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    Axton 

Axton (AKA The Commando)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Borderlands2_Axton-2_8476.png
Voiced by: Robert McCollum

"Sorry, boys, I've got turret syndrome! Get it? 'Cuz of the turret...? Sorry."

A former commando for the Dahl corporation, Axton was forced out of service due to his Glory Hound ways (which resulted in far too much collateral damage), which also cost him his marriage. He became a bounty hunter until he was lured to Pandora by Handsome Jack with promises of fame, fortune, and glory. Axton's skill involves deploying his Sabre Turret, which provides supporting fire and other benefits.


  • An Axe to Grind: Uses a hatchet as his melee weapon.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Many of Axton's skills let him inflict increased damage or regenerate health and shields by damaging or killing enemies, and therefore rewarding aggressively pressuring the enemy with constant fire.
  • Badass Bisexual: A mercenary able who regularly hunts down aliens, cyborgs, mutants, and robots with turrets who likes ladies and dudes.
  • Badass Normal: Unlike his fellow Vault Hunters, Axton doesn't have mystical powers, isn't a robot, nor an alien, nor an experiment, nor a cyborg, nor a mutant. He's just a plain old human soldier.
  • Beehive Barrier: One skill makes his turret generate one, see Deployable Cover.
  • Bi the Way: Axton was originally meant to make flirtatious remarks only when reviving Maya, but due to an oversight in development he makes them when reviving male team members as well. They decided to Throw It In! and make him canonically bisexual, leading to this line from the Dragon Keep DLC when the characters ponder what they are going to spend their riches on:
    Axton: Guns and ladies... sometimes dudes.
  • Blood Knight: Got booted out of the military for being reckless and over-aggressive; rather than face a firing squad, he went to Pandora to ply his trade. This is taken up to incredibly weird levels with Gameplay and Story Integration when he's fighting-very, very rarely, he will make a rather erotic "Oh" when he kills something.
  • Bounty Hunter: See above lead paragraph on his backstory.
  • The Cameo: He shows up in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, returning from Vault Hunting on Eptah, where he and Gaige found the Vault Hunter Aurelia. They make Athena tell an abridged version of the game's story. In 3, he's apparently gotten into modeling.
  • Cargo Ship: In-universe, he loves his turret as much or more than his ex-wife, to the point he actually calls her "honey", "darlin'", etc. and sometimes refers to her as his girlfriend, or "the missus".
  • Challenge Seeker: One ECHO found in Lynchwood has Axton complaining how bandits offer no challenge and he's looking for something more.
  • Cooldown Manipulation: Resourceful will reduce your skill's cooldown by up to 25%.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The Gunpowder skill tree focuses only on basic and explosive damage, as it does not boost nor give any other elemental types.
  • Critical Status Buff:
    • The Pressure ability from the Survival tree gives Axton faster reloading and shield recharging the lower his health is.
    • Crisis Management increases his melee and gun damage when his shields are down.
    • Last Ditch Effort increases his damage and move speed while in Fight For Your Life.
  • Dangerous Deserter: Because a court-martial would have resulted in him being executed, Axton's wife (who was also his commanding officer) did not suggest he go AWOL to become a mercenary and vault hunter.
  • Demolitions Expert: How he's most commonly played, especially at endgame. See also Throw Down the Bomblet below.
  • Deployable Cover: One of his skills turns the Sabre turret into this; it's not a standard feature as with Roland's Scorpio turret. It takes the form of a forcefield that you and your allies can shoot and walk through, but enemies can't. It can, however, be destroyed if damaged enough.
  • Desperation Attack:
    • The Gunpowder tree has Do or Die, which allows you to throw grenades in Fight For Your Life when obviously you normally aren't able to.
    • Survival also carries Grit, a skill that gives you a considerable chance to not only ignore the blow that would have killed you, but also has it restore your health, bringing you back up when your enemies thought you were down.
  • Determinator: See all of the above in the Critical Status Buff and Desperation Attack entries. Axton is the second-toughest character after a Tank-focused Salvador, but where Salvador is just plain tough and uses his berserker rage to power through enemies, Axton simply refuses to die.
    "I don't die so easy!"
  • Distinction Without a Difference: Axton's not saying you owe him when he revives you, he's implying it.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • The 'Gemini' skill lets Axton dual wield turrets.
    • The turrets themselves, thanks to 'Double Up', can also operate two guns simultaneously.
  • The Engineer: It's even the name of one of his class mods, naturally the one focused on using his turret frequently and boosting its offensive capabilities.
  • Everything Makes a Mushroom: If you get a certain skill, the Sabre Turret will create a mushroom-cloud explosion wherever it lands at.
  • Expy: Gameplay-wise Axton is very much Roland 2.0, a Jack-of-All-Stats whose special ability is a deployable support turret. Axton does have less focus on Combat and Support compared to Roland and more focus on general survivability (including getting Regenerating Health much earlier in his skill trees), making him more viable in solo mode by comparison.
  • Fanservice Pack: Axton was always pretty popular with the Estrogen Brigade despite not being a truly-obvious example of Mr. Fanservice, but it's telling that his only appearances in 3 are appearing shirtless on Iron Bear in the Moze skin "Funk Off" and on a magazine cover (as can be seen under The Cameo).
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a neat line of a scar on his chin, and a similar but smaller one going over his left eye and through his eyebrow.
  • Glory Seeker: His reason for becoming a Vault Hunter is that he wants crowds of people screaming his name. And money.
  • Huge Girl, Tiny Guy: Judging by his Relationship Upgrade with Ellie. Axton's about average-sized, but Ellie's... well, she's pretty big.
  • Informed Attractiveness: When Axton is seemingly "tortured" by bandits as recorded in ECHO Logs found in Lynchwood, a bandit calls him "pretty boy".
  • I Surrender, Suckers: You can find ECHO logs of him being tortured by bandits he was sent to capture. The bandits reveal that they are aware of their own bounties, and that they believe Axton has been paid up front for their capture. Perhaps part of his plan all along, Axton "admits" that he has the payment in a small storage deck in his pack, and all the bandits have to do to retrieve it is throw the deck on the ground. It turns out that storage deck was his Sabre Turret. True to form, he grumps "That was too easy," as the turret mops the floor with the bandits.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: The Ranger skill passively boosts seven attributes per level namely; Gun Damage, Accuracy, Critical Hit Damage, Fire Rate, Magazine Size, Reload Speed and Maximum Health. With class mods, these bonuses can go up to 11%.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Axton is equally capable of playing the same roles as any other character, though not as perfectly. He can control the battlefield similarly to Maya with his turret and grenades, distract and tank damage like Salvador and Gaige, inflict tremendous damage at short or long like Salvador, Gaige, and Zer0, debuff and mezz enemy armor/shields like Gaige and Maya, and deploy an additional support weapon like Gaige. He's just not as good at those roles as they are overspecialized in a mechanic of theirs. His primary strength is in his versatility.
  • Oh Crap, There Are Fanfics of Us!: Took over the @ECHOcasts Twitter account when Gaige told him about fanfics of the cast, and pretty much had the exact opposite reaction to "Oh Crap". He spends most of his time there searching for fanfics about himself shipped with various characters.
    This thing workin'? Gaige told me people were writing fan fiction about me. Asked her to sign me up. Haven't found any yet, though.
    echonet search axton + ellie fanfic
  • Laser Sight: This can be an upgrade for the Sabre Turret, increasing its accuracy.
  • The Leader: Or as close as it gets to this group; Axton visibly takes the lead in the opening cutscene, and possesses several class mods oriented toward leadership and command. Averted as far as Word of God goes. While Axton does have the skills and typical qualifications for a leader, Maya is the leader of this team of Vault Hunters.
    • Standardized Leader: Axton's character design and gameplay is the closest to "standard FPS generic soldier man" out of the 6 playable characters (and likely the entire series); he's a Jack-of-All-Stats, his special power is very simple and automated, most of his skills are generic buffs that don't require much tactical thought (whereas characters like Zer 0, Gaige, and Krieg have to actively focus on a specific playstyle to utilize many of their skills), and his version of Regenerating Health is the closest to the standard sort used in most FPS games.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The Guerrilla skill tree has an ability called Scorched Earth which causes his turret to fire 22 missiles in a volleys. When combined with the Gemini skill, Axton can deploy two turrets equipped with missiles.
  • Military Maverick: Said attitude got him kicked out of the military. He now merely works as a gun for hire. That said, he claims to have around ten years of military experience — either his glory hound ways are a relatively new development or he spent a lot of time whittling away at his superiors' good will.
  • More Dakka:
    • His Guerrilla tree has a skill called Sentry that increases the number of shots his turret fires per burst, and another called Double Up that adds a second gun to the turret and makes both guns fire damage-enhancing slag bullets — the effects of those two skills combined is laughably awe-inspiring. The Onslaught ability from the tree increases his gun damage and movement speed after killing an enemy. The Metal Storm ability greatly increases his fire rate for a short time after a kill as well.
    • Gunpowder includes Metal Storm which increases fire-rate and reduces recoil after killing an enemy, and Battlefront increases gun damage caused while his turret is out.
  • Nominal Hero: He wants glory, he wants to get paid, and he wants to fight a worthy opponent. Fighting Hyperion is simply the best way for him to get all three, plus revenge for trying to murder him.
  • Noodle Incident: According to Tina's invitation to her Bunkers & Badasses game, he got into a very heated argument with her. Axton wants to take back the things he said (or so Tina hopes), and Tina wants to take back the dynamite she threw at him...
  • Not So Different: He has a disturbingly large amount of traits in common with Handsome Jack himself, most notably thinking that he's the hero of the story and treating that as a license to do whatever the hell he pleases. They've also both had the women in their lives leave them because of something they did (Sarah divorced Axton after he killed a dignitary he was supposed to be escorting, while Jack's second wife left him after she found out about Angel), and both of them use turrets, right down to shouting "Stand in front of this!" when deploying them. When he gets Handsome Jack's voice, he even makes exactly the kind of mean-spirited joke Jack likes to make at the Vault Hunters' expense.
    ""I'm Handsome Jack! Commando, don't kill me! I'm so sorry!" Pow! "Augh, oh no, you're so much cooler than me, Commando...""
  • Nuke 'em: The player can get a skill that lets Axton set off a Nuke when deploying the Sabre Turret (subject to its own cooldown).
  • Object Ceiling Cling: Mag-Lock allows you to deploy your Sabre Turret on walls or ceilings.
  • The Pollyanna: He went from high ranking military officer with a wife to a divorced mercenary on a planet full of convicts. Axton is still the most jovial of the bunch.
  • Regenerating Health: Axton, Salvador, and Gaige all get Regenerating Health very early in their skill trees compared to the other characters. Axton's version seems to be the closest to the typical regenerating health seen in most other FPS games.
    • The Able skill gives you health regeneration whenever you damage enemies.
    • The Preparation Skill gives you this when your shields are full.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: Done by himself in one of his idle lines.
    "This... this is nice. Who wants to be out killing stuff anyway? ...Me. I do."
  • Semper Fi: Mentions this exact phrase in his origin ECHO, so it can be assumed he was part of a futuristic Marine unit.
  • Sentry Gun: His Sabre Turret, which can be upgraded to shoot rockets and slag, to stick to walls and ceilings, and to be surrounded by a force field.
  • Schmuck Bait: Uses his turret as this while capturing a bounty before the game starts, his capturers comply by throwing his item, which gets them killed. Also invoked in-game when using his Action Skill:
    "Hey, stand in front of this!"
  • Skill Gate Character: Axton has an easy to use Action Skill in the same vein as Mordecai's, with his turret providing easy damage at range, and his specialty in increasing grenade damage pairs wonderfully with Torgue guns. After Normal difficulty, however, the turret drops off in power and becomes much easier for enemies to destroy, and the importance of elemental damage on higher difficulties makes most Torgue guns useless, while Axton's over-emphasis on the turret and lack of bonuses to his own damage output causes him to fall behind all of the other characters.
  • Take Cover!: While cover is useful for everyone, Axton's skills allow him to make the best use of it, particularly in the "Guerrilla" tree. The Able skill dramatically speeds up shield regeneration and recharge delay, allowing him to quickly move in and out of cover, and the Preparation skill in the "Survival" tree regenerates health when he has full shields. Coupled with his turret's ability to draw fire, Axton is very capable of fighting effectively from cover, emerging to trade fire with the enemy and take hits to his shields, and falling back to fully regenerate them in seconds.
  • Tattoo as Character Type: The metallic-looking two lines underneath an upside-down V implanted above his left eye was likely intended to serve a purpose like this, resembling a sergeant major's rank insignia, to portray his military background (though the Son of Crawmerax DLC reveals his former rank as Staff Sergeant).
    • A post by Axton on the official Twitter mentions that it's just a rank implant that makes his head hurt but there's no one he trusts (least of all Dr. Zed) to get it removed without possibly decapitating him. It also is just ferrous enough to have his turret get stuck to his head once.
      For the folks askin,the chevrons on my head are Dahl implants denoting rank. They hurt lots when it's cold. Or warm. Or when I turn my head.
      I'd remove em, but Zed's the only one with the equipment to do it. He'd probly give me a mild case of decapitation in the process.
      Yes, I (technically) got to 1st base with my turret when it magnetized and attached to the chevrons on my forehead. It was unpleasant. Ish.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: The Guerrilla tree's "Grenadier" skill increases the number of grenades he can carry, and Torgue Grenadier Mods boosts that skill (and others), explosive damage, and explosive damage resistance, encouraging frequent grenade use. "Do or Die" also allows him to throw grenade when in Fight For Your Life.
  • The Turret Master: Moreso than Roland due to his much more advanced Sabre turret. Customizing his turret is a big part of Axton's skill trees — he can add missile launchers and/or an extra gun to his turret, for instance, or even deploy two turrets at once.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Often when he or his turret kills an enemy.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Although how "tragic" is up for debate; at the end of the ECHO recording of Axton's interrogation, his wife returns the diamond engagement ring he gave her. What does Axton wear around his neck? A diamond ring.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: War crimes: $5,000,000,000
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Delivered by his ex-wife, Sarah, when recounting Axton's brilliant plan to escort a dignitary... by planting a tracker on him, following it when he got captured, and blowing up the building full of terrorists. With the dignitary still inside. Nonetheless, in the Son of Crawmerax DLC Sarah took out the assassin coming after him as a favor.

    Maya 

Maya (AKA The Siren)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Borderlands2_Maya2_6618.png
Voiced by: Martha Harms

"I'll never forget what the Head Monk told me right before I left the Abbey: "Child, you have so much left to learn" he said. I imagine he would have continued speaking, had I not pulled the trigger."

