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Headscratchers / Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!

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    Maya's wanted poster in Concordia 

  • Why does Maya already have her $720,000,000 "Wanted!" Poster plastered up in Moxxi's bar? At that point in the game, Jack has not yet undergone his Descent Into Madness and hasn't issued a bounty yet. We know that Lilith had a bounty in Borderlands for being a Siren as well, but since the wanted posters don't show up until the Fort Knoxx DLC, it is hinted that stopping Atlas and opening the Vault is what earned her that bounty in the first place. Jack is placing a huge reward on Sirens because they're Sirens, and we know why he needs them, so I doubt the monastery that Maya escaped from would have that much money to put on her head.
    • Probably a reused asset that they put in and didn't think too much about.
    • In-universe, the monastery Maya escaped from did control an entire planet. They might have that much money.
    • Also, Siren. They're kind of a big deal. News that "a Siren is out there" will generally get giant bounties posted on them because, well, Siren.


     Where are the other Vault Hunters ? 
  • Okay, so the story is Athena telling to Lilith (and Brick, Mordecaï and Tiny Tina,) Jack's Start of Darkness so where are Axton, Maya and the others ? I mean, Lilith is interrogating someone who worked with two people they killed and Claptrap, it's the revelation that Claptrap is way more badass than it appear (or at least he was) and this is the Start of Darkness of their worst enemy; WHY ARE THEY NOT HERE ?
    • Probably off doing something like blowing up Helios or farming raid bosses.
    • Or, at the time, heading to the DLC areas and fighting arrogant cheaters, searching for pirate treasure or killing a giant angry snowman.
    • Remember that the game seems to only take place over a single afternoon. That's not too long; they could easily be doing a DLC or just some random side mission for the Raiders.
    • Then why aren't they here in TVHM ? This mode is basically Athena re-telling the story but to Tiny Tina
    • For the exact same reason. They're probably out on Pandora somewhere, killing things elsewhere.
    • Even if they did come back sometime between normal mode and TVHM, they'd probably be at the meeting with Lilith and the Alien, not listening to Athena's story. Remember, the reason Athena is telling the story again is simply because Tina and Brick are bored. Tina obviously wasn't invited to the meeting, and Brick probably left when he realized they weren't talking about killing stuff.
    • Brick was there for the entire story, and made comments along with Lilith and Mordecai.
    • The Holodome DLC has Athena telling the story to Gaige and Axton, who just want to hear the abridged version because they seem to be a bit busy doing Vault Hunter things.
    • Apparently they were on Elta, one of the worlds with the other Vaults, hunting it on Lilith's orders. They only came back when they found Aurelia and Lilith told them to bring her back with them. It's implied it was just the two of them, but the other New Vault Hunters could have been with them, and if they weren't they were probably hunting other Vaults on their own worlds. And Zer0 shows up in Tales from the Borderlands hunting an artifact by himself, so that might explain where he is.

     Why is Moxxi on Elpis ? 
  • At this point, the Underdome isn't destroyed by Jack yet so why does she have a bar on Elpis ?
    • For the same reason she has a bar at T-Bone Junction during the Knoxx DLC - she's clearly involved in multiple business ventures and her string of bars is one of them.
    • Moxxi's is a franchise. She moves around between them, I guess.
    • The introduction trailer by Mister Torgue and Sir Hammerlock explains why: REASONS.
    • I guess I'll have to stick with it.

