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Headscratchers: Borderlands
  • Yeah, so the Guardian Angel can talk to you because of the ECHO system, right? This was shown when the Angel couldn't communcate when the system was shut down and explained in the ending. Then how, exactly, does the Angel talk to you while you're in the bus, before you get the ECHO setup from Claptrap?
    • Who said it was using the ECHO visor to interface with you? It could have been using the ECHO system to communicate with a piece of equipment your character already had (just because the 4 of them lacked an objective seeking, ammo/sheild/health tracking visor doesn't mean they didn't have a mobile or something).
    • Actually, the way I interpret it is that she cannot see or know what is going on when the ECHO system goes down. I just happened to be playing that section again not but ten minutes ago, and while I wasn't giving my full attention to people talking, that's what it seems like. Helena calls you up to whine about Steele cutting off the ECHO and is cut out mid sentence. The next communication is from the Guardian angel, asking if you can see/hear her, and that she can't see you and has no idea what is going on. How she can talk to you without ECHO, I have no idea, but judging from what I saw/heard, that's my guess.
    • Notably, after the end of the game, when she's talking to you and saying she's watching, it zooms out to a satellite in space. I took this to mean that she uses that to watch everything. But it doesn't necessarily imply how she talks to you.
      • The satellite is called AN631, which is leetspeak for "Angel", and a Hyperion logo. My guess is that Hyperion knew of the vault and kept the satellite around in the event of a rival corporation (like the Atlas-backed Crimson Lance) attempted to take its contents. Why this is done by siccing adventurers on them instead of orbital bombardment is beyond me.
      • I thought that looked like a communications satelite. IF they bombarded the vault with the satellite itself, it would be destroyed and they'd be unable to watch the vault. If it was a comms satellite, then it wouldn't have weapons. So what else to do other than let people know where the trouble is — people who would do something about it.
      • I always thought the implication was that the guardian angel was the satellite, that "she" was an artificial intelligence left behind to guide the generations of inevitable vault hunters.
      • My impression is that GA was also watching you for research purposes (if that last...thing that happened is to be taken seriously). Which explains why she panics when the systems go down and she can't see you, even though she could contact you by other means, like by the scientist girl — she can't acquire combat data if she doesn't see you fighting. Sending you to fight the Destroyer was the final objective both because it would keep him from escaping and would provide her / Hyperion with delicious, delicious data (and, since she belongs to Hyperion, killing a bunch of Atlas soldiers on the way is a nice bonus). Seems to fit perfectly with the game's theme of having the seemingly nice corporations being selfish, greedy bastards all along. As for how she contacted you at the bus, you weren't very far from the Claptrap — seems to me she would have no reason to only contact you moments before you reach Fyrestone unless she was waiting until you got near the ECHO the Claptrap was carrying.
  • For the new DLC: How the hell does Moxxi get Flynt, Sledge, and the Guardians in her arenas?
    • Just that? How about all those creatures, including Guardians? Or just how she makes certain guns more powerful, disables headshots hurting more than standard shots, and frikkin' GRAVITY for that matter? Of course, the answer is that the Bellisario's Maxim is in full effect — as it is for the whole game.
      • I assumed it was her breasts that were doing it.
  • Must the Destroyer be destroyed every 200 years? Or is he gone for good now? I suppose what I'm asking is will the next group of adventurers have to put him down again, or will they actually be able to enter the vault this time and see what's up?
    • Angel specifically says that the Destroyer can be killed while in this reality. You may have ended up killing it. You may not, if the Eridians couldn't stop it with all their technology. Then again, maybe they wanted to preserve it.
  • Why don't the people of Pandora leave? It is a total shithole and the only thing of interest is the vault, so what the hell?
    • Some of them do, they just don't have the money to get off the planet (for example, the guy who got killed for selling fake cigars).
    • The game itself states that anyone with influence or money enough to leave the planet did so before you got there, and everyone left are either criminals, opportunists, or otherwise compromised.
  • Fridge Logic: If you find yourself being unable to abide by the MST3K Mantra, you will have trouble enjoying this game.