A Siren who once served as the secret weapon of an order of monks known as the Order of the Impending Storm who ruled over the planet Athenas. After learning of the monks' corruption and their plans to use her as a enforcer to keep the people of Athenas in line, she abandoned the order to seek out answers regarding her Siren lineage on Pandora. Her skill is Phaselock, letting her trap, damage, or control enemies.


  • A God Am I: Was apparently worshipped as a goddess on her homeworld. Ultimately inverted. She has godlike powers as a Siren, but doesn't see herself as a god.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Travelled the galaxy to investigate Siren lore.
  • Affectionate Nickname: As heard from his "A Meat Bicycle Made for Two" trailer and in an ECHO Log from the third game, Krieg refers to Maya as "pretty lady".
  • Asexual: An interview says she's asexual. In-game she was implied to be in a relationship with Brother Sophis until she shot him for manipulating her. Keep in mind that, as Brother Sophis also raised her, how much choice she had in the matter is questionable.
    • She also seems to be somewhat aware of Kreig's apparent crush on her and surprisingly enough seems pretty alright with it.
  • Attack Reflector: Kinetic Reflector gives you the passive ability to deflect bullets back to the attacker for a short while every time you kill an enemy.
  • Auto-Revive: The Res skill upgrades her Phaselock to instantly revive teammates in Fight for Your Life state.
  • Badass Adorable: Just like her predecessor, Lilith, she's beautiful, kind and a deadly Siren.
  • Badass Bookworm:
    • Her class mods appear as hardcover books. Also in the third game, A book is what was left of Maya after she was Reduced to Dust by Troy.
    • In the Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon's Keep DLC the characters ponder on what they will spend their riches on. Maya's response:
      "Lots and lots of books...and guns."
  • Badass Long Robe: In 3, she now wears a set of Jedi-like robes.
  • Bald Women: The head you get for buying the limited edition is this.
  • Battle Couple: An odd case with Krieg. She might not be aware of his feelings for her, but he clearly is attracted to her. In effect, they make the absolute best example of Sword and Sorcerer/Guys Smash, Girls Shoot in the entire game's multiplayer portion. Maya is able to crowd control enemies and allow Krieg to utterly oblierate them in melee, as well as Maya being able to heal Krieg in combat. Their instant-revive skills synergise marvellously.
  • Berserk Button: Do not call her a child. Ask Brother Sophis - oh wait, Maya blew a hole in his head. Never mind!
  • Broken Bird: In the Wedding Day Massacre and Son of Crawmerax DLC, some of her dialog comes off as quite cynical and bitter. Take, for example, when attempting to make a baby cry.
    "Everyone you know will tell you small lies, except the ones you love, who will tell you large ones."
  • Burn the Witch!: Some enemies have this attitude to Maya, sometimes to the point they drop the line, verbatim. Maya doesn't take too kindly to this...
  • Charm Person: Thoughtlock, the final skill of her Motion skill tree, which makes it so that her phaselock turns enemies against each other rather than simply holding them in place.
  • Combat and Support: Like Roland before her, she's The Medic and has multiple skills dedicated to healing and supporting allies, but is somewhat less suited for solo play compared to other characters due to her action skill's lack of crowd control or threat evasion.
  • The Comically Serious/Straight Man: As the most down-to-earth and least inherently comedic of the second generation of Vault Hunters, she tends to get put into the weirdest situations in publicity trailers, as in 'A Meat Bicycle Built For Two' and '+5 to Punching: A Bunkers and Badasses Prologue'.
  • Composite Character: Of Lilith (A Siren, with the accompanying elements of SMG usage and elemental bonuses) and Roland (The Hero, The Straight Man, and The Leader of her team, with supporting abilities including healing with bullets and reviving allies with her action skill).
  • Cooldown Manipulation: Quicken increases the cooldown rate by up to 30% at max level.
  • Corrupt Church/Stop Worshipping Me: The leadership of her homeworld exploited her for their own gain. When she found out... she was not happy.
  • Critical Status Buff: Fleet greatly improves your movement speed when your shields are depleted.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: She's Reduced to Dust by Troy in 3, screaming in pain and terror as she disintegrates.
  • Defector from Decadence: The Order Of The Impeding Storm planned to use her to scare the population of Athenas into submission. When her handler Brother Sophis ordered her to murder innocent civilians, she killed him and left the planet.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Less so than Zer0 or Krieg, but Maya is definitely one of the more "tactical" characters, as her special ability only targets one enemy and thus cannot be used for crowd control or evasion, unlike every other special ability. This is particularly pronounced when playing solo. She has particular trouble with either high mobility non-phaselockable bosses or multiple high mobility melee enemies because of this.
  • Diminishing Returns for Balance: A mechanic of her Action Skill that is even mentioned in a loading screen tip. It can reduce Phaselock's duration when recast on the same enemy:
    Phaselocking the same enemy multiple times results in diminishing returns.
  • Dissonant Serenity: When scoring critical hits.
    "Interesting reaction..."
  • Elemental Powers: The Cataclysm tree emphasizes on dealing various elemental, damage-over-time abilities, mostly Fire/Burn damage.
  • Evil Laugh: Has several of these, ranging from girly giggling (including a Lisa Simpson-esque snort-laugh), to absolutely cold-blooded chuckling when dispatching Badass-rank enemies. Given what she's like otherwise it's entirely possible she may be laughing more out of stress or relief.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: In Borderlands 3, her bangs have now grown past her waist.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Like the other Sirens, her stylish tattoos only run down her left arm, not her right.
  • Foil: She plays almost completely the opposite of Lilith, the previous game's Siren. Lilith's phaseshift power allowed her to escape from danger instantly and was great for both increased mobility and dealing with multiple enemies, making her probably the game's best Solo Class. Maya is much more of a co-op focused Combat and Support like Roland was; her phaselock power can lock down a single powerful or difficult-to-hit enemy and heal herself and her teammates, but she lacks crowd control or evasion and can be in big trouble if swarmed by multiple fast melee enemies or a single large enemy that can't be phaselocked (i.e. a Thresher Maw).
  • Gone Horribly Right: The church that raised and trained her repeatedly insisted that she was going to be used to fight terrorists and criminals. When she found out they were using her to keep the planet in terror to obey them, she used her Siren powers to kill them.
  • Good Is Not Soft: While significantly less amoral than her teammates, she's still quite vicious towards her enemies. In the Son of Crawmerax DLC, when she finds out that Sophis' brother was poisoned before she got to him:
    "Consider yourself lucky. That poison must have worked quickly. I wouldn't have."
  • Gravity Master: Phaselock in spades, as it suspends the enemy in mid-air for a duration. With the Converge skill, this gets upgraded to pulling nearby enemies toward the phaslocked target, much like a Singularity grenade does.
  • Healing Shiv: Like Roland's Cauterize from the first game, her Restoration ability allows you to heal your allies... by shooting them. Her Rez override also turns her action skill into an insta-revive.
    • As a sidenote, Restoration means your shots will even heal a Krieg who specced into Fuel the Rampage (which enables him to take friendly fire) — the healing seems to actually be painful to him, as he responds as if hurt.
  • The Hero: Maya is the only one of the new Vault Hunters who's not on Pandora to find a challenge, nor is she wanted for any previous crime. All she wants is to learn about the nature and heritage of Sirens. She's also the only Vault Hunter who's shown altruism by refusing to execute innocent civilians and stopping the Order that raised her from using her to terrorize her planet. However...
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Jack put a bounty of $720 billion on her head, the second highest of the Vault Hunters (compared to Axton's 5 for war crimes, Zer0's 32 for political assassination, Salvador's 99 for at least eight varied offenses, and Gaige's 820 for her Deathtrap "exploding" her Rich Bitch classmate), simply for being a Siren not under his thumb, unlike Angel.
  • Life Drain: Several of her Harmony skills have this effect; Sweet Release partially heals the entire team when a phaselocked enemy is killed, Elation gives the team health regeneration while an enemy is phaselocked, and Life Tap steals a percentage of a killed enemy's HP to heal Maya. The effect of each skill is fairly modest, so you need to stack multiple skills to have a meaningful effect.
  • Male Gaze: In A Meat Bicycle Built For Two, the close-up of Maya starts at the curves of her rear and lower back and slowly pans up. Then again, considering Krieg's reaction to her, this makes sense.
  • The Medic: Has the main healing skill tree of the group in her Harmony skill tree, which includes Life Drain skills Sweet Release and Elation which benefit the entire team, the Restoration Healing Shiv ability to heal allies by shooting them, and the Res ability to instantly revive an ally who's in Fight For Your Life mode by phaselocking them.
  • Morality Pet: For Krieg, who became a Vault Hunter upon falling for her.
  • Mr. Vice Guy:
    • Given her outright refusal to murder civilians on her homeworld, it seems she's basically good, but she's clearly not above partaking in the targeted Comedic Sociopathy the Vault Hunters are offered a chance to participate in from time to time. It's also within her interests to tear up Hyperion, considering Jack's treatment of Sirens.
    • In the Son of Crawmerax DLC, she demonstrates a particular fondness for vengeance.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: According to Axton on the @ECHOcasts Twitter account, she once gave Krieg a piggyback ride, though she wasn't too happy about it. This would make her pretty strong, since Krieg actually weighs a lot more than the other characters as a game mechanic.
  • Oedipus Complex: It's implied that she had something of an Electra Complex towards Brother Sophis in the Wedding Day Massacre DLC. When asked if she had a loved one in her life, she notes that there was an older man once who's dead now. Word of God confirms that the two were physically/romantically involved.
  • Pinball Projectile:
    • The Sub-Sequence skill upgrades Maya's Action Skill with this trope. The Phaselock orb will now seek onto nearby targets when the previous phaselocked target dies, will bounce off walls and ceilings and may get blocked when the supposed target is hiding near an environmental object.
    • Chain Reaction gives your bullets a chance to ricochet when you have an enemy Phaselocked.
  • Post-Mortem One-Liner: After Phaselocking and executing Brother Sophis (with bonus Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    "Don't. Call me. CHILD."
  • Power Gives You Wings: If you place points in the Blight Phoenix skill, Maya will sprout wings of fire every time she kills an enemy.
  • Power High: If she manages to either kill a phaselocked enemy or simply several enemies in rapid succession, she has various boastful one-liners.
    "You are nothing!"
    "This is the power of a Siren!"
    "I love my powers!"
  • Power Tattoo: Much like Lilith, the left side of her body bears Eridian markings.
  • Psychic Powers: While Lilith's powers are associated with fire and dimensional travel, and Angel's powers are associated with Technopathy, Maya's abilities seem to resemble classic Psychic Powers. Her phaselock appears to be telekinetic in nature, the ultimate skill of her Motion skill tree lets her mind-control enemies, and Borderlands 3 seems to imply she's developed a degree of precognition as well.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Apparently loves doing this when she Phaselocks people. However, her smirk is more heroic than most examples.
  • Redemption Earns Life:
    • Some of the church members who were less abusive were also allowed to live and are implied to have aided in her getting to Pandora.
    • Her initial response to Krieg is to start shooting once he starts yelling, since he looks like a Psycho. It's only when he saves her life - once by managing to shout a coherent warning, and once by attacking her attackers - that she saves him in turn, doesn't renew her attack, and rewards him with a smile.
  • Reduced to Dust: In Borderlands 3, Troy Calypso drains both her powers and life, causing her body to crumble.
  • Regenerating Health: Combined with her Life Drain abilities, Maya has by far the most options for restoring her health (though Salvador comes a close second with his various Regenerating Health skills). However, most of her healing skills are relatively late in her Harmony skill tree, while Axton and Gaige have a simpler health regen skill but get it much sooner.
    • Elated gives Maya and the entire team a health regeneration buff when an enemy is phaselocked.
    • Sustenance also gives her a passive health regeneration.
  • Sensual Spandex: Her tight fitting top prominently shows off her figure.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Maya has a "Thoughtlock" upgrade in her Motion Skill tree which brainwashes the Phaselocked enemy into attacking their friends.
  • She-Fu: When dismounting a Bandit Technical, she does a handstand before flipping off unlike others.
  • Ship Tease: With Krieg. Admittedly it seems pretty one-sided, since Krieg communicates exclusively in meat-related nonsense and enormous amounts of violence. In a Loverpalooza letter between Moxxi and Krieg, the latter implies that Maya either turned him down or isn't aware of his feelings for her.
    • It is also mentioned by Tiny Tina in her invite to Maya for her Bunkers & Badasses game: If you ain't too busy trying to get Krieg to stop staring at you.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table:
    • Her profile specifically states that she dislikes when people try to experiment on her.
    • In her personal ECHO log, "First Week On Pandora", she mentions that half of the Pandora populous she's met wants to worship her for being a Siren and the other half want to capture her and turn her over to Hyperion.
  • Support Party Member: Unlike the other Vault Hunters in 2, Maya's Phaselock Action Skill is designed specifically for crowd control, and her skill trees either emphasize on this, make her a Combat Medic, or make her a master of the elements.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: One of her Second Wind callouts is "I'm back, bitches!". Also, if she manages to kill a lot of enemies at once, one of her taunts is "Fear me, bitches!"
  • Token Good Teammate: Despite her fondness for a hearty Evil Laugh when dispatching foes, calling opponents 'bitches,' and her tendency to tell opponents they should just give up and die, Maya is by far the least psychotic and bloodthirsty of the Vault Hunters.
    • She is also the most polite to other characters. She will politely insist the other character to take their time if they are in their menu while trying to travel to the next area, and when she appears in a game, she offers a friendly greeting, tells them what she is, and warns that if they try to capture her she'll incinerate their brains.
    • It's also worth noting that the enemies in the game are pretty much all either bandits or Hyperion employees and machines. The exact thing she was raised to fight.
  • Touched by Vorlons: She's a Siren, like Lilith. Her powers involve "phaselocking", in which she traps an enemy in an energy bubble, temporarily taking it out of the fight.
  • Tyke Bomb: According to logs you can find, her church intended her to be this. It didn't work out.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: Siren: $720,000,000,000
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: And her hair is really colored blue. Well, on her default skin. Her character skins vary from realistic hair colors to various dye jobs.

    Salvador 

Salvador (AKA The Gunzerker)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Borderlands2_Salvador2_5244.png
Voiced by: John Swasey

"TIME TO COMPENSATE!!"

A heavily-built but not terribly huge native to Pandora who was lured into becoming a Vault Hunter by a Hyperion raid on his village, which promised him violence and challenge in equal measure. His skill is Gunzerking, allowing him to regenerate health and ammo, become resistant to damage, and dual-wield weapons.


