gain has a chance of falling out of your hands when reloaded.
Critical Hit: The game (like the first one) refers to Attack Its Weak Point as a critical hit. The version described by the trope is present with elemental guns and certain skills though; skills can add a chance for extra effects, and elemental guns have a chance to apply their respective effect. More points in a skill/higher quality gun = bigger chance to trigger.
Brick wants to punch the Dwarf king to "talk" to him in Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep. He rolls a twenty, and the king explodes from the melee attack which you use on him.
Critical Hit Class: When Zero enters his Deception mode, all enemies are highlighted in blue, and his attacks will do more damage the closer the duration timer runs out. One of his abilities later on highlights the critical hit areas on enemies in red. Other abilities in the same skill tree increase damage for critical hits, increases accuracy and zoom on sniper rifles, and increases melee damage when backstabbing an enemy (not a critical hit area, but can be if you aim carefully.)
Gaige using her Best Friends Forever skill tree; it's based around making the game easier for people who are new to FPS games, with skills like Close Enough, which compensates for poor aim by having missed shots ricochet and hit enemies, and generally beefing up the Deathtrap so it can be as effective and efficient as possible during combat.
Salvador can heal nearly instantly, regenerate his ammo and dual-wield. Awesome in the first 15-20 levels. It's not as great after that. In True Vault Hunter Mode, enemies tear you to shreds even while Gunzerking, so lot of Salvador players who specced Rampage end up respeccing to either pure Brawn or pure Gun Lust just to improve survivability.
Alternatively, you can use a Moxxi weapon in one hand while gunzerking, allowing you to achieve a high DPS while constantly recovering health as long as you keep hitting some enemies. This is the reason the Grog Nozzle is an especially popular weapon for Salvador.
Axton is also easy on new players, as his turret picks up a lot of the slack for someone learning the ropes.
Both Axton and Gaige have abilities that when triggered, force the shield to start recharging. They also both have abilities that decreases the time it takes the shield to start recharging on its own and increases the speed at which it recharges(Based on health level for both while Axton also has passive and permanently active boosts available). Gaige is especially powerful about this, because her BFF tree contains both skills to force recharging upon killing an enemy and skills for reducing time for the shield to start recharging. Both of these can be triggered by Deathtrap and are both on the same tree that makes Deathtrap extremely powerful. In the Anarchy tree, Blood Soaked Shields, without any class mods can instantly bring Gaige's shields up to 100% but this can not be triggered by Deathtrap. Yes, that's right, Gaige has two Kill Skills that recharge skills, which makes her extremely deadly versus mobs. When the shield isn't being instantly dropped that is.
Affects Roland, Lilith, and the player character, all three confirmed as major badasses in their own right, at the end of the quest to get to Angel in the Core. Jack pops up out of nowhere, shoots Roland in the back and kidnaps Lilith while the player character stands like a lemon doing absolutely nothing. Most egregious if you're playing four player co-op.
This is also a case of Cutscene Power to the Max for Jack, since his gun kills Roland in one shot completely bypassing his shields and he captures the most powerful Siren in the universe single-handedly.
In the final battle, Jack is wounded and then places the artifact in the hole, releasing the warrior. There's a good 15 second window of time where Jack is vulnerable and unshielded; your character, naturally, is offscreen doing their best impression of a block of cheese.
None of the player characters ever appear at all in all the cut scenes, which can make some people wonder where the heck did the new vault hunters go. Finally averted in the opening to Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt, which shows all five Vault Hunters participating in the hunt.
Cutting Off The Branches: Done in regards to the first game's Mad Moxxi DLC: Mordecai was the canon winner of the entire campaign, his prize being a relationship with Moxxi herself... which disintegrated long before 2 started. The loathing between them serves as the choice the player makes during the Rakkaholics Anonymous sidequest.
Brick is shown to be the character who canonically killed Sledge, as he keeps his hammer as a keepsake.
Cutting the Knot: One storyline quest in Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep involves solving a puzzle in order to retrieve one of the runes, with the puzzle resembling a runic Rubiks cube. After a moment of trying the puzzle, Brick proposes a solution of punching the puzzle, and it works. Though solving the puzzle properly unlocks a dice chest with the chance for some kickass loot.