    • For example, how does a shotgun loaded with shotgun shells fire rockets?
      • This is a setting with teleportation technology and a TARDIS as standard-issue military equipment to store a personal arsenal. You're seriously asking if they can convert shotgun shells to rockets in the chamber?
    • More importantly, who stores grenades in a toilet?
      • Everyone on Pandora is so badass, they eat metal and shit bullets.
      • I think you mean "they eat metal and shit grenades." That's why there are grenades in the toilet. And also where Bandit Psychos get the grenade they charge with.
    • The only illogical thing that actually bothered me was why the hell Skagzilla has laser-breath? But then it dawned on me: Godzilla! After that, it was perfectly logical that a big-ass alien dog called something-zilla could breath lasers.
    • Why do the Crimson Lance, mercs working for the Atlas corporation, almost never have Atlas weapons, especially considering how powerful they are?
      • Because they're mercenaries and not employees. They have to find/buy/steal/loot/liberate Atlas weapons just like everyone else. Employees of Jakobs corporation, however, are expected to use Jakobs weaponry.
    • Pandora is a completely alien world with life-forms emerging from an entirely different evolutionary tree from humans, and yet Skag Meat is Nutritious and Delicious!
      • Well... skags eat anything and some creatures do change somewhat based on what they eat. Pink flamingos, for instance, get their pink color from their diet. Though that brings up the question of if a skag eats a pink flamingo, would you get a pink skag?
    • Why does the punch-tacular Brick use a pipe for regular melee instead of his fists?
      • He uses it as a nerf, obviously.
  • This one is driving me nuts. The infinitely respawning bandits is hand waved as everyone being hooked up to New-U when they arrive. They put that in so the player character technically never dies. I get that, but it doesn't prevent it from bugging the crap out of me. Think about it... if everyone I kill is just going to be revived two minutes later at the nearest indestructible flag pole, then all those 'big time' bandits will be back in action by morning. Every. Single. One. Everything I did short of the final battle accomplishes nothing! NOTHING!!! In fact, I KNOW this happens, because you can backtrack and kill them HUNDREDS OF TIMES in one play through!
    • Which is how they are waiting in Moxxi's Underdome, for a re-match against you with odds in their favour.
    • Marcus is (heavily) implied to be making up most if not all of the events of the "Dr. Ned's Zombie Island" DLC. However, items there can be used and otherwise affect your character in all other parts of the game. So...does this mean the entire game is made up (or at least seen through the eyes of an Unreliable Narrator)? It all fits in ways similar to the "the events of Pokémon are Ash's coma dream" theory; Marcus and Zed are ''everywhere'', the main story line ends disappointingly abruptly, and new elements seem increasingly out-of-place. It also explains the odd plot hole, such as how TK Baha can be both dead in his Arid Badlands home and a zombie in his place near Hallow's End. Marcus...simply forgot a few details as his story dragged on.
      • It should be obvious that the original story takes place entirely before any of the DLC. In fact, canon-wise, they all happen in order, non-concurrently. Yes, even Moxxie.
      • Given that he seems to be narrating the main story as well...
    • You did accomplish something. You defeated the Destroyer, and that's all that really mattered. Bandits are nothing compared to something that could destroy the universe eventually.
      • As of the 4th DLC, every single boss in the game respawns or shows up in the Underdome... except the Destroyer. Bandits, Lancers, and zombies be damned - in the end, you really did save Pandora.
    • The game implies that most of the bandits you end up killing actually "stay" dead; going back to kill them over and over again is just gameplay. Maybe Hyperion locked them out of the New-U grid, or they ran out of money to pay for respawns.
    • One of the New-U quotes in the second game confirms that New-Us are *not* canon. So yes, the enemies you kill in the series do in fact stay dead (unless they are subsequently zombified or claptrapped).
    • That was in Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, which was a Show Within a Show.
  • One thing that has and always will bug me about this game is the fact that nobody, no one single person in this entire game, ever blinks! When I first started playing, I could tell something was off, but I didn't know what, then I started looking at the eyes, the cold, dead, unblinking eyes!