  • Ax-Crazy: A rare, kinda heroic example.
  • Badass Beard: Has a large beard that makes him look even more rough and tumble, though many of his alternate heads change the style or get rid of it altogether.
  • Badass Boast: Several of his Gunzerking lines are this.
  • Badass Native: Salvador is actually a native of Pandora and was the defender of his village.
  • Badass Normal: Compared to the other vault hunters, Salvador is this. Axton is an experienced soldier who can deploy a powerful turret; Zer0 is a ninja who uses holographic decoys and may not even be human, judging by his borderline-supernatural abilities. Maya is a siren. Gaige has a badass death robot bodyguard. Krieg is the result of experimentation. Salvador, on the other hand, is just one man with incredible anger management issues, too many steroids, and an insatiable thirst for More Dakka. He kicks as much ass as any of the others.
  • The Berserker: Gunzerker, to be more specific.
  • The Big Guy: He and Krieg take Brick's place as this for the new crop of Vault Hunters. Amusingly Subverted in terms of physical appearance as he is the shortest of the six Vault Hunters.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Loudest and most verbal of the bunch. Most likely due to roid-rage.
  • Bond One-Liner:
    • Killing enemies while Gunzerking causes Salvador to spout an action hero one-liner. Some of them, like "GET OFF MY PLANE!" and "IT'S BEEN REVOKED!" are famous one-liners from action movies.
    • This trope is also parodied in one of his Gunzerking quotes, which is simply "ONE-LINER!"
  • Chaste Hero: Oddly enough, Anthony Burch actually stated that Salvador isn't interested in the, uh... "usual" hero's reward, being more interested in guns. In the Wedding Day Massacre DLC, if asked by Moxxi if he ever had someone who loved him, he has this to say:
    Salvador: 'Course not! Have you met me? I look like a fist with hair stapled to it.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Doesn't appear in 3's main game.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: In his introduction ECHO recording, Salvador is told that before he get anywhere near the vault, he'll be shot, stabbed, burned, and mauled a thousand times over. He loves every part of that sentence. Also, when reviving downed teammates he'll sometimes say that if anyone's going to almost die, it should be him.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In the second ECHO recording regarding his origins that you can find in Thousand Cuts, he is put on trial for the murder of three bandits. As Salvador tries to explain to the judge that the three bandits tried to kill his "abuela" (grandmother), the judge dismisses it, claiming that he's tried to convince the other villagers of that already, then asks if he had anything else to say.
    Salvador: Uh, it was fun?
  • Compensating for Something: When entering Gunzerk, one of his lines is "Time to compensate!", and while Gunzerking he might also say "Screw you, Freud!" Obviously, he's either compensating for his small stature... or those other things that steroids can make small. And his infamous (but cut) line...
    "IT'S LIKE HAVING THREE DICKS!"
  • Cooldown Manipulation:
    • I'm Already Ready speeds up the cooldown rate of your action skill.
    • With Get Some, Gunzerking's cooldown is also decreased by shooting enemies, but only procs once every 3 seconds.
  • Critical Status Buff:
    • "Just Got Real" from the Brawn tree increases gun damage the lower your health is.
    • Inconceivable will grant you a chance not to consume ammo when firing weapons. This chance increases the lower your health and shields are.
    • Out of Bubblegum increases fire rate when shields are depleted.
  • Damage Reduction:
    • I'm the Juggernaut gives damage reduction for a short time whenever an enemy is killed.
    • Come At Me Bro is a Draw Aggro move that also comes with this, while also regenerating full health.
  • Dashingly Dapper Derby: He can get one as a quest reward, and it comes with a very nice beard, too.
  • Desperation Attack:
    • The "Down, Not Out" skill in the Gun Lust tree allows you to Gunzerk while in Fight For Your Life.
    • With Money Shot, the last bullet in a gun's clip gets a massive damage boost. Players can also invoke this trope by deliberately saving the last bullet of a mag, switching to another weapon to soften the enemies, and when in Fight for Your Life state, hit any target with the saved bullet to deal massive damage and revive yourself in a quicker way.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The Gun Lust tree. Mechanically, it's a little complicated to take full advantage of, due to the focus on switching weapons.
  • Draw Aggro: Come At Me Bro is a taunt move that makes every enemy turn their attention to him, while healing him to full health and giving Damage Reduction in the process.
  • Double Entendre: His "Sexual Tyrannosaurus" skill. The loading screen tip for it even lampshades the possibility of the player just looking at the skill's name.
  • Dreadlock Warrior: One of his heads gives him a long dreadlock ponytail.
  • Easily Forgiven: Salvador was about to be hanged when Hyperion attacked his village. When torturing the man who shot the judge for doing that, he's asked why he cares, since the judge was going to hang him. Salvador brushes it off as "Nobody's perfect".
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Has the third highest bounty of all the Vault Hunters, with a list of crimes including manslaughter, arson, and cannibalism... and yet, he still loves his grandma Rosita. In the Son of Crawmerax DLC, upon learning that she hired the resort staff to kill his assassin, he happily declares "I love you, abuela!"
  • Extreme Omnivore: In the Wedding Day Massacre DLC, he complains that the Zaford whiskey lacks the kick of paint thinner, and when collecting machine grease for a sidequest he remarks that it tastes great on sandwiches.
  • Fighting for a Homeland: He's fighting back against Hyperion because they've declared all the local residents 'bandits' for not submitting to Hyperion rule. Also, because there's a crapload of guns and money in it for him.
  • Flipping the Bird: Does this with his Come At Me, Bro skill. Sadly, it's first person only and no third person animations exist for it.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Not just his name, but some of his taunts as well. Bienvenidos a la fiesta, amigos!
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: His basic melee attack is a simple left hook, though he does wear knuckles. A skill tree upgrade changes his melee into an uppercut for more damage.
  • Guns Akimbo: Can actually dual-wield every gun in the game, from pistols to Rocket Launchers. It's even lampshaded in the loading screens, mentioning if you wanna have a rocket launcher in one hand and a sniper rifle in the other, you can!
  • Gun Nut: Makes sense for the gunzerker to be one (and one of his skill trees is even called Gun Lust), but it's made clear in the Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon's Keep DLC when the characters ponder on what they will spend their riches on. Salvador's response:
    "Guns! And guns!"
  • The Gunslinger: The Vaporizer with a Rampage build (though with a focus on dual wielding unusual for the archetype); The Woo with a Gun Lust build and a pistol-boosting Renegade mod.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: His defining trait. Fortunately for Pandora, however, its mostly Moral Sociopathy, and there are enough bandits and hostile wildlife on the planet to keep him occupied for a very long time.
  • Hollywood Action Hero: He runs on tropes common to the Hollywood Action Hero (with the exception of "sense of empathy") and a huge helping of Lampshade Hanging and a bit of Meta-awareness.
  • Healing Factor: The Brawn skill tree has a number of skills that effect this in various ways, either passively, or while Gunzerking.
  • Hidden Elf Village: His village was so remote that the people living there didn't know what the hell a "Vault" was, and had never heard of Hyperion. Like, ever.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Cannibalism is among the list of charges on his Wanted poster. It's unknown if this is one of Hyperion's exaggerations or some sort of misunderstanding. With Salvador, its entirely possible he ate a guy's liver.
  • Incoming Ham: The "Come at me, bro!" skill. Pressing the "Action Skill" button while Gunzerking causes Salvador to flip off and scream at enemies, boosting his health and damage but making everyone turn their attention to him.
    "BRING THE PAIN, BITCHES!"
  • The Juggernaut:
    • The Brawn skill tree is built around making Salvador unkillable. One of the skills in the tree is even called "I'm the Juggernaut".
    • A Gunlust/Rampage build with Salvador dual-wielding the ever-popular and Game Breaking Double Penetrating Unkempt Harold and slag Rubi combo will make him literally unkillable due to health gating.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Salvador's a fan of doing this while starting up Gunzerk. a lot.
    "TIME TO COMPENSATE!!!"
    "CAN'T STOP SCREAMING!!!"
    "SCREW YOU FREUD!!!"
    "ONE-LINER!!!"
    "SOMETHING CLEVER!!!" (to clarify on the last two, he says these exact words)
  • Large Ham: The number of lines he speaks in the game that are not enormously loud, top-of-his-lungs battle cries or taunts can probably be counted on one of Zer0's hands.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Brawn tree specializes on health regeneration and massive reduction. This also improves some of his physical attributes such as fire rate, movement speed, gun damage and an uppercut that can send enemies flying.
  • Long List: His "Wanted!" Poster is actually two wanted posters stapled together because the list of charges is so long.
  • Megaton Punch: "Fistful of Hurt", his melee override that lets him deliver a devastating uppercut to his enemies that can knock them away from him.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: invokedTina made all of the dwarves in her Bunkers & Badasses campaign look like Salvador because of his small size. Lilith takes offense to it, Salvador not so much.
    Tina: Yeah I know, Free Lilly. You think it's racist or somethin'? I'll ask Sal downstairs, see if he thinks its racist. HEY SALVADOR! IS IT OKAY IF ALL OF THE DWARVES IN MY CAMPAIGN LOOK LIKE YOU?!
    Salvador: That is AWESOME!
    Tina: BOOYAH! Not racist.
  • More Dakka:
    • Salvador's entire modus operandi, especially when you take a look at his Gun Lust tree.
    • The last skill in the Rampage tree is Keep Firing, which increases the fire rate and reload speed of guns while Gunzerking for as long as the trigger is held down. Try it with guns that have fast fire rates, speedy reloads, and/or huge magazines to begin with — you'll fire hundreds of bullets in the blink of an eye.
  • The Napoleon: He is a dwarf, caused by a lifetime of steroid abuse. He's also a very angry man.
  • No Indoor Voice: Pretty much everything he says is screamed at the top of his voice.
  • One-Man Army: We'll let this bit from The Son of Crawmerax DLC speak for itself.
    Sparky Flint: The next guy you're looking for is named Blendo, and he wants to kill Salvador in order to avenge, uh... (long pause)... everyone. You killed his entire bandit clan, Sally. All a hundred and fifty of them.
    Salvador: That was a fuuuunn weekend.
  • Our Dwarves Are Different: He's short and stout. He's a Boisterous Bruiser who prefers raw force to finesse. He's got a huge nose and a Badass Beard. Despite being a human, he checks off every box except for mining and drinking. If there was any doubt, Tiny Tina's Assault On Dragon Keep made all the dwarves look like him with braided beards.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Too much steroid use has stunted his growth, which basically makes him a Latino Wolverine with no claws. Heck, one of his skills is a Megaton Punch. Because of this, Tina based all the dwarves of her Bunkers & Badasses campaign off of him, something that he thinks is awesome.
  • Regenerating Health: He starts off with a skill that slowly but continuously regenerates his health; unlike everyone else, it has no conditions to activate, it's always permanently on once unlocked. He gets back half his health when Gunzerking and regenerates further during it. He can get a skill that makes him regen more during Gunzerking, and he can get a skill that makes him regenerate more whenever he takes direct damage. Properly-specced he'll be recovering health six ways from Sunday and be nearly impossible to kill. The Brawn skill tree specializes in this by giving Salvador four ways to regenerate or fully restore health.
  • Screaming Warrior: While Gunzerking, he's always screaming. Most of the things he says in that state are utter nonsense.
  • Screen Shake: Unlike the rest of the playable Vault Hunters in the second game, Krieg's melee attack always comes with this effect.
  • Shouting Shooter: He usually has one gun and shouts invectives and boasts at megaphone-volume in a thick Spanish accent. When Gunzerking, his shouting, gunfire, and general loudness double.
  • Skull for a Head: His head customization from Captain Scarlett's DLC.
  • Sociopathic Hero:
    • Salvador has, in his own words, "issues". Namely, he really loves to hurt and kill people, with both his bare hands and big, powerful guns. The "Hero" part comes from him only liking (or at least preferring) to kill bad guys.
    • Reviving someone as Salvador may be accompanied with him saying "I stopped shooting to help you." or "You made me stop shooting!" in a fairly self-important tone. Other times he will sound frustrated while reviving his teammates, saying "You can't kill anything from down there!"
  • Surplus Damage Bonus: The Gunzerker class has one skill-tree end with the skill "No Kill Like Overkill". After getting a kill the extra damage done is then added to all gun attacks made (though this can't make an individual shot more than five time as powerful otherwise) for a couple of seconds or until you kill another enemy. So if one kills a weakened enemy with something like a rocket launcher then pulls out a machine gun, it can get pretty crazy powerful.
  • Tattoo as Character Type: He has bands of pistol bullets on both of his biceps. Considering his passion for firearms, they represent the fact that Salvadore's true love is towards his guns and nothing comes between that.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: Has an absolutely hulking upper body, on top of tiny, comically short legs.
  • [Trope Name]: A hilarious amount of his quotes are this, part of his near-constant Lampshade Hanging of the Hollywood Action Hero tropes he runs on.
    "ONE LINER!"
    "SOMETHING CLEVER!"
    "BERSERK SCREAMING!"
    "RAAAAAAAAAGE!"
    "AGGRO!"
  • Unscrupulous Hero: He's got very good reasons to be fighting Hyperion beyond simply getting paid or finding a worthy opponent to fight, but he's very eager to spill blood and happy to slaughter and torture Hyperion personnel.
  • Unstoppable Rage: What Gunzerking is. The screen gets a red tint around the edges and you can see the bloodshot veins in Salvador's eyes for the duration. In an interesting twist on the standard form of the trope, the rage of the gunzerker involves becoming a walking dispenser of Bullet Hell, rather than executing Extreme Mêlée Revenge.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: Manslaughter, Theft, Arson, Destruction of Property, Trespassing, Cannibalism, Public Indecency, and Profanity: $99,000,000,000.99

    Zer0 

Zer0 (AKA The Assassin)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Borderlands2_Zero2_6012.png
Voiced by: Mike Turner

