The world of Pandora may be a planet of barren wastelands, tundra, desert, or blight and thriving with bandits and deadly creatures, but the seamless mixing between ambient and combat themes is incredible in and of itself. Here's some specifics.
- What is the first music that you hear upon starting from the title screen? The main menu theme, which serves as a reminder that Borderlands is a Space Western adventure.
- The background music of Fink's Slaughterhouse features a disco-like theme with electro music, dub-step and drum beats which makes you feel like dancing more than shooting.
- "Short Change Hero" by the Heavy, which plays in the game's intro, is a kickass tune for a kickass Space Western game's prologue sequence. The first line of the chorus, "This ain't no place for no hero," also holds a significance as most bandits in Pandora don't view the Vault Hunters as heroes, while Handsome Jack himself has villainous motivations despite calling himself the hero of the story.
- "How You Like Me Now" by The Heavy, a funky groovy song to wrap up the main story after the tense finale. It was even used in The Handsome Collection's 2015 announcement and 2019 UHD Texture Pack trailers to highlight the badass visuals and content of this game and The Pre-Sequel.
- The Lynchwood combat theme. Badass showdowns, Borderlands style.
- The combat theme for Bloodshot Ramparts. A mix of hard rock and industrial, it goes all in as the Vault Hunters blast their way through an all-out war between the Bloodshots and Hyperion's forces. Its fast-paced remix for the Hyperion Circle of Slaughter is a badass mix of electronic and Western music.
- Sanctuary Under Attack. It only appears for one scene, with too much background noise to hear it well, but the feeling of desperate urgency in that scene owes a lot to this track.
- Three Horns Divide and Valley has great ambient and combat themes. The former is desolate and cold and paints the area as a barren wasteland long since abandoned by the major companies and left for the raiders to pick apart, while the latter's heavy use of a resonator guitar adds a sort of oomph to the music.
- Caustic Caverns' battle theme, with its drum beats and guitar riffs, is very appropriate in an abandoned mining site while being chased by varkids, crystalisks, and threshers.
- The background music of Flamerock Refuge fits the "fantasy / old village" theme of Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep with its usage of persistent drum-tapping and windpipes similar to some RPG music.
- What do you get when you combine the game's main menu theme with more instrumentals and some chimes and trumpets? The theme of Frost Bottom from the third Headhunter pack.
- The music in Gingerton is made to reflect the conflict in the DLC's story.
- The Frost Bottom Ambient theme starts out with a whimsical prelude that reminds one of the old Rankin/Bass Christmas specials, and then segues into what sounds like the Main Menu theme redone as one of Mannheim Steamroller's Christmas carols. As soon as you set foot in Frost Bottom, there is no mistake that you're stepping into a Borderlands Christmas special.
- Once combat starts, the music enters a conflict between Tinder Snowflake's oppressive synthesizers and Gingerton's traditional orchestra in the Frost Bottom Combat Theme.
- And finally, there's the climactic final battle against Tinder Snowflake, which takes the form of a mashup between a loud and brassy orchestral "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and a funky electronic "Good King Wenceslas".
- All of the music from Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage. '70s style rock and '80s power ballads have never been so appropriately atmospheric. The combat theme for the Backstage area of the Torque Arena is a fist-pumping Southern Rock track that'll have you jamming out as you tear your way through the backstage.
- The final boss music for the second Headhunter pack makes fighting the Wattle Gobbler feel more like a deranged barnyard chase.
- Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep gives us the theme for the climactic battle with the Handsome Sorcerer. The DLC may mostly be satirical, but the Handsome Sorceror's theme is as epic and mystical as a mighty sorcerer's theme should be. Since it is a Suspiciously Similar Song compared "The Great Pyramid" theme from Serious Sam: The First Encounter, it might also be an intentional shout out.
- Hammerlock suggests you drive out the raid boss by agitating it with a specific range of low-frequency tones, using Eridium to fuel the devices to create an ambient sonic atmosphere through a sonic drop. And what happens after you drop it? Speakers around the area force Haderax the Invincible into the open as rock and electro pumps into the cave!
- From Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty, the battle theme for Wurmwater. Heavy drum beats, synth notes and electronic buildup all mixed together with string sections that sound like they belong in an epic pirate movie.