    • Pandora is just so dangerous and the people living there so badass that the inhabitants have trained their bodies so that blinking is now unnecessary.
  • How did the rogue Claptraps get Steele's body? Wasn't it, you know, devoured?
  • The fourth DLC, Claptrap's Revolution, bugs me. Chronologically, it takes place last, after the main storyline and all the other DLC, yet none of the returning characters recognize you (Tannis explicitly greets you as a stranger). Even the various new areas within the DLC are inconsistent — after you finish the DLC and destroy the ninja Claptrap, if you revisit any other areas, he'll still be talking to you over the intercoms. Marcus dies in the final boss battle but he'll be right back in his shop and never say anything about it when you return to town. You fight a roboticized version of Commander Steele which should be impossible considering her body was either destroyed or trapped inside the vault. Nothing about this DLC makes any sense!
    • A Claptrap Did It. Also, if I remember right, Marcus said he made up the part about him dying in the end of the story just to attract the ladies.
    • Tannis is insane. As mentioned above, Marcus was talking BS when he told the story. Commander Steele could've been coughed up by the Destroyer when it died.
  • All of the DLC takes place after the main story, so why the heck does the game let you play through the DLC on your first playthrough? If, like me, you bought the game of the year edition that includes all the DLC and you are unaware they are meant to be played post-game, then you are going to be extremely confused if you get curious and visit the new locations. The game practically encourages this confusion, because it lets you visit the new areas from fast travel stations not only before beating the game, but before you unlock fast travel! So for the first 2-6 hours of the game, these areas you shouldn't visit yet are the only areas you can fast travel to! Huh?
    • Zombie Island and Mad Moxxi don't matter chronologically.
    • Unreliable Narrator telling a frame story for an Excuse Plot game.
    • The DLC areas also don't actually spoil the main plot line, so doing them first doesn't really change anything. In fact, one gives the official, but incorrect explanation of the ending. If you finished the game you would recognize this, but if you didn't, you aren't being told how it ends beyond that "the Vault Hunters found the Vault," which is really pretty obvious.
    • Considering the Excuse Plot, I don't really think anyone was actually all that confused going into the DLC. The Vault Hunters finding the Vault isn't exactly shocking and none of the DLC mention what's actually in the vault.
  • At the end of the game, it's implied that the guardian angel misled you into gathering the parts to the vault key and opening the vault so that you would end up defeating the Destroyer before it could get free and thus saving the universe (or at least Pandora) from annihilation. Except ... wasn't the only reason the Destroyer was a threat at all was because you unlocked the door and released it? Wouldn't it have been easier and much less risky (what if you failed to kill it?) to simply destroy the vault key and leave it locked away within the vault forever? (Wasn't that the goal of the Guardians? So, weren't they technically good guys?)
    • Fan Wank perhaps, but the implication is that the Destroyer would eventually become strong enough to break out of the vault without the keys. So, the vault must be opened every two hundred years and it must be defeated to keep it weak enough to contain.
    • Borderlands 2 outright says Handsome Jack planned the whole thing out, using the original four Vault Hunters to kill the Destroyer so that the Vault would spread Eridium around the planet, which he could then gather, use to make massive amounts of money and seize control of Hyperion, then pump the rest into the Vault Key and use it to activate the Warrior. So yeah, you pretty much spent the entire game being the extremely badass minion of the real villain.
  • If Skagzilla can jump THAT high, what exactly is keeping it inside the "pen"? Not to mention that it's easily big enough to climb over the walls.
    • Nothing is keeping it inside the pen, it's just too busy trying to kill you to worry about getting out. All you have to do to "free" it is stand in the correct place and wait for it to leap at you.
  • If Pandora is supposed to have 90 hour days, why did they even bother to put in a (very short) day/night cycle at all?
    • The same reason almost every game does it, to go "look, we have a day and night cycle."