"Your eyes deceive you./ An illusion fools you all./ I move for the kill."
An extremely mysterious assassin who came to Pandora to find a challenge worthy of his skills. Beyond that, we... really don't know much else. It's up in the air as to whether he's even human. His skill is Deception, which creates a holographic decoy while he turns invisible, allowing him to strike suddenly for massive damage.
  • Ambiguously Human: Even In-Universe, nobody really knows if he is or isn't human. One of the Headhunter Downloadable missions lampshades this; everyone gets an alternate head where their heads are reduced to bleached skulls with eyes still in their sockets, with Zer0's being a large robotic eye sticking out of his now-visorless helmet named "N0t C4n0n".
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Most of his lines delivered for kills are poetic ways of describing how awesome he is.
  • Back for the Finale: He can be recruited for the finale of Tales from the Borderlands if either A) Fiona told Mordecai she was a Vault Hunter, or B) The only other two available are Athena and August.
  • Back Stab:
    • Ambush increases damage dealt against enemies with their backs turned or are attacking someone other than Zer0.
    • A Bloodshed skill also called Backstab is a more direct example of this, as it increases melee damage when hitting enemies in the back.
  • Badass Boast: Can give a particularly awesome one when killing an enemy during "Fight For Your Life Mode!", which like most of his second wind lines is one of the only times he sounds pissed.
    "I won't die today / Not while I still have ammo / I am a badass!"
    • Another good one if you kill a tough enemy with a headshot or critical hit:
      "Critical killing / Is an art unto itself / And I am Rembrandt."
    • Another of his Second Wind quotes:
      "I am eternal / Death will never capture me / My skills exceed his."
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: his class mods are elbow blades.
  • Blood Knight:
    • When hunting down a poor schmuck, he insists that the target fight back and stop retreating so he can work for it.
    • Near the end of the Tiny Tina DLC, when the characters are pondering what he'll use his loot for:
      "I care not for money / Only for the true combat / That said, I'll buy guns."
  • Boom, Headshot!: His Headsh0t ability (which even has an icon for a cracked skull) boosts critical hit damage, most of which are done by performing headshots against humanoid enemies.
  • Calling Card: Named Zer0 because of the trademark red, digital-format zero that his mask displays when he score a kill.
  • Cannot Convey Sarcasm: "Sorry, did that hurt? / That "sorry" was sarcasm / I am not sorry."
  • Celibate Hero: In the Wedding Day Massacre DLC, when Moxxi asked him if he ever had someone he loved, his reply is that he’s in love with combat and the battlefield and don't need anyone.
  • Challenge Seeker: His primary motivation above all else is to seek a challenge for his skills. In the finale of Tales from the Borderlands, he’s the only Vault Hunter that doesn't need to be hired, provided that he learns of Fiona's reputation.
  • Cold Sniper: Zer0 has a dedicated sniping skill tree. He does not, however, seem to have much in the way of emotion.
  • Competitive Balance: While the Sniping and Bloodshed trees overspecialize boosting ranged and melee attacks respectively, the Cunning tree is more of a balanced specialization that benefit both ranged and melee combat.
  • Cool Sword: His melee weapon is a black katana with a glowing blue edge.
  • Cooldown Manipulation: The Grim skill hastens the cooldown of Deception every time you kill enemies.
  • Corporate Samurai: As of Borderlands 3, Zer0 is now working as an Atlas operative under it's new CEO Rhys.
  • Counter Attack: His aptly named C0unter Strike skill increases his melee attack damage when he gets hit.
  • Coup de Grâce: Invoked in his Killing Bl0w skill, which massively increases melee damage against enemies with low health.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Zer0's Sniping tree focuses mainly on guns (especially sniper rifles) and critical hits. While Zoom, Accuracy, Critical Hit Damage and other basic gun parameters apply to all gun types, the last two skills of this tree benefit only snipers. This skill tree doesn't even have any elemental boosts, Cooldown Manipulation, Regenerating Health, Shield recovery and any other survival skills that Cunning and Bloodshed provide.
  • Critical Hit Class: Zer0's gameplay is built around burst damage and hit chains; in particular, his Critical Ascension skill adds bonus damage for every critical hit scored within a few seconds, stacking up to 999 times but decaying over time.
  • Critical Status Buff – The Fearless skill gives him a boost to Gun Damage and Fire Rate when his shields are depleted.
  • The Comically Serious:
  • Cyber Ninja: Certainly fits the aesthetic, since he wears a mechanical suit and his melee abilities invoke classic ninja skills. Of course, his background is so enigmatic that we can't be sure whether he is actually are a cyborg or robot.
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: Death Mark lets him apply a debuff to enemies (signified by a red 0 above him) whenever he hits someone in melee or with kunai.
  • Dash Attack: His "Execute" skill allows him to lunge at his enemies during Decepti0n mode; with the end-tier skill of his Bloodshed tree, Many Must Fall, he can chain these indefinitely as Deception will remain active and the timer will be reset as long as he manage to kill his target.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Zer0 is probably the most difficult of the characters to pick up and play as, because the majority of his abilities are focused on doing damage on stealth or from afar with snipers, with very few buffing his survivability. His playstyle focuses on evasion, agility, and inflicting titanic amounts of damage to take down enemies before they can do much in turn, which is challenging for newer players of First-Person Shooter games.
  • Disney Death: In Tales from the Borderlands, he seems to get crushed by the death race announcer's box with Bossanova, but then reappears, revealing that he was using a Hologram.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Pandora could be exploding around him (which, you know, isn't quite as hypothetical as it sounds), and Zer0 will still be talking in his calm, focused, sinister monotone.
  • Emoticon: Zer0 doesn't have facial expressions, so his helmet faceplate lights up to show his emotions, such as :) when he kills or <3 when he's picking someone up. When he lose a duel, "FML" (Fuck My Life) shows up on his face. Climbing or teleporting behind the wheel of a vehicle nets a ":D", which is about as emotional as he gets.
  • Enemy Scan: As a secondary feature, Decepti0n can reveal invisible enemies and make others easier to see. When augmented with B0re, it can even highlight critical points.
  • Expy:
    • Of Snake Eyes. Early concept art even had him wearing a similar grilled visor (Mentioning Snake Eyes as the inspiration). One of his alternate heads is very similar to him, and one of his costumes is even called "Eyes Of the Snake", as a blatant reference.
    • Also of Gray Fox. The character designer even admitted to being a big MGS fan, and partially modeled Zer0 after the famous cyborg ninja. It's really apparent when he speaks, using a processed monotone with oddly poetic word choice and syntax; Gray Fox did the same.
  • Flechette Storm: Death Bl0ss0m lets him throw explosive kunai with elemental effects during Decepti0n mode that are also capable of applying the Death Mark debuff.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Zer0 only has three fingers and a thumb on each hand, to make him even more Ambiguously Human. If he drops the Crit (An SMG with a chance of slipping out of your hands when reloading), he may lament that if only he had five fingers then he might be able to hold onto it better. He doesn't see his lack of pinky fingers as much of a big deal, saying they're pointless.
  • Gathering Steam:
    • Kill C0nfirmed boosts your Critical Damage the longer you aim down the gun's sights.
    • With a point in the Critical Ascensi0n skill, your sniper rifles gain increased gun damage and critical hit damage the more you score kills with snipers, and this can stack up to 999 times. However, these will slowly decay if you haven't scored any critical hits for awhile.
    • Rising Sh0t grants a stacking bonus for each successful melee or ranged attack.
  • Gratuitous Iambic Pentameter: Pretty much anything he says beyond short, curt sentences is in the form of a 5/7/5 syllabic haiku. Not even Angel is sure why he does so.
  • Genius Bruiser: He use a melee weapon, and also happens to be very intelligent, by the way he can quickly come up with haikus on the spot.
  • Glass Cannon: Zer0 focuses almost entirely on powerful one-shot kills, either with a sniper rifle or with a massive melee strike. However, this offensive capability comes at the expense of a total lack of defense. Only one skill helps to recover shields, and he has only two skills that allow for health regeneration (both of which are obtained relatively late in his skill trees). Of the three "defensive" skills he has, two of them can only be activated by killing an enemy.
  • Gotta Kill Em All: In 3, his Crew Missions involve assassination contracts on various unique minibosses.
  • Hero of Another Story: In Tales from the Borderlands, Zer0 crosses paths with Rhys and Fiona during his own search for the Gortys Project, but otherwise doesn't really have much else to do with them.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: The designers have stated outright that they wanted Zer0 to have as confusing, muddled, and mysterious a background as possible.
    • The ECHO surveillance logs involving Zer0 that Jack has his subordinates pull up leave even him stumped. Hell, Jack himself balks that all anyone can say about Zer0 being on Pandora or whether he’s human or not is "I'unno".
    • In the side-quest for "Son of Crawmerax", everyone has his background history revisited including Zer0, except his part of the side-mission is muddled with weirdness and confusion such as the person who was sent to kill Zer0 being unclear with his motives, the person dying in the most peculiar way that no one but Zer0 understands, and in the letter given to Zer0 (which revealed a character involved in everyone else's past) Zer0's is left deliberately cryptic. So cryptic that the Assassin himself thought it was infuriating.
  • Invisibility: Sends out a decoy while he turns invisible, Predator-style.
  • Irony: Invoked in his title card/subtitle for the third game:
    "Ironically does a lot of dividing"
  • L33t L1ng0: All of the letter o's in Zer0's name, skill trees, heads and skins are replaced with number 0's. The names of some of his alternate heads follow suit, and also includes 3 for E, 1 for I (i), and 4 for A sometimes.
  • Life Drain: Resurgence restores your health when you kill enemies with a melee attack. The lower your health, the more are restored.
  • My Hero Zero: Or more specifically, Zer0.
  • The Musketeer: He’s equally deadly as a marksman and as a swordsman. Most notably, he uses a sword, and most of his builds are built around fighting with pistols or sniper rifles, which is common with characters of that trope.
  • Ninja: Clear design influence, and the name of one of his class mods. The ultimate skill in the Decepti0n-focused Cunning tree even gives him the ability to throw kunai.
  • Nominal Hero: His motives are, like everything else about him, shrouded in mystery. But he seems to mostly be in it for the pleasure of the fight.
  • No Name Given: Other than "Zer0," which is almost certainly a pseudonym.
  • No Social Skills: Upon being told that it is impossible to shut a rude person up, Zer0 "accepts" the challenge and decapitates the guy in front of his friend. Although it's justified that Pandora's people have been doing this all day.
  • Not So Above It All: In the final chapter of Tales from the Borderlands, after being reunited with Sasha, Rhys opens his arms expecting her to run up and hug him, only for her to run past to hug Vaughn instead. If you recruited Zer0 to help you out, he will call out Rhys on such an embarrassing display.
    Zer0 Oh yes. I saw that.
  • Professional Killer: Part of being an assassin. He’s wanted by Hyperion for a political assassination.
  • One-Hit Polykill: The B0re skill, which lets bullets penetrate enemies as well as highlighting weak points while in Decepti0n.
  • Outside-Context Problem: As revealed in the ECHO Logs that you can find in Sawtooth Cauldron, Jack is irritated when nobody, not even Angel (who was able to profile the other new Vault Hunters), can come up with anything better than "I'unno," when attempting to describe Zer0's species, origins or background.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: Most of the skills in the sniper tree are great for more than just sniping: he makes shotguns and pistols really awesome too. (Better aim, better crits, faster reloads, overpenetration...)
  • Regenerating Health: Innervate grants Zer0 this during Deception.
  • Samurai Cowboy: The 2013 Community Day Event gave him a cowboy-themed skin, based off Wyatt Earp's outfit in Tombstone. He also has Class Mods built around improving his skills with pistols.
  • Skull for a Head: His head customization from Tiny Tina's DLC is the same as the head of the four Skeleton King bosses. Averted with his head from Captain Scarlett's DLC, which is just a skull painted over the front of his default helmet (and he also wears a do-rag).
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Occasionally peppers his haikus with profanity.
    Zer0: (issuing a duel challenge) Oh, what?! Yeah, what, bitch?! / Yeah, I just slapped you and stuff. / What you gonna do?
    Zer0 (After the player has killed Katagawa) Katagawa is dead. That kill was long overdue. What a goddamn douche.
  • The Spook: Robot? Cyborg? Alien? Human? Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot? Nobody has any clue what he is or where he’s from. And according to the devs, nobody ever will.
  • Spread Shot: His Death Bl0ss0m skill's kunai spreads farther away when thrown from long distances.
  • Strange-Syntax Speaker: He tends to speak in haiku. This is actually a stealthy reference to his sword-based fighting style, since haiku generally consist of two juxtaposed ideas or images with a "cutting word" (kireji) separating them.
  • Stealth Expert: Excels at sneaking, sniping, and backstabbing. He can even deal bonus damage to unaware enemies.
  • Sword and Gun: Has a skill called "Be Like Water" that advocates using both his sword and guns in tandem, giving a damage boost for using one after the other.
  • Sword Lines: A blue trail appears whenever he swings his katana.
  • The Stoic: He sounds very emotionally reserved, even when saying things that are clearly meant to convey things like contempt or bravado.
    • Not So Stoic: In Borderlands 3, he expresses genuine grief and mourns Maya after she is killed off by Troy.
  • The Voiceless: Oddly averted for his archetype. Since most of his lines are in Haiku, which are always seventeen syllables long, he is considerably more wordy than the other Vault Hunters.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: Political Assassin: $32,000,000,000
  • Warrior Poet: A lot of his statements are in Haiku.
  • Worthy Opponent: What he hopes to find in searching for the Vault. Although he takes contracts and payment without much discretion, he’s essentially looking for a challenge.

    Krieg 

Krieg (AKA The Psycho)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/BL2Krieg_3916.jpg
Voiced by: Jason Douglas

(Say "thank you".) "NIPPLE SALADS!" (Close enough.)

The product of horrifying experimentation at the hands of Hyperion, Krieg was once a heroic Vault Hunter. While the process did make him stronger, it also drove him almost completely insane, with the last remnants of his former self acting as a conscience to him. Encountering Maya as she waited for a train, he fell in love with her and became a Vault Hunter alongside her in hopes that she will be the one to make him sane once more. His Action Skill has him go on a rampage with his buzz axe, regaining health for every kill.


  • AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle: During his stint in the ECHO Casts twitter account, he tends to capitalize random letters such as "NIPpLE SaLAds" and "YoU WANNA know wHo I AM I will SHOW YoU WHo I AM", mimicking this trope's format.
  • A Day in the Limelight: A Meat Bicycle Built for Two, a short film made by Gearbox that shows how Krieg became a Vault Hunter and to make up for his own lack of ECHO logs.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: In psychology, alliteration without logical association is often indicative of clanging, a symptom of schizophrenia. Or he's seen V for Vendetta at some point. Unsurprisingly, Krieg is quite fond of this:
    "Pitiful people prepare, plead plentifully plentiful platitude phenomenal patriot pounds, poundingly perverse puppets; pulping, pleasantly, putrid pasties."
    • All of the skill names in the Hellborn skill tree. (Burn Baby Burn, Fuel the Fire, Pain is Power, etc.)
  • Affectionate Nickname: Based from related ECHO Logs in 3, both Tina and Maya had been referring to Krieg as "big guy".
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Amongst his other issues, he's stated to have multiple personalities, but its written more akin to severe aphasia. 3 heavily leans towards the multiple personalities interpretation, however.
  • Amnesiac Hero: Inner Krieg doesn't remember anything from his past, and outer Krieg doesn't want to.
  • An Axe to Grind/Chainsaw Good: He wields a larger version of the buzz axe that Dr. Zed or the Badass Psychos use. The Buzz Axe Bombardier attaches dynamite to it, letting Krieg deal explosive damage whenever he throws it. His class mods take the form of different blades for it.
  • And I Must Scream: He used to be a much saner, smarter, more moral sort, possibly a Vault Hunting bounty hunter. Now? Thanks to Hyperion experimentation, he's a mass-murdering (of Hyperion and "the deserving") Badass Psycho with all the insanity and Ax-Crazy-ness that implies. And his original personality is a Split Personality stuck inside this lunatic, completely aware of everything he does and nearly unable to affect it in any way.
  • Angrish: Especially when Rampaging.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: The basis of the Bloodlust skill tree. Dealing damage adds stacks of Bloodlust, which decreases if no damage is being dealt. As such, it is best for him to always be on the offensive and shooting at something.
    • Generally speaking, Kriegs entire playstyle demands the player to be in the thick of battle to make full use of his skills. Bloodlust stacks decay when he's not doing damage to something, so Krieg must always have a target in his sights to enjoy the gargantuan weapon buffs it provides. The Mania tree encourages Krieg to always be receiving damage to get his Action Skill charged up more often, while also maintaining a close distance to the enemy lest he be shot down before he can get close enough to cut them down. Hellborn is similar to Bloodlust in that he must always have a target in his crosshairs being burnt alive to enjoy the buffs that self-immolation brings.
  • The Atoner: The sane part of Krieg is trying to redeem himself. The other part really couldn't care less.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Two major examples, both from the "Mania" tree:
    • Silence the Voices gives you a HUGE melee damage boost (easily reaching over 300% with a class mod) but causes you to have a 12% chance to hit yourself. On paper this doesn't seem major, but in practice you're hitting yourself every one in ten swings (more if you're unlucky) and dealing that huge melee damage to yourself. If you're not healthy enough you'll end up KOing yourself. Additionally, if you were close enough to hit the enemy, they're close enough to hit you, meaning that missed swing gives them an opportunity to hit back, hard.
    • "Light the Fuses" causes Krieg to run around when his health is depleted, throwing bundles of dynamite. Excellent for getting a second wind against bandits and other ground troops, but against airborne enemies you'll wish you had a regular "Fight for Your Life" (which this skill will always override).
  • Ax-Crazy: 'Murderous insanity' is the entire job description of a Pandoran psycho, and his action skill literally involves him going crazy with an axe.
  • Badass Boast: In a lot of his Ax-Crazy dialogue lines such as:
    MY PECS HAVE PECS!
    (Seeing a Badass enemy) "I'LL SHOW YOU WHAT A BADASS IS!"
    "I'M GONNA PUT MY PAIN INTO YOUR SOUL!"
    I LOOKED INTO THE HEART OF DARKNESS, AND I ATE IT ALL!!!
  • Bald of Awesome: His default head.
  • Battle Couple: An odd case with Maya. She might not be aware of his feelings for her, but he clearly is attracted to her. In effect, they make the absolute best example of Sword and Sorcerer/Guys Smash, Girls Shoot in the entire game's multiplayer portion. Maya is able to crowd control enemies and allow Krieg to utterly obliterate them in melee, as well as Maya being able to heal Krieg in combat.
  • Beast and Beauty: With Maya. He became a Vault Hunter because he fell in love with her and wanted to protect her.
  • The Berserker: Given what he is, this is a given as his Action Skill encourages him to resort to his axe, throwing it or getting up close to the enemy. Two skills further emphasize this trope:
    • The Mania tree in particular focuses on fighting as suicidally as possible, doing stuff like deliberately putting yourself in harm's way to recharge your specials or running around with a lit bundle of dynamite.
    • The Bloodlust tree, on the other hand, gives him stacks of "Bloodlust" that accumulate quickly as he damages enemies (but also disappear rapidly if he's not damaging enemies) so to get the most out of its skills, it also forces you to run straight into combat blowing away as many enemies as possible as quickly as possible.
    • With the two aforementioned skill trees combined, he becomes the living embodiment of this trope.
  • The Big Guy: Class 4, easily being the loudest and most bloodthirsty Psycho on Pandora, and that is really saying something. Class 1 as well, as he's the tallest and most solidly built of the new Vault Hunters, and can get even bigger with Release the Beast.
  • Blood Knight: Even under normal circumstances he's incredible bloodthirsty, but during Buzz Axe Rampage it reaches new extremes.
    "GRIND GRIND GRIND KILL KILL KILL!"
    "YESYESYESYESYES!"
    "BLOOD, BLOOD, BLOOOOD, BLOOD, BLOOOOOOOD!"
  • Body Horror: He was an experiment of some sort, and still has numerous scars, stitches, and various hoses all over his body. He can also mutate himself into a Badass Psycho, misshapen limbs included.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: He makes various references to numbers when talking about loot, and has several lines that more or less tell the player to use his action skill when he's at low health.
  • Breakout Mook Character: He's a Psycho, like the kind you've been killing or watching them blow up. One of his rants indirectly references this ("Box cover, box cover! I'm the one who eats the stardom! I'm the hero of all the villains! You can't swallow my morality like a lollipop pill! I'll run around your mind and set the world record with my meat sleeves!")
  • Breath Weapon: "Hellfire Halitosis" lets him breathe flames.
  • Call-Back:
    • Occasionally says "You woke the wrong dog!" when getting a Second Wind. That's what Nine-Toes in Borderlands said to the original Vault Hunters when they fought him.
    • Also, two skills in his Mania skill tree - "Strip the Flesh" and "Salt the Wound" - are two halves of a phrase spoken by most Psychos in the first game.
  • The Cameo: Has yet to appear in Borderlands 3 in person, but shows up in various ECHO Logs.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: His insanity makes it difficult for him to properly express his feelings for Maya.
  • Captain Obvious: His Psycho Mutant transformation. "I'VE GOT A HUGE HAND!"
  • Cast from Hit Points: Effectively, if not directly. Related to Self-Harm below, he performs better when his shields are down and his Action Skill recharges faster when he takes damage to his health instead of his shields (his "Feed the Meat" skill massively increases his base health but makes his shields recharge slower to facilitate this). If he's not in enough danger already from the enemy, several of his skills actively hurt himself, like "Silence the Voices" which has a 12% to smash himself in the face with his buzz axe or his Hellborn tree that lights himself on fire (but that's actually a good thing). At any given moment, his health could dip dangerously low, pop back to full, then fall to near-death again, and repeat.
  • Catchphrase:
    • The word "meat" in general. So much so that Tiny Tina thinks she can talk to him using only the word meat.
      In words you will understands: MEAT MEAT MEAT MEAT BLOOD MEAT CAKE
    • He has a tendency to scream "NIPPLE SALADS" at times. It's even featured in his Legendary Psycho class mod.
    • His inner/good personality has "...Close enough", usually said in mild annoyance after telling the dominant personality to say something and hearing it expressed as some sort of lunatic non-sequitur.
  • Close-Range Combatant: His skills all force him into close-to-mid range combat to the point that certain gun-related skills specifically exclude sniper rifles.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Much of his dialog is generally nonsense involving meat or blood in some way. Especially exacerbated in Raving Retribution, where he'll go on completely unintelligible rants while spouting homing fireballs from his body.
    MY STOMACH IS CLEAR, AND MY MIND IS FULL OF BACON!
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Some of his lines seem to openly invite enemies to injure him, particularly ones involved with "Salt the Wound". He also seems to really like being set on fire (his sane personality, not so much).
    "HURTS...SO...GOOD!"
    "STAB ME A THOUSAND TIMES!"
    "NOTHING MAKES ME STRONGER THAN A SUCKING CHEST WOUND!"
    • When getting revived, sometimes he will tell his teammate to stop reviving him.
  • Composite Character: He's a composite of all the various enemy psychos you can see in the game, that you get to play as instead. The melee-focused psychos with buzz axes, the burning psychos who are heavily resistant to fire and breathe fire on you, the suicide psychos who blow themselves up with grenades, the psycho marauders who shoot at you, and he can even learn the ability to become a huge mutated badass psycho.
  • Cool Mask: Wears a gas mask version of the normal Psycho mask as his default Head. Every single one of his alternate Heads is some form of mask, hat, or helmet which covers most of his face.
  • Cooldown Manipulation:
    • His Action Skill "Buzz Axe Rampage" gets its cooldown reduced by 1 second for every 3.5% base health lost.
    • Blood Overdrive is one of the very unique skills in the game because it can decrease grenade fuse time by 0.005 seconds for every stack of Bloodlust. With a large number of Bloodlust, your grenades detonate faster, or even immediately after being thrown.
    • Fuel the Rampage decreases your skill's cooldown time when you take damage.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The Mania tree has skills that focus on reducing health to rampage even further. Under this strategy, shield recharge gets slower with certain skills in order to encourage a risk-and-reward gamplay by having your HP reduced. As risky as it may seem, Mania works surprisingly well with the Flame of the Firehawk legendary Nova shield and Roid Shields that provide lasting offensive benefits when they are depleted. Naturally on the other side of the spectrum, this skill tree also lessens the overall effectiveness of shields that provide bonuses when they are full, such as Spike, Amp and all other Nova shields, as it would take longer for these to recover.
  • Critical Status Buff: A fair number of his skills involve buffing Krieg when he takes damage, or when his shields are down. He is also the only character to have absolutely no skills that are only active when his shields are full, making him a perfect match for the Rough Rider: a shield that is permanently empty but also gives damage resistance and a boost to max health.
  • Damage Reduction:
    • Taste of Blood reduces the damage taken by Krieg in Buzz Axe Rampage for every stack of Bloodlust.
    • Numbed Nerves gives him damage reduction when he's on fire.
  • Deadpan Snarker: When he's not wallowing in self-loathing, his sane half can be pretty snarky.
    It's over, idiot. You're going to die here and now and the last words out of your mouth will have been "poop train."
  • Death Seeker: His inner voice will occasionally comment "I deserve this" when Krieg either bashes himself in the face or is set on fire.
    • When using Redeem the Soul, both Kriegs have Death Seeker-esque lines. Although for Psycho Krieg it could just as easily be part of his Combat Sadomasochist nature, with him enjoying the thrill of almost dying in battle.
      "I WANNA DIE HERE! ME!"
      "YOU DON'T DIE! I DIE!"
      "YOU'RE IN MY SPOT!"
      ("You don't deserve this. I do.")
  • Desperation Attack:
    • The "Light The Fuses" skill, which lets him toss dynamite and move normally when his HP reaches 0. He can also detonate it Suicide Psycho style, though he'll get Second Wind if he manages to score a kill with it.
    • There's also the "Release the Beast" skill, in which if Krieg activates Buzzaxe Rampage when at 1/3 of his health he transforms into a Badass Psycho.
  • Determinator: Occasionally when he's downed, Krieg's inner voice will tell him that he cannot die, not while there are bad guys to be killed and not while "she's" still out there.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Mechanically, Krieg is a high-risk high-reward character who is typically more challenging to play as gameplay-wise, at least until you have a proper build going on.
    • His Action Skill encourages a melee playstyle (although he also has a ranged attack while doing it, the buzz-axe is slow, easy-to-dogdge and can arc). This is in contrast to the other five playable Vault Hunters whose Action Skills can make them safely attack or escape from a distance.
    • Per the developer's own admittance, the Mania tree falls squarely into this. Taking damage actually buffs Krieg, even moreso without shields. This places him at a higher risk of frequently getting knocked into Fight For Life mode, but one skill completely restores his health with every kill he makes while using his action skill.
    • Several Bloodlust tree skills feed into one another: there's a grenade kill skill that makes gun damage better, a gun kill skill that makes melee damage better and a melee kill skill that makes grenades better. Keeping your Bloodlust from decaying is hard enough, keeping track of all this in the middle of battle is even harder, but if you pull it off: a string of ever-increasing deadliness.
    • All of his skill trees have perks that can feed into each other. Strip The Flesh and Salt The Wound can grant huge boosts to Torgue Shotguns, and Fuel The Rampage (taking damage speeds up Buzz Axe Rampage cooldown) and Release The Beast (Krieg turns into a Badass Psycho with maxed health and massive damage reduction when special is triggered at 33% health, like when you come out of fight for your life mode) means that unless you were in Buzz Axe Rampage when put into fight for your life mode, as soon as you come out, you can immediately trigger a buzz axe rampage, and go on a killing spree as a Badass Psycho mutant.
    • The Hellborn skill tree: you gain bonuses by setting yourself on fire. At higher levels, with the Delusional Damage perk, you can set yourself on fire by using any elemental attacks, including corrosive, which you will use a lot later in the game. Elemental Empathy causes a fraction of all elemental damage you deal to heal you.
  • Eats Babies: "I like my treasure like my baby steaks: RARE!" Since Good Kreig threatens him with a Heroic Suicide if he ever hurts an innocent, if this did actually happen (not a guarantee) the babies were presumably dead before he got to them.
  • Empathic Healer: "Redeem the Soul", which lets Krieg instantly revive allies in exchange for immediately putting him in "Fight for your Life" mode.
  • Everyone Hates Math: Comparing weapons makes Good Kreig worry about popping a blood vessel.
  • Evolving Weapon: His buzzaxe slowly changes appearance as he levels up and takes certain skills.
  • Experience Booster: Enemies killed with Pull the Pin will grant Krieg double experience point when he respawns.
  • Eyepatch of Power: While not exactly an eyepatch, his default head has his right eye covered by one of the belts that fastens his mask to his face.
  • The Faceless: Played with. Krieg's face is largely covered by his various masks, but certain heads show parts of his face, and you can get a rough idea of what he looks like from that. It doesn't appear to be especially disfigured, oddly enough. He does seem to have really bad teeth.
  • Flaming Sword: Fire Fiend gives him a chance to set enemies on fire with melee attacks, with his axe becoming wreathed in flames.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Averted. "Fuel the Rampage" makes him susceptible to friendly fire. Which Makes this build the worst if coupled with Anarchy Gaige. Both fight best up close, and the thicker the enemy the better. Friendly fire is almost guaranteed.
  • Funny Schizophrenia: A rabid, raving, 'roid-raging, ramblin' rancher who drinks blood and chops people into stew meat, mostly played for (dark) laughs when it doesn't dip into Surprise Creepy. While not completely divorced from reality (at least lucid enough that we can take quests and dialouge at face value), he's still a giggling axe murderer with a good half that keeps him pointed at the (other, worse) bad guys.
  • Gathering Steam:
    • The Bloodlust Skil tree focuses on gaining lots of Bloodlust stacks to strengthen Krieg in combat. By damaging enemies, you can earn stackable passive bonuses, but these can decay fast after a gunfight. Many of the skills involve adding more bonuses, more ways to earn Bloodlust, and some modify the duration/timer parameters of the stacks.
    • Elemental Elation gives a stacking buff to Krieg's magazine size and fire rate when elemental damage-over-time effects are inflicted to enemies.
  • Glass Cannon: Gearbox's take on Krieg is a "High risk, high reward character." Taken Up to Eleven with the Hellborn and latter stages of the Mania skill trees, with the main tactics behind Hellborn to actively set Krieg on fire for special attacks and stat increases, and Mania's "Silence The Voices" skill QUADRUPLING his melee damage in exchange for a one-in-five chance of hitting himself upon melee-ing, which most likely will send him into "Fight For Your Life Mode" with the extremely high damage he deals.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Whatever reasons Hyperion had for experimenting on him, they probably didn't involve him getting loose and wreaking bloody vengeance upon them.
  • Hard Mode Perks: The damage of his Light the Fuse skill is increased by 500% only when playing in Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode.
  • Having a Blast: His final "Bloodlust" skill, Bloodsplosion, makes every single enemy an Action Bomb: when they die, they go BOOM! Better yet, if the explosion kills an enemy it can start off a domino effect of explosions.
  • Hearing Voices: Indeed he does, though most of the time he's just hearing the person he used to be. The interesting/slightly creepy part is that if Krieg's in a multiplayer group, nobody else will hear the sane voice (except for certain lines where the sane personality is actually the one speaking aloud).
