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Fridge / Borderlands

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The series in general/Non-game specific:

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    Fridge Brilliance 
  • The entire game, even series, seems to be a giant Take That! against the idea of letting corporations act in a government's place. In the first game alone you have a corporation that literally abandoned a planet of people to mutated raiders and deadly wildlife (Dahl), one that didn't even try to save lives during a zombie outbreak (Jakobs), and one that treated its best military commander with the same respect you save for a data entry clerk (Atlas). We all know what happened with the corporation shown in the 4th DLC (Hyperion), which, as of the second game, had waged a war with the population for 3 years, turned into a Orwellian corporation full of backstabbing corporate climbers and run by a Corrupt Corporate Executive whose policies were on par with Stalin's regime.
  • This is the first FPS universe where FPS tropes make perfect sense:
    • How can governments and megacorps afford to field giant armies all the time? The market only supplies that kind of resources when nobody's at war, and with the constant violence in the Borderlands-verse who has the time to actually produce anything? If there are that many guns everywhere, why are there still jerks to shoot? More Criminals Than Targets... Why do human bosses reappear after a while?
    • Answer; robots like the Claptraps keep everything running, digistruct technology makes everything literally dirt cheap, health syringes and kits keep everyone going, and the New-U stations keep bringing everyone back when they die. Thus, people have no reason not to beat each other up and/or kill each other for fun and profit because violence has no consequences anymore.
  • Why do many of Pandora's creatures have some form of split jaw? Biological competition led to the convergent evolution of creatures with the ability to eat things bigger than their own head in one bite.
  • Why are there specifically SIX sirens at any one time? There are four players who could all be sirens, and 2 NPCs who were sirens in each game:
    • Steele, Angel and PC Lilith in 1
    • Lilith, Angel and PC Maya in 2 (and, by extension, The Pre-Sequel).
    • Lilith (and later Tyreen), Maya (and later Tannis) and PC Amara in 3.
  • Vending Machines:
    • Looking at the games, how CAN you buy something like a rocket launcher from a vending machine? The same way you get everything else: the vending machines are just another digistruct platform. It also explains why a Vending Machine can work even though it's been stuck in a massive sandworm for days; as long as it can maintain a signal to Marcus and transfer credits, it can digistruct and buy guns from and for the Customers. The limited stock could also be the machines manually rotating their stock; it always has that many guns for sale and so Marcus doesn't need to keep track of his inventory; he just takes the entire stock out and replace it with a new set, then takes whatever guns weren't sold from the removed stock and put it into the next set for rotation.
    • If the vending machines are digistruct platforms then the stock isn't actually limited. The Catch-A-Rides can make as many cars as you want. So why do they act like there's a limit? Marketing. If there's a new set of guns every day, customers will check the machines every day. People will be more likely to buy something if they think they'll never have a chance to get it again.
    • This also explains how there are Eleventy Zillion guns. Dahl and Maliwan aren't designing and manufacturing a thousand different variations on every model of pistol they make. They design the parts, Marcus scans them (so when you sell a gun to a vending machine it isn't the gun that's worth anything, it's the scan of its components), and his vending machines procedurally generate guns from the compatible parts. Just like the game's engine does.
    • Also, the machines aren't actually digistructing anything. The equipment you're buying and selling is the data your ECHO uses to digistruct them when you equip them.
  • A small one spanning all the series, but one of the reasons that, on Earth, the largest land animal is the elephant is because of the square-cube law. By this logic everything from Crawmerax to Terramorphous to Vermivorous should not be able to exist, let alone be so damn hard to put down. However, in the first game, it's stated that you don't suffer fall damage because of the lower gravity of Pandora, which explains why such ridiculously large creatures can not only exist, but thrive on the planet; the gravity is so low here that they can grow to that size.
  • Notice something unusual about the Bandit mask? The mouth-piece looks like an air purifier. And there's a crapton of bandits with zero personal hygiene living near each other, with old blood and dirt on the clothes they wear every day, soooooo...
  • The logic of the weapon manufacturers and what they make across the games:
    • S&S/Bandit/Scav/CoV: They make almost everything because bandits are an individualistic lot and don't take kindly to being told they can't have the kind of gun they want.
      • They don't make sniper rifles, because Pandora's bandits are pretty consistently Ax-Crazy Blood Knights who are largely incapable of the kind of long-distance focus and discipline required to use a sniper rifle effectively.
      • They don't make lasers in TPS because they would be too stupid to make their own lasers.
    • Dahl: They make pistols, SMGs, sniper rifles and assault rifles - pretty straightforward military gear, but precise military gear. Dahl prizes accuracy and minimal collateral damage above all else, which is why you can only burst fire when aiming down sights - and why they don't make equipment that hurls fragments of metal everywhere or guns that create huge explosions (even the Grenadier has a pretty small blast radius).
      • The primary Dahl multi-target weapons are Bouncing Betty grenade variants - which are mostly emergency panic buttons for when cleaning an entire room quickly is necessary.
    • Hyperion: Hyperion weapons are designed largely for the idiosyncratic Hyperion corporate culture - in which being, or at least seeming to be, smart and ruthless, is better than simply appearing strong.
      • They don't make Assault Rifles because they are too military, and that's Dahl's and Vladof's approach - Hyperion is for people who are businesslike, and that means mostly weapons that can be carried fairly easily, and/or are designed for deadly accuracy rather than spreading carnage around (hence the sniper rifles).
      • They don't make Rocket Launchers because the Hyperion proprietary stabiliser - the reason their accuracy goes up as you fire - is an extremely awkward fit for a rocket launcher, given their low rate of fire and bottom-of-the-barrel ammo count.
    • Jakobs: They have a "Wild West" theme, so the weapons they don't make (Rocket Launchers, SMGs, Lasers) simply don't fit the theme.
    • Maliwan: Maliwan build weapons to make their designers feel clever. This means either weapons that are precise (pistols, sniper rifles) or weapons that let them push the boundaries with their tech - rocket launchers as a power level and blast radius test, submachine guns as a speed test.
      • They don't make Assault Rifles because they aren't a new experiment, they're just big submachine guns.
      • They don't make Shotguns because they don't make them feel smart, because those are weapons with a lot of scatter and very little precision. (Mr. Torgue's obsession with shotguns would not help the case of any would-be Maliwan shotgun designer in 2).
      • Additionally, Maliwan is commonly stereotyped as a "hipsters" weapons brand, and if we were to run off of that then their weapon preferences become clearer: their customers would prefer to brandish a sleek and colorful sniper rifle or a compact and portable SMG/pistol than a gaudy and bulky assault rifle or an inaccurate and hick-associated shotgun. And their rocket launchers make dramatic and brightly colored elemental explosions compared to other brands traditional and mundane explosions, a great way to stand out from the crowd.
    • Tediore: Tediore don't make guns for the military, they make guns for ordinary citizens to use cheaply in home defense and possibly hunting for food.
      • They don't make Assault Rifles because they would be considered overkill in most of the more civilised areas (and especially in Hyperion-controlled ones, that would likely clamp down very hard on unauthorised gun ownership)
      • The Sniper Rifle's problem would be the Tediore explosive construction showcased in 2: unless you have the strongest throwing arm in your galaxy, at sniper rifle ranges, your discarded gun is unlikely to hit anything even semi-reliably, and in a military context you're likely to be grenading your own men.
    • Torgue:
      • They don't make Sniper Rifles. Mister Torgue, as the company gunsmith (he designed all those weapons himself after all), is the sort of Hot-Blooded Boisterous Bruiser who would decide that sniping wasn't as badass because it lacked the in-your-face thrill of shotguns... which also explains why his company stopped manufacturing sniper rifles by the second game. He's decided that sniping bores him, so he isn't going to encourage it by building sniper rifles, even if their bullets explode.
      • They don't make SubMachine Guns. Mr. Torgue's obsession with "bigger" and "louder" means that even if you told him to design a submachine gun, he would immediately ignore the "sub-" and give you a full-on minigun (along the lines of a Spitter).
      • They don't make Lasers in TPS because, outside of one unique legendary, lasers don't explode (said straight from the man himself, Torgue Flexington).
    • Vladof: Vladof take a very simple and direct approach to designing guns.
      • They don't make SubMachine Guns because they lack in impact compared to Assault Rifles.
      • They don't make Shotguns because their low ammo counts would not fit well with the Vladof rapid-fire approach.
      • They don't make lasers in TPS because lasers tend to "fire" at maximum speed anyway, so for Vladof's schtick, laser weapons would be redundant.
  • The sirens we see across the series have powers that match their personalities:
    • Lilith is powerful and confident, but also reckless and impulsive, and tends to charge into things without thinking, which ends up causing her quite a few problems over the course of the game. Fittingly, Phasewalk is an ability that allows her to charge into combat and tear enemies up, with the risk of leaving her in a bad position after she returns to normal, or it can act as a crutch to escape from enemies if she's gotten herself into trouble.
    • In Maya's ECHO logs, it is shown that she refused to hurt someone without first trying to analyse the situation and get context on why she's being asked to hurt them, but once she realises what's happening, she shuts down the corrupt priest who raised her and kills him without a second thought. Fittingly, Phaselock allows her to lock enemies down and gain some breathing room to analyse the situation and decide what to do next, and allows her to immobilise enemies for an easy kill once she's acquired her target.
    • Angel has been locked up, abused and pumped full of Eridium for years on end by Handsome Jack, and wants nothing more than to escape his grasp. The devs stated on record that Angel's siren power is to create alternate realities, and that the original plan was to meet her in a house that she'd simulated with her power. She wants to escape her prison, and her power allows her to do it, at least temporarily.