    • I just punched an axe-wielding midget with exploding, acid, flaming, electrical fists, and he barfed up a rocket launcher that masses more than him. Said launcher can fire ten rockets with submunitions from a five-round magazine that explode and spray acid everywhere. This is after I teleported across the world to fight an army of mutant zombies. Pandora has a short day/night cycle because this is goddamned Borderlands.
    • It is night on Pandora. The days are caused by moonlight.
  • I can accept basically all the headscratchers thus far as proceeding from Rule of Cool or Rule of Funny or Unreliable Narrator or whatever, but this one really burns: how did the Hyperion corporation, who presumably built and programmed the GA, and therefore defined its capabilities, know (or enable the GA to find out) what the Vault really contained? This was supposed to be a highly advanced alien civilization pulling out all the stops (including the stop preventing said civilization from going down the tubes (if I haven't beaten this metaphor to death yet) in order to contain this thing; the fact that the GA twigged implies she had at least that level of sophistication. If anyone should have that, it's the Lance, considering they allegedly owe their superiority to Eridian technology, but they obviously don't. WTF? (There's an argument to be made for emergent phenomena, ie, the ability of sufficiently sophisticated systems to do things you totally didn't program them to do, but a) this was played with in DLC 4 and b) it seems to me that even if the GA did develop the ability to discover the truth, she wouldn't know where to look.)
    • Hard to phrase, but basically: the Guardian Angel was working with Tannis. Therefore, she had access to information neither Hyperion nor Atlas did.
    • There is no actual evidence that the Guardian Angel is related to Hyperion in any way beyond using one of their satellites to communicate with the player.
      • The name and logo on the satellite are a pretty big coincidence in that case.
    • Plus she is, you know, the daughter of Hyperion's president.
    • In Borderlands 2, it is explained that Handsome Jack knew what the Vault actually contained through unspecified means, and through him so did Angel.
  • Am I the only one who simply can't see how the Vault Hunters can allow Marcus to take over the Knoxx armoury? 4 of the biggest badasses on Pandora who take it for themselves, why would they give it away?
    • Maintaining a house is a pain. Let Marcus do it. It's not like he's going to try to lock you outside. Meanwhile, these Hyperion soldiers aren't going to kill themselves!
    • Keep in mind that the Vault Hunters may be badass, but they don't have infrastructure the way Marcus does. Marcus has manpower, money, and business savvy. So much so that by the time you've finished respawning at the New-U station, he's already moved into the armory.
  • If you look at the ammo cans lying around, they read 6.5mm Caseless. I am assuming that this is the Combat Rifle round, but the rifles clearly eject casings.
    • Might not be the case — the ammo cans might say one thing, but there's no implication that what's inside them is what's actually loaded.
    • The skin was corrected in a patch. The cans read "7.62mm" now.
  • Jaynis Kobb's gun is called the Meat Grinder. Shouldn't its name be some kind of play on Vera?
    • Perhaps his personal name for it was Vera, but "Meat Grinder" is the official name for it.
  • Okay, this one carries some Unfortunate Implications as well, but where the hell are all the female bandits, discounting that one, Lilith, the Firehawk. Surely there would be a few Female Bandits around, at least, and them being absent is more than a little... unsettling in my opinion.
    • Laney White is another. It is implied that the male bandits kill most of the women for fun. The Horrible Hunger of the Ravenous Wattle Gobbler adds a male and female character from most groups/areas.
  • Moxxi can't seem to decide whether Mr. Shank is her first or second husband, e.g. "Good job, you broke into hubby #1's house," then "You actually killed my second husband!" after you waste him on her orders. In the Underdome DLC intro video, if you watch very carefully, Hubby #1 shouts HEYOOO right before he's flattened by a flying Konami Code (dovetailing nicely with Moxxi describing him as a cheat). So it seems to me that Moxxi's husbands were, in order, Steve, Shank, and Marcus. Does she really get around that much that she can't remember who she was married to when?

Blue DragonHeadscratchers/GamesBraid
Batman: Arkham KnightHeadscratchers/Video GamesBorderlands 2

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