  • Heroic Build: "My pecs have pecs!" indeed.
  • Heroic Willpower: The original personality is able to exert some level of control over the dominant personality's actions...sometimes. Gearbox reps compare said personality to a driver of a huge truck with its brakes cut careening through a town. He can't stop it or slow it, but he can at least steer away from the innocent - and if a jerk or two winds up wrapped around his bumper, he's not weeping.
  • Hidden Depths: If the ECHO Log between him and Maya in Borderlands 3 is any indication, he seems to think of himself as "just a psycho", implying some self-hatred.
  • Homing Projectile: Raving Retribution makes Krieg summon homing balls of fire that seek out enemies when he is on fire.
  • Hulking Out: Release the Beast turns him into an absolute monster, both figuratively and literally.
  • I Am a Monster: One of the quotes upon activating Release the Beast. A couple of his quotes have Krieg trying to shout down his inner voice and declare that he is a monster, and he loves it. One even says it word for word:
    There is no me, there is no you! There is only the never ending spit and bile of combat! The twenty-four hour murder spree of shining metal! I drink the blood and eat the loot and breathe the numbers, because I AM A MONSTER! NOW AND FOREVER!
    • One of his "Redeem the Soul" lines shows that Psycho Krieg also has negative feelings towards his "monster" status.
      Monster down, Angel up!
  • Incendiary Exponent: Pretty much the whole point of Krieg's Hellborn skill-tree. See Infernal Retaliation below.
  • "Instant Death" Radius:
    • Many of Krieg's more successful builds give HIM an instant death radius, making the idea of charging a hoard of powerful enemies a much more viable and entertaining tactic.
    • One of the more popular shields to pair with him is the Love Thumper, which gives ALL of his melee attacks an explosive Nova whenever it connects and dramatically boosts his already high melee damage via its roid damage. This means that, when paired with Buzzaxe Rampage, Krieg will one-shot almost every enemy not ridiculously over his own level and have a literal instant death radius whenever his melee attacks connect. As a side effect, the Love Thumper's explosive Nova hurts allies as well, meaning that NO ONE will want to get within arms reach of a Love Thumper-wearing Krieg.
    • Another wonderful combination is Mania/Hellborn with "Flame of the Firehawk". Flame of the Firehawk is a nova shield, a shield class that releases an elemental blast with a wide range when depeleted, that KEEPS BLASTING untill it recharges. Krieg's skills and the constant self immolation mean that if the shield is recharging, there is likely nothing left to kill.
  • Immune to Flinching: Krieg is heavier than the other Vault Hunters, giving him less knockback from attacks, which goes good with his melee-centric play-style. This also has the unfortunate side effect of making grenade jumping and certain Badass Challenges impossible to do using him, such as getting a geyser to launch you to the top of the Happy Pig Motel sign. It doesn't launch him nearly high enough. Gearbox patched said Challenges out of the Psycho's Badass Challenge list, possibly because they couldn't rework Krieg to accomplish them without making his knockback the same as the other characters.
  • Infernal Retaliation:
    • With points in the Hellborn tree, he gets a ton of buffs from being on fire, and he even has a chance to set himself on fire with his fire attacks (and with the Delusional Damage skill, any elemental damage).
    • "Raving Retribution" is the most literal version of this trope possible. While Krieg is on fire, every time he gets hit or shot by an enemy, he automatically shoots out a fireball which homes in on that enemy.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: Triggering your active ability at critical health (1/3rd or less) with 'Release The Beast' turns you into a rampaging Badass Psycho, buffing your melee damage, adding to your damage resistance, and topping off your health instantly. Best of all, your Active Ability is ready for use again the second it wears off. As such, you can keep popping this skill over and over each time your health goes critical. Suffice to say, unless you're armed to the teeth with Legendary Weapons, your Action Skill will see a lot of use.
  • Interface Screw: Killing enemies with your action skill splatters your camera with lots of blood.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: From what we can see of his face combined with his tall and muscular Heroic Build, Krieg might have been quite attractive before Hyperion got their hands on him.
  • I Will Wait for You: According to a series of ECHO Logs in 3, Krieg has been spending the last few years waiting for Maya to return to Pandora as well as struggling to regain control over his body. Unfortunately he likely doesn't get the memo about Maya's fate.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: In this case, the Hyde personality is the dominant one while the Jekyll at least tries to make sure that the former only kills evildoers. By the time of 3, both sides share equal control.
  • The Juggernaut: With the right skills, Krieg can be nearly impossible to kill, particularly when mutated into a Badass Psycho.
  • Large Ham: He often shouts in an overly exaggerated manner.
  • Laughing Mad: He has quite the variety of maniacal laughter.
  • Life Drain: Elemental Empathy allows Krieg to heal himself by inflicting elemental damage on enemies.
  • Lightning Bruiser: When using his action skill, combined with Glass Cannon because he can only melee, and thanks to the Silence The Voices talent above he can damage himself.
  • Love at First Sight: He falls in love with Maya upon seconds of meeting her. Unfortunately, his lack of communication skills causes her to shoot at him.
  • Love Redeems: At least, the inner personality hopes that Maya will be the one to make him sane once more.
  • Mad Bomber: "Light the Fuse" makes him throw sticks of dynamyte pulled off a time bomb when in Fight For Your Life! mode. He can also tape them to his axe, turning it into a grenade. There's also a skill that makes him drop a free grenade when he dies that gets 2X EXP.
  • Made of Explodium: Bloodsplosion makes every killed enemy to explode with an elemental nova blast of the element that killed them, or a typical explosive nova blast otherwise.
  • Madness Mantra: With Raving Retribution, Krieg will go on various extended, maniacal, sometimes fourth-wall breaking rants while on fire. Removed in update 1.6.
  • Magikarp Power:
    • The Bloodlust tree is not very powerful at low levels, with very minor boosts to relatively useless things like magazine capacity and weapon swap speed, especially considering these boosts are based entirely on the rapidly-decaying Bloodlust stacks. However, the later Bloodlust tree skills are much, much more powerful, and also turn the weak tier one skills into essential building blocks for the rest of the tree. Not to mention that the later equipment and expanded inventory capacity and ammunition capacity allow for a much swifter accumulation of Bloodlust stacks.
    • Really, all of Krieg's skill trees are like this. When you only have a few skill points, none of them are that great. Going into Hellborn early will probably just kill you for very little benefit. Bloodlust will provide very little advantages, and you probably won't have the equipment to really make use of Mania for a while. However, once you get enough skill points to start maxing out the trees...
  • Man on Fire: His "Hellborn" skill tree actually encourages you to set him on fire. You practically get the ability to light yourself on fire at will as you put more points into it.
  • Meaningful Echo: Most of his skills are named after phrases that the enemy Psychos may randomly shout in combat, including some catchphrases of the named bandits. However, such phrases make more sense from a gameplay perspective. Some of these names include "Light the Fuse", "Strip the Flesh", "Salt the Wound" amongst others.
  • Meaningful Name: Krieg is German for war. Originally his name would have been Blitz but the developers decided that Krieg sounds more like an actual name.
  • Mood Whiplash: Sometimes his quotes are Surreal Humor...
    You loud sacks of filth and sour cream can hit me with your pain pinatas all day, but you'll never take the jellied fantasies of my wasted youth! My stomach is clear and my mind is full of bacon!"
    • And sometimes they're not.
      "You're gonna scream, just like she did; open mouth, open heart, blood and noise forever piercing my skull, poisoning me with its psychopathic purple liquid. We watched it all, and felt the knife split down the middle... CAN YOU HEAR ME?!"
    • And sometimes it switches in the same quote:
      "I can't see her anymore. She was so clear and bright. But the blood is in my eyes and I can only watch the ocean of blood. Its waves crash against my forehead again and again AND I JUST NEED TO LEARN HOW TO SURF!"
  • Mook Horror Show: The debut trailers show bandits being obliterated by his silhouette. Also, the PAX presentation in which he was introduced had a short video set to "In the Halls of the Mountain King" consisting of Krieg demonstrating his various in-game abilities upon enemies.
  • More Dakka: Elemental Elation has it so that Krieg gains an increasing stack of buffs to his fire rate and magazine size anytime he deals elemental damage. Paired with Blood Filled Guns (which increases his magazine size based on his Bloodlust stacks), he can supply some impressive Dakka. Embrace the Pain increases fire rate as long as shields are down; it and Feed the Meet both increase shield recharge delay, meaning you keep the buff for longer.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: The voice in his head tries to direct Krieg's rage towards "the deserving" and even swears that if he ever kills an innocent person that he will take over and commit suicide.
  • The Nicknamer: Being that speaking coherently is near-impossible for him, Krieg tends to refer to other characters by nicknames. Notably, he's referred to Maya as "Pretty Lady", "Blue Tattoo" or "Blue Girl" and Moxxi as "Bosom Clown".
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Of the Healing Factor type. With the right skills Krieg recovers health based on elemental damage, overkill damage, and fully heals every time he uses his action skill or gets a kill while in it. Combined with his insane damage output this makes him borderline unstoppable unless something can One-Hit Kill him.
  • No Indoor Voice: Anything that Krieg says is shouted, just like every other Psycho on Pandora. It's even extended to every single name for his Heads and Skins, which are in ALL CAPS.
  • Not So Above It All: There are rare moments when Krieg's sane personality is actually impressed by the amount of carnage he can cause.
    "(This is kinda awful... but mostly awesome.)"
  • One-Winged Angel: His final Mania talent turns him into a Badass Psycho if he uses his action skill at 33% health or less.
  • Playing with Fire: One of his skill trees deals almost exclusively in fire elemental damage. Being set on fire actually buffs him.
  • Poor Communication Kills: When he first met Maya, his sane side wanted to tell her how beautiful she was and that she may be the one to save him. What came out was decidedly less eloquent.
    "I'M THE CONDUCTOR OF THE POOP TRAIN!"
  • Power at a Price: Pain is Power increases weapon and melee damage but at the cost of decreasing critical hit damage.
  • Powerup Letdown: Being an intensely melee-focused character, Krieg has an inherent melee damage bonus that increases with his level. However this bonus will be overridden by the +50% damage bonus from holding bladed guns. After a certain level, using bladed guns (except for the rare guns with at least +100% melee damage, such as the Law or the Rapier) will actually weaken his melee attacks.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Downplayed. His eyes are constantly bloodshot.
  • Regenerating Health: Averted, except when equipping a Meat class mod. Every other character has some form of skill-based gradual life recoverynote  but he only heals himself through forms of Life Drain. His primary method is the risky but satisfying Buzz Axe Rampage that heals him to full for every enemy he kills in melee (or who he manages to hit with his thrown axe). He can also get healing from overkilling his enemies if he uses "Thrill of the Kill" or heal himself for inflicting damage-over-time to enemies if he goes down the Hellborn tree.
  • The Right Hand of Doom: Release the Beast makes his right arm absolutely massive while his left arm shrivels up.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: While revenge is a basic motivator for all of the Vault Hunters, Krieg really has it out for Hyperion because they are the ones responsible for making him into what he is. Notably, his version of Handsome Jack's mask is named "GO TO HELL DIE DIE DIE" and his sane side openly encourages him to massacre Hyperion troops.
    "Yes. Make them pay for what they did to us."
  • Sanity Strengthening:
    • Krieg is implied to be regaining his sanity by his inner voice/consciences gaining more influence over him as the game goes on. Although his quotes don't reflect it, as he continues his insane raving throughout the game, his involvement in helping fight Handsome Jack and (optionally) taking side quests to help others certainly indicates he's in it for more than killing. Silence The Voices is stated to be his psycho side's attempt to stifle his inner voice. As of the end of the Tiny Tina DLC he is calm and collected with the other Vault Hunters, and he is seen mournfully sitting at Roland's funeral, indicating a respect for Roland and the others.
    • Also reflected in gameplay. At the start of the game Good Krieg's lines are barely audible, but as he levels up the "Little Voice'' gets louder.
    • In Borderlands 3, there's an ECHO recording of Krieg talking to Maya about the fact Sanctuary has been destroyed and Maya has to leave for Athenas. He's actually holding up his end of the conversation, more or less—even his shouting about poop and knives is pretty clearly about his feelings. Another series of ECHO Logs shows that Krieg's sane side is now capable of gaining control temporarily and speaking aloud after years of work.
  • Screaming Warrior: As befitting a Psycho, Krieg is a towering amalgam of violence, madness, and loud noises. This is doubly true when it comes to his action skill, which has him break out his buzz axe and commence with both the mangling and the random, nonsensical rambling.
  • Self-Harm: Silence the Voices makes it so that he has a chance to hurt himself in exchange for a major buff to melee damage and putting points in the Hellborn tree gives him a chance to light himself on fire when using Incendiary weapons (or with any elemental damage if you take Delusional Damage).
  • Ship Tease: With Maya in his backstory video. It seems like his inner voice finds Maya very attractive, and his outer voice refers to her as "PRETTY LADY".
    • Tiny Tina's "invite" to Maya for her Bunkers & Badasses game mentions Krieg staring at Maya a whole lot.
    • In the Wedding Day Massacre, when asked by Moxxi if he ever had a love in his life, he responds with:
      "THE TINY ONE, THE SAD FACED MOTHER AND THE BLUE TATTOO FOREVER AND EVER."
  • Skull for a Head:
    • His head customization from Captain Scarlett's DLC. In his case it's possible that it's just a mask, unlike Salvador's head.
    • He also gets one in Mad Moxxi's Wedding Day Massacre. It's very clearly not a mask this time, though.
  • Split Personality: Besides his "default" Ax-Crazy self, he has a saner, more moral voice in his head - his original personality - who ensures that he only kills "the deserving". They do not get along.
  • Split-Personality Takeover: Krieg's inner voice threatens to do this if his psychopathic side ever harms an innocent, and makes it clear that he'll do it just to kill them both.
  • Surplus Damage Bonus: One Mania skill gives him health for overkilling enemies. Find some way to do ludicrous damage to enemies and he'll get his health back, no problem!
  • Taking You with Me: "Pull the Pin" has Krieg drop a grenade when he dies, gaining double XP if it kills someone. Inverted in Light the Fuses mode, where successfully suicide-bombing enemies brings him back to life.
  • Talkative Loon: Takes the cake and then goes on to rob the entire bakery before setting it on fire, burning it down, and rolling around in the ashes. Every word out of his mouth is either nonsensical, humorous rambling or berserk, bloodthirsty screaming, a trait he shares with basic Psycho enemies (who either scream violence-related nonsense or ramble ridiculous nonsense).
  • Theme Naming: All but one of the skills in the Bloodlust tree have "Blood" in their names, all but one of the skills in the Mania tree follow a "[Verb] the [Noun]" pattern, and all the skills in the Hellborn tree are alliterative. There's also one skill each in Bloodlust and Hellborn that conform to the Mania tree's theme.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet:
    • Light the Fuses has him tossing dynamite when his health reaches zero. He also has several skills that improve explosive damage, as well as the Crunch class mods.
    • Buzz Axe Bombardier straps his throwable buzz axes with dynamites.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: When in Rampage mode, Krieg can toss his axe as well as swing it. One of his skills even more or less turns it into a grenade by strapping a bundle of dynamite to it, making it deal explosive damage when tossed. Another skill gives him a chance to set enemies on fire with melee attacks, including thrown axes.
  • Token Enemy Minority: Seemingly the only semi-heroic Psycho of the series.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Pretty much his entire play-style revolves around doing things you normally try to avoid with the other characters. Like, say being set on fire or taking damage, or getting up-close and personal while hacking at people with a buzz axe. The whole idea for a character with this kind of play-style was thought of before the game was launched, but was saved for DLC because it might have turned away some players.
  • Voice of the Legion: Triggering Release the Beast gives Krieg's voice a reverb effect as well as lowering its pitch.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: Property of Hyperion: $100,000,000,000 Also, one of the DLC heads ("I WANNA BE WANTED") has him use his wanted poster as a facemask.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Considering that he's more or less an upgraded version of a Psycho, Krieg needs no shirt. Often the alternatives skins feature body-paint or tattoos rather than garments. Although there are a few skins that give him something to wear, examples are from the Mercenary Day Headhunter DLC which gives him an ugly Christmas sweater, and his Pre-Sequel skin gives him a safety vest, to name a few.
  • Word Salad Title: His head and skin names are a fountain of unending randomness. And yet are often Exactly What It Says on the Tin at the same time. For example, one head named I CAN'T BREATHE IN THIS is an extremely bulky full-face-concealing helmet, DOUBLE SUPLEX TIME is a luchador mask, and one skin, named "JEEEEEEEANS", does indeed give Krieg's pants a blue texture similar to blue jeans. Particularly hilarious is his special Jakobs-themed skin, named MY LEFT BOOB SAYS "OBS", most likely because the Jakobs logo is tattooed directly onto his bare chest.
  • Your Head Asplode: Referenced in one of his critical kill lines.
    "HOW CAN I SNAP YOUR NECK IF YOU DON'T HAVE ONE?!"
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    Gaige 