    Fridge Horror 
  • Related to the FPS justification brilliance; Borderlands is a good example on how The Singularity won't fix a Crapsack World full of vicious jerks.
  • Why are there so few women on Pandora as compared to men? Several possibilities, some more horrifying than others.
    • Most likely, the bandits target them for kidnapping more often, for fairly obvious and horrifying reasons.
    • In one of his ECHO logs in 2, Handsome Jack chews out his assassins for murdering random women and doodling tattoos on them to turn in as "Sirens". Not that he has any moral standards, just that he's irritated they're trying to swindle him with such an obvious ruse, seeing as how there are only six Sirens in the universe and he already knows of three. He even says "I will admit it was mildly amusing the first dozen times you idiots tried it, but now my office smells like blood and marker fumes". Yeah, even though we can all agree that Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil, being murdered and basically having your corpse sold off as a faked alien isn't much better.
    • Or, it could just be because the "criminals that would make good unskilled laborers" demographic is predominately male.
    • Interestingly enough, Episode 3 of Tales from the Borderlands has a female bandit as part of Vallory's hit squad, who unsuccessfully searches for Rhys and Fiona in the beginning.
  • A Crimson Lance soldier says in 2 that even if Jack is defeated, someone else will take his place. Case in point: The New Pandora Army in 2's Commander Lilith DLC followed by The Children of The Vault in 3.


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