Gaige (AKA The Mechromancer)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gaige_1141.png
"I'm getting a god complex and I LIKE IT!"

A high-school engineering genius who was forced to flee to Pandora after an "incident" in her school's science fair resulted in her rival "exploding." Travels with her personal Robot Buddy, D374-TP, or "Deathtrap," which she digistructs using her specific skill.


  • Accidental Murder: When Marcie got first place the science fair by having her father buy off all the judges, she started gloating and shoved Gaige. Deathtrap's IFF protocols registered her as an enemy, so he attacked, there was some sort of error, and Marcie...exploded. Also, the stray cat that walked into the line of fire during Deathtrap's testing of its claws.
  • Adorkable: Her first ECHO portrays her as a nerd, complete with tech talk and snorting laugh. One of the crimes listed on her wanted poster is "Excessive Adorability. Even after killing her Rich Bitch rival, and effectively becoming a wanted criminal, she still has time to be in awe over having 20,000 subscribers. What a gal.
    Gaige: Hello.. my... twenty-thousand subscribers... (giggles) wow...
  • A God Am I: If you build up enough anarchy stacks her "got a stack" quotes start drifting this way.
    "I'm getting a god complex and I LIKE IT!"
    "I AM THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA!"
    "I AM THE INFINITE!"
    "I AM THE GOD OF DAMAGE!"
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Her father walks in during her ECHO casting bringing her hot cocoa to drink, leading to this:
    Gaige: I don't need cocoa, dad! I am a woman of science and asskickery, not children's beverages!
    Gaige's Dad: Heh heh, whatever you say, sweetheart, I'll just leave it here.
    (Gaige's dad walks out, followed by a moment of silence)
    Gaige: ...(slurp) Dammit, that's really good.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: One of Gaige's lines when opening a chest is "It's like Hanukkah!"
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Wanted for "Creation of unauthorized technology, murder, and excessive adorability" according to her profile card.
  • A-Team Firing: The "Anarchy" skill increases her damage while decreasing her accuracy every time she kills an enemy or she empties her clip. This can be circumvented to a degree by using Hyperion weapons and the Close Enough skill in the BFF tree. The frustration of not hitting things is also circumvented by increasingly hilarious dialogue:
    "Eh, accuracy's overrated anyway."
    "I probably won't hit anything, but whatever!"
    "Why am I still doing this?!"
    "I don't even remember what accuracy is!"
    "God help you all if I actually hit something!!"
    "Player! WHAT! ARE YOU! DOING?!"
  • Artificial Limbs: Well, Limb, singular. She accidentally sliced her left arm - she says it's "not a big cut, it barely goes like, halfway to the bone" - which gave her a great idea. Instead of using an Insta-Health injection to fix the wound, she proceeds to finish lopping it off with a particle saw and builds a new one, which contains all of Deathtrap's digistruct data so she can quick-summon him wherever she is and whenever she wants. It can also punch through concrete, though doing so breaks its fingers off, which explains why she opts to use a hammer as a quick melee weapon instead of punching through enemies.
  • Ascended Fangirl: Her second ECHO has her gushing about Pandora and the Vaults. After her Accidental Murder of Marcie, she leaves her homeworld of Eden-5 for Pandora.
  • Badass Adorable: Kicks hundreds of bandits' and soldiers' asses, even while being adorable.
  • Badass Boast: In the Son of Crawmerax DLC, upon seeing that Marcie's uncle is dead:
    "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."
  • Badass Bookworm: Built Deathtrap. Can mow down enemies like there's no tomorrow. Short and skinny.
  • The Beastmaster: All her trees buff Deathtrap, but Best Friends Forever focuses on this the most.
  • The Berserker: Ordered Chaos turns her into one. While she can do somewhat significant damage from down range with some luck, charging in is much more effective.
  • Big "NO!": Whenever her Anarchy stacks expire. Hilariously, the "NO!" gets longer the more stacks you had before they expired.
  • Blinding Bangs: One of the head options she starts the game with.
  • Blood Knight: Gets this with Anarchy.
    "BLOOOD!!!"
  • Body Horror: Starting off with how she got her robotic arm, there are also several skins for her head that drift into this territory. Digitized Death, Mecka Wrecka, and Metal Blood all replace her head with robotic ones, Speak No Evil has her Mouth Stitched Shut and her eye inhumanly distorted, and Lovely Corpse has the skin ripped right off her face.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Can show tendencies of this, especially against enemies.
    After a Second Wind: Nice try, suckas!
    After a critical kill: NOOB!
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
  • Brought Down to Normal: Lampshades it when losing Anarchy.
    "I feel normal now."
  • Bully Hunter: The reason why she initially built Deathtrap. It worked a little too well, suffice to say.
  • The Cameo: She shows up in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, returning from Vault Hunting on Eptah, where she and Axton found the Vault Hunter Aurelia. They make Athena tell an abridged version of the game's story.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "This is gonna be off the chain!"
    • "Smash the system."
  • Cast from Hit Points: Blood Soaked Shields restores her shields on a kill at the cost of some of her health. This pairs up incredibly well with Amp or Turtle Shields, allowing you to keep the amplified damage so long as you keep killing or to simply maximize the Health to Shield rate.
  • Casual Kink: Her response to Sir Hammerlock mentioning that the way he was bound was not all that unenjoyable during The Son of Crawmerax DLC?
    "HOT!"
  • Chained by Fashion: She wears a padlock on her right wrist. Upon closer inspection, it appears to be one-half of a pair of handcuffs. She did mention being arrested (and expelled), and it'd be just like her to keep the handcuffs after escaping because they looked cool. And other stuff.
  • Character Blog: She was the first user of the ECHO casts twitter account (before it was taken over by other characters) and her own ECHO Video Log. The latter makes up for her lack of in-game ECHO logs like what the original four Vault Hunters have.
  • Companion Cube:
    • Has this relationship with Deathtrap, boasting proudly "I love that little bot," and "I need to build you an extra arm just for high-fives!" More generally, she sometimes gets like this when she finds a nice new weapon, cooing at them and saying things like "Shush, don't worry baby, I'll take good care of you," when picking them up.
    • In Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, she claims that Deathtrap wants to hear about how his "ancestors" (the loaders) were built, and promises to never ever ever erase his personality. It's still unclear how much personality he actually has, and how much is the Companion Cube trope.
  • Cooldown Manipulation: The 20% Cooler skill increases your action skill's cooldown rate.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Anarchy gains damage and loses accuracy in equal percentage points.
  • Critical Status Buff: Fancy Mathematics improves her shield rechage rate and delay based on her remaining health. The lower her health is, the faster her shields recharge.
  • Daddy's Girl: Despite acting like your typical rebellious teenager, she's still very close to her father; to the point he helps her flee to Pandora after the Accidental Murder. He also rigs the shuttle of the assassin that Marcie's dad sent to kill Gaige during the "Son of Crawmerax" Headhunter DLC.
  • Damage Reduction: There is a skilled named Made for Sterner Stuff that gives Gaige and Deathtrap damage reduction against all sources.
  • Death from Above: Her skill also named "Death From Above" which makes you unleash a Digi-splosion whenever you shoot enemies while in mid-air.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Normally played straight like with the other characters, but averted if you decide to spec into Ordered Chaos. If you die you lose all your Anarchy stacks. Have fun getting them back if you had the max you could get. If Gaige is downed while she as a lot of Anarchy stacks, she'll freak out.
    "If I go down now, I'm screwed!"
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Her Ordered Chaos tree. The tree relies on the (mandatory for that tree) Anarchy skill, which gives a stackable damage buff and accuracy debuff every time you make a kill or reload a gun with an empty clip. These buffs do not degrade (outside of Fight for Your Life), but do disappear if you prematurely reload. Needless to say, hitting anything becomes difficult when you have a lot of Anarchy stacks going, but when you do hit them, they will feel it. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Gaige's bounty is the highest of all the Vault Hunters at 820 billion for accidentally killing her classmate and going on the run. This seems excessive when compared to the other Vault Hunters until you realize that Marcie's father was extremely rich and could afford to put out such a massive bounty.
  • Drop the Hammer: Her melee weapon is a claw hammer.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?:
    • One of her quotes, when Deathtrap is killing, points out that he only placed 3rd in the science fair.
    • She complains more about getting 3rd place as one of her rants when you idle too long.
    • Hyperion Engineers will make fun of Deathtrap when it's released.
  • Elemental Powers: The Little Big Trouble skill tree focuses on elemental effects namely, Burn, Slag and Shock, with a heavy emphasis on the latter. The "Make it Sparkle" skill also allows Gaige to buff Deathtrap's melee attack with any element if shot using an elemental weapon.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Robotic Rampage gives Deathtrap the ability to lash out with a flurry of attacks – by spinning near an enemy with his claws outstretched.
  • Evil Laugh: While insane she may do this. Or just say it via Lampshade Hanging this trope.
    "EVIL MANIACAL LAUGHTER!"
  • Evolving Weapon: Deathtrap's appearance changes depending on Gaige's skillset. Having points in the BFF tree gives it additional armor plating, having points in Little Big Trouble gives it bladed wings, and points in Ordered Chaos gives it bandit-style spikes. It's possible for it to have a combination of the three. The final talent in each tree also cause Deathtrap to glow.
  • Eye Beam: The Stare gives Deathtrap the ability to fire a burning beam from his eye that can ignite enemies.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Wears one on her right hand (her 'good' normal hand).
  • Flirting Under Fire: When reviving her, she will flirt with the character regardless of gender.
    (Tiger growl) I'll be thanking you later.
    Thanks, sexy.
    Well, you are just hot as hell.
    Remind me to pay you back for that.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Deathtrap can be upgraded with one.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Again: Built a robot for the science fair.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • She damages her robotic hand by using it to smash concrete, by the time she's on Pandora she's using that strength but using a hammer or digistructed claws to deliver the blow.
    • During her ECHO logs, she mentions a few of her skills as various upgrades. For example, she thinks the reason Deathtrap dealt explosive damage to Marcie was because of a glitch in the recently-installed Discord circuits.
    • Deathtrap turned Gaige into public enemy number one on her home planet by stupidly murdering the daughter of a multibillionaire. With explosions. Into red mist. In the middle of a science fair for applications of public safety. Appropriately, Deathtrap in-game is extremely overpowered but excessively stupid; he'll attack the nearest enemy regardless of health or danger, form immediate grudges with rampaging Goliaths that you're trying to level up into lootshields, and will restore your shields while you're in Fight For Your Life mode even though he could be busy spending those few precious seconds killing a weak enemy (attack nearest-enemy AI comes into play here).
  • Gathering Steam:
    • Upshot Robot grants both you and Deathtrap a stackable melee damage bonus every time Deathtrap kills an enemy.
    • And of course, there's the Anarchy skill, which grants Gaige stacking damage bonuses everytime she empties her magazines or kills enemies. The buffs can stay permanent for that session for as long as the player can keep them up, and they decay when the player prematurely reloads or is sent into Fight for Your Life mode. The Ordered Chaos tree is specifically centered around this mechanic, with other skills giving more Anarchy stacks and stack rates or increasing the maximum number of stacks.
  • From the Little Big Trouble skill tree - Not shooting an enemy for a while gives you stacks of Interspered Outburst. The longer you wait before shooting, the higher the outburst damage becomes, as well as having a higher Slag chance against enemies.
  • Genki Girl: Is an extremely hyper young woman... in more ways than one.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Her default skin has her hair done up in pigtails.
  • Glass Cannon: Of a sort when using Ordered Chaos. She has the same base HP as each other Vault Hunters, but because of the accuracy reduction from Anarchy she has to get closer to the enemies than the others. Blood Soaked Shields can help mitigate it, but the Cast From HP factor can result in death even quicker when her shields do go down.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Her Necrosis skin and Chaos Reigns color scheme do this to her. Necrosis provides a teal glow, Chaos Reigns an orange glow, and the two together a yellow glow.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: She has a pair of goggles on her head that she never seems to use for anything in the game proper.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Domo arigato, suckas!
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: The way she quotes her enemies' quite swift deaths just really spills her strong love to video games, ranging from pistols, shotguns to rocket launchers and sniper rifles, while reloading much faster than most of her teammates.
  • Incompatible Orientation: She expresses a crush on Sir Hammerlock in the Wedding Day Massacre DLC, noting that she'll be all over him if he ever becomes straight. This crush is mentioned again a couple times during the Son of Crawmerax DLC, turning into Perverse Sexual Lust judging by how aggressively she comments about it.
    Gaige: Let's hurry it up, Varkid Dude. My man's waiting on me.
  • In the Hood: Her Necrosis skin has this, along with Glowing Eyes of Doom. Curiously though, the hood on her shirt that's always down is still there so she has two hoods.
  • Instant Web Hit: In her first ECHO, she had twelve (er, eleven) subscribers. Then five in her second, then two in her third. After accidentally killing her Rich Bitch classmate and going on the run, she suddenly has over twenty thousand.
  • Irony: Despite her interests in being a punk herself, Gaige is quite the opposite when it comes to her education, deliberately speaking that she was 'never' sent to the principal's office, implying that she never had broken any rules at all.
  • Large Ham: Again, fluctuates with her Anarchy stacks. The more stacks, the more hammy she gets. It varies between boasting over how much damage she's doing and bitching about how her accuracy blows.
  • Life Drain: The attack performed using the With Claws skill heals Gaige for the damage dealt.
  • Like a Duck Takes to Water: She takes to Pandora very well considering she has no prior experience with guns, despite this, she does as well if not better than her fellow vault hunters.
  • Likes Older Men: While the Borderlands series has a dearth of males of high-school age for comparison anyway, Gaige give a flirty compliment to the probably-at-least-thirty Axton in the Holodrome DLC of The Pre-Sequel!, considered the idea of speaking with the voice of an older man being hot if it wasn't Handsome Jack, and seems to especially have a thing for the graying Sir Hammerlock.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: The most flirty out of all the characters, especially illustrated by one of her idle quotes. However, it seems that she only has eyes for Hammerlock. Though in the Holodrome DLC for The Pre-Sequel! she calls Axton an "unparallelled stud". Whether or not this is genuine attraction on her part or Gaige just being nice isn't elaborated on.
    Gaige: If I don't shoot, repair, or screw something in the next few minutes, we're going to have a problem.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Zigzagged. When she cut her arm "halfway to the bone", she didn't freak out at all. Hell, her first thoughts were to instantly and completely heal it. However, her second thought was to chop her arm completely off and build a new one.
  • May–December Romance: Tries to invoke Sir Hammerlock on this. Almost to Handsome Jack.
    Man, this whole "Speaking with the voice of an older man" thing is nowhere near as hot as I thought it would be.
  • Nerd: Quotes Unreal Tournament; yells "GG", "Noob", and similar; built a robot in her own garage with her own skill, etc.
  • Nerds Are Virgins: In the Wedding Day Massacre DLC, she mentions that she never dated because the boys at at school all thought she was too nerdy.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: The magazine reduction disadvantage of the "Smaller, Lighter, Faster" skill renders the Infinity pistol unusable since it has a base magazine size of 1 that will be reduced to 0. However, there are "Neutral" Necromancer class mods introduced in the Tiny Tina DLC that can boost the magazine size by a minimum of 13%, making the Infinity pistol usable even when this skill is active.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Her reaction to slicing her arm halfway to the bone.
  • Open-Minded Parent: Gaige's dad is alright with anything save for amputation:
    • When she tells him that her rival stole her design, gave it to the local fascist police force and is trying to win the science fair that they are competing in with Gaige's idea, Gaige gets this reaction from her dad:
      Gaige's Dad: You're gonna take that bitch down, right?
    • When Deathtrap gibbed Marcie at the Science Fair, Gaige's dad actually helped her escape the police and flee to Pandora (using explosives), you can probably chalk him up as "Best Dad Ever".
    • He once again assists her in the Son of Crawmerax DLC. He was the one who sabotaged the ship Marcie's uncle used to try getting to Pandora, killing him.
      Gaige: ...You are the BEST DAD EVER!
  • The Other Darrin/The Other Marty: Invoked. Was originally supposed to be voiced by Luci Christian, and is even listed in the credits as such, but switched to Cherami Leigh in the middle of production. A lot of (possibly most of) Gaige's lines are still recognizably Luci; if you don't spec into Anarchy or Close Enough, you'll pretty much never hear Cherami at all.
    • Tiny Tina's Assault On Dragon Keep lists both actresses as Gaige in the credits. She's specifically listed twice, first as Cherami, then as Luci a little bit later on the cast list.
    • Cherami herself clarified on this issue. The developers thought that Luci's voice wasn't edgy enough to properly fit a rebellious punk teenager, so they brought in Cherami. She recorded all the lines that Luci had already laid down, but when the character was released, the developers made an honest mistake of keeping Luci's lines in. Just an honest oversight that they forget to cover in the last moments before releasing her character into the game. She agrees that it makes sense to have two different voices for a girl who steadily goes crazy with power.
  • Pinball Projectile: The "Close Enough" skill, which gives bullets that miss a chance to ricochet back at enemies but only hit for 50% damagenote , and the "Nth Degree" skill, which causes every nth successful hit to ricochet at full damage.
  • Playing with Fire: The "Little Big Trouble" skills "The Stare" and "Electrical Burn" give her (and Deathtrap) some ability to do fire damage, though in the latter case it's a side-effect of shock damage.
  • The Pollyanna: Adapts to her new environment rather quickly but maintains her disposition.
  • Pointless Bandaid: Worn on her right cheek.
  • Powerful, but Inaccurate: Can be built around this trope with the "Ordered Chaos" skill tree. Killing enemies and reloading builds up "anarchy" which increases damage at the cost of accuracy.
  • Powers as Programs: In her ECHO casts she name-drops a bunch of her abilities as possible upgrade applications for Deathtrap or for her own arm. Whether this is true for other characters is ambiguous, but in her case, her powers ARE programs.
  • Power at a Price: "Smaller, Lighter, Faster" increases reload speed at the cost of decreasing magazine size.
  • Power Fist: Her cybernetic arm can smash concrete (albeit at the cost of breaking its fingers). Which helps explain why a tiny teenage girl can swing a hammer as hard as a full-grown male soldier.
  • Power High: After building up enough anarchy stacks. Evidenced not only by her quotes showing more and more of a god complex, but the way she yells "Anarchy!" At lower amounts, it's a straight yell of it. Higher amounts? It sounds more or less like she's being aroused by the power.
  • Pragmatic Hero: She's basically decent, but she considers poundings delivered by a giant attack robot a suitable response to bullying. Borders on Nominal Hero if you use Anarchy and she starts going insane, but it's entirely possible to never deposit a skill point into the tree, leaving where she falls up to the player.
  • Pre-Order Bonus: The Mechromancer is free for people that pre-order the game.
  • Proper Tights with a Skirt: Usually stripy, but the colors change with her different skins.
  • Rebellious Spirit: And how! One of her class mods is called Punk even.
    "PUNK NEVER DIES!"
  • Regenerating Health:
    • Has this when her gun's magazine is full, under the Cooking Up Trouble skill.
    • Discord grants you this at the cost of Anarchy stacks, but this can be manually disabled by prematurely reloading.
  • Robo Sexual:
    • One of her class mods have her referred to as a Technophile, while she mostly treats Deathtrap like a pet there are times she'll refer to it in more personal terms, and will often refer to guns as if they were alive (some actually are), calling them sexy.
    • Notably the only person she ever outright declares an interest in is Sir Hammerlock, who has multiple limbs and and an eye replaced with machines.
  • Robot Master: Commands an "undead" robot known as a D374-TP (aka Deathtrap).
  • Science Fair: A major part of her and Deathtrap's Origin Story. Essentially Deathtrap, then called as "DT", was a science fair project designed as an "anti-bullying" robot. DT fulfilled his functions well... too well.
  • Shock and Awe: Her Little Big Trouble tree is all about dealing large amounts of electrical damage.
    • One of her skills in this tree - Shock and "AAAGGGGHHH!" - is a bit of word play on this trope.
  • Shockwave Clap: Deathtrap can do this if the player specs into the Explosive Clap skill.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: Marcie stole Gaige's Deathtrap designs and entered it into the science fair as her own creation, the Crime-Buster Bot, which despite breaking down won first prize after her father paid off the judges. Gaige is understandably aggravated by this.
    • In Borderlands 3, robots based on Deathtrap's design appear throughout the game in various enemy and NPC roles. A hidden ECHO on Promethea explains that Mr. Holloway has taken Marcie's knockoff "Crime-Buster Bot" and expanded it to create a giant robotics company. His desire to have vengeance on Gaige for Marcie's death has not faded.
  • Shout-Out: She seems to be a bit of a PegaSister, as couple perks reference My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, including "The Stare", which gives her Robot Buddy eye lasers (named after Fluttershy's signature Death Glare), "20% Cooler", (a meme about 20% More Awesome) which reduces Deathtrap's cooldown time (6% per level, not 20% as the name suggests, and is in fact 30% at max level), "Fancy Mathematics" (a reference to Big Mac's scepticism about AJ attempting to harvest the entire farm all by her lonesome; expressed as an equation to which she responds to as using "fancy mathematics to muddy the issue"), which reduces shield regen and Deathtrap cooldowns, and Evil Enchantress (a song about a reclusive apothecary who everyone thinks is an evil witch), which buffs her Electric and Corrosive damage for a short amount of time after killing someone.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: If you look closely, the mesh in her eyes, in her default skin, are actually green.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Her classmate, Rich Bitch and Spoiled Brat Marcie Holloway. It gets personal after Gaige finds out that Marcie plagiarized her work, renamed it, and sold it to "the galaxy's most corrupt police force". By the Son of Crawmerax DLC, this has extended to the entire Holloway family.
  • The Sixth Ranger: Unlike the rest of the five other Vault Hunters, who apparently meet up with each other before going in the Hyperion Train from the beginning, it appears she simply sneaks right in, according to the trailers, while being generally more damage-dependent than her teammates.
  • Skill Gate Character: In general, Gaige is designed as the beginner-friendly character among the six Vault Hunters, particularly for those who casually play a First-Person Shooter in single-player:
    • With Deathtrap, the player has an A.I.-controlled ally that automatically targets the nearest enemy, and upgrading him through specific skills also gives him more utility and effects in a gunfight. Enemies are more likely to attack him, which gives Gaige players a way to distract enemy fire from themselves. Deathtrap can also automatically save the player from Fight for Your Life Mode if he nets any kill.
    • Gaige has a versatility in all Elemental Damage except for Corrosive and Explosion with her middle skill tree, and she can shoot Deathtrap to apply specific elements to him.
    • Her "Insterspersed Outburst" is a skill that can automatically Slag the target as well as deal bonus damage. Putting the skill's weird interaction with weapon-specific Badass Challenges aside, a free slagging ability is already a win situation when playing in Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, since slagged enemies take even more damage from that difficulty.
    • Her Ordered Chaos tree benefits greatly from the Anarchy mechanic - stacking status effects that give increased damage at the cost of accuracy. But the accuracy penalty can actually be resolved by combining Anarchy with "Close Enough and The Nth Degree". These skills guarantee that your bullets will at least richocet to the field or towards the enemies even if you miss your initial shot. Anarchy Gaige players can easily scatter bullets from all sorts of directions and still expect targets to be damaged from all the ricochet and bouncing of projectiles.
    • Her Best Friends Forever tree is designed to be less powerful than her other trees, but much more user-friendly with a lot of survivability options such as regenerating health when the magazine is full, letting missed bullets richocet off walls and reducing Deathtrap's summon cooldown, making the skill tree good for new players who simply want to rush in a gunfight with less risk.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: She's the shortest Vault Hunter in the game (and much thinner than Salvador), and yet can still use rocket launchers, shotguns and sniper rifles.
  • Smart People Build Robots: Deathtrap is a bronze medal science fair project.
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: Digistructed Claws and Deathtrap.
  • Squick: When scoring a crit kill, she may yell out, an in-universe example is when she gets slagged. She complains that she got some in her mouth and informs everyone that it smells like a mix of piss and nachos, but apparently subverted with this quote:
    Gaige: "Egh. I got brains on my shoes. (sniff) I like it."
  • Teen Genius: Eighteen years old and she initially designed Deathtrap as a science fair project.
  • Three Laws-Compliant: Deathtrap isn't. Dialogue exists reflecting it:
  • Took a Level in Badass: Goes from bullied, not very popular nerd to Vault Hunter.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Has a bunch.
    (On a Deathtrap kill) "Ooooh, right in the wingnut!"
  • "Wanted!" Poster: Creation of Illegal Technology, Murder, and Excessive Adorability: $820,000,000,000
  • What the Hell, Player?: Called out by Gaige herself upon enough Anarchy stacks.
    Gaige: PLAYER! WHAT! ARE. YOU! DOING!?
  • Whatever Mancy:
    • She is known as the "Mechromancer" for her ability to "summon" her robot Deathtrap from out of nowhere with only a wave of her cybernetic hands like magic. Her cybernetic arm is actually some sort of portable digistructing device that she uses to conveniently digistruct Deathtrap wherever she goes.
    • Her class mods from Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragons Keep are called (Character Alignment) Necromancer.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Once again, based on her Anarchy stacks. From zero to roughly 100 stacks, she seems normal. From there to 150, she's clearly feeling the effects mentally and wants more, but no where near as bad as once she passes the 150 mark. By the time she hits 400 she's clearly gone off the deep end. She even lampshades it by yelling "I'm going mildly insane!!"
  • Wrench Wench: Her designs have elements of it.
  • Wolverine Claws:
    • Her tier 6 Ordered Chaos skill, With Claws, overrides her default melee attack with digistructed claws while you have Anarchy stacked.
    • Deathtrap's melee attacks also involve swiping and slashing with his sets of claws.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Some of her Second Wind quotes come off as being legitimately surprised that she pulled it off and didn't die as opposed to her usual handling of the situation.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Her reaction to finding out that Marcie stole her DT design, gave it to police, and gave it the stupid name of Crime Buster Bot.
    Gaige: Bitch, are you kidding me!?

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