    Blowing up Elpis 
  • Colonel Zarpedon is planning to blow up the moon of Elpis to prevent the knowledge of the Eridians from falling into the hands of humanity. However, she never considers just blowing up the Vault? If she'd just targeted the Vault on Elpis then a lot of this could have been avoided.
    • It's implied that she was targeting the Vault, it just had the side effect of taking the rest of the moon with it. Remember, the Vault is at the core of Elpis, and quite possibly is the core. You can't destroy that without consequences for the rest.
    • You would think she would just wait until Elpis' natural day/night cycle rotated the Vault's location within targeting range of the Eye of Helios, instead of trying to dig her way through the moon to get to it. All throughout the game we see that the Eye is blasting different areas of the moon, meaning that the space station isn't locked in geo-synchronous orbit with the moon. If it was, it could shoot the same spot over and over again, digging it's way to the vault closer with each blast.
    • As seen and described in echos from the previous games, it is certain that Elpis is in a geosynchronous orbit as well as tidal locked with Pandora, meaning that it doesn't move or rotate in the sky when viewed from the surface of Pandora as seen in the games. Helios station is in a Lagrangian orbit between the two bodies, specifically the L1 point situated in the middle of the two. All this together means that Helios does not move about in relation to Elpis, and is in fact targeting roughly the same location for the entire game, specifically the large molten crater which Helios can be seen firing into while the player is aboard the station. The reason the beam looks like it is targeting different places is because you, the player, are moving around in relation to the laser and are seeing it from different angles.
    • Zarpedon's been guarding the Vault since the Crackening occurred, and clearly possessed substantial knowledge about the Vault and its operations. We can safely assume that the method she was using was the most efficient or expedient way to destroy the Vault. Also keep in mind that most of the game's events up to the destruction of the Eye took place within about a day's time anyway; Jack even explicitly says that the day it would take to copy Felicity would take too long and Elpis would already be destroyed by then, so waiting for the moon to rotate to bring the Vault into sight would be pointless. They would have already tunnelled into and destroyed the Vault and Elpis by that time. Also, they are targeting the same spot on Elpis' surface: you can see as much from Jack's office.
    • Also, it is entirely possible that the Eye couldn't actually destroy the Vault. If the Vault really is contained in some alternate dimension or universe, as Eleseer seems to be, then Zarpedon may instead have been trying to destroy the entrance to the Vault, which would be on Elpis itself. Blow up the planet, close the gateway leading to the Vault. Zarpedon repeatedly made it clear over the course of the story that the only way to prevent anyone from accessing the Vault was total annihilation of Elpis; if there was any other way to do so, she would have resorted to that first.
    • Just opening the previous Vault created a continent-sized glowing purple scar that reached out into space. Imagine what destroying one would do.
    • Not all Vaults function the same. The Vault that Mr. Torgue built his arena over simply had a bunch of loot, and didn't have any repercussions after it was opened.
    • And of the other three Vaults, one created a continent-sized scar of glowing purple Eridium as a side effect of releasing a cosmic horror, another downloaded a massive breadth of knowledge into someone's brain that gave them knowledge of other Vaults, and the third unleashed a monster capable of eventually scorching all of Pandora in fire. On top of this, opening the one on Elpis was supposed to have repercussions resulting in the deaths of billions. Torgue's Vault is the odd one out, at least as far as we know. And regardless, opening a Vault is not the same as destroying one.
    • Vaults are gigantic, and can be on the scale of entire planets, as shown in Borderlands 3. For all we know, Zarpedon was digging down straight into the Vault in the most expedient way possible.
    • We know, as of Borderlands 3, that it wasn't necessarily the Vault that she was targeting. Elpis itself is the key to the Great Vault, and she was trying to destroy the entire moon to prevent the Destroyer from being released.

    Lilith and Jack 
  • Lilith is able to get up close enough to scar Jack's face but doesn't stay to finish the job? You can't even say she wasn't trying to kill him since she has already tried it once.
    • When Lilith hopped in, six Vault Hunters (Athena, Nisha, Wilhelm, Claptrap, Aurelia and Timothy/Jack's double) were all just staring in awe as Jack got all the knowledge of the universe downloaded into his brain. Lilith got a lucky shot while they were distracted, but these are all trained badasses and Claptrap, so they're ready to retaliate instantly, and all she can do is run and hope Jack dies of his wounds. The problem is that the cutscene only showed Athena, so it looks like Lilith just wussed out for some reason.
    • That said, at the beginning of "Where Angels Fear to Tread (Part 2)" Handsome Jack killed Roland in front of six Vault Hunters and Lilith.
    • ...and?
    • He went for reliable method and succeeded, Vault Hunters of not. All I wanted to say is that Vault Hunters' presence or absence wasn't that decisive, it's more about Lilith's overconfidence. After all, she is a Siren and a former Vault Hunter, it would be entirely in-character.
    • Also, Lilith probably wasn't there to kill Jack. She was there to smash the relic and prevent Jack from using it; the scarring of Jack's face was a side effect.
    • Lilith may have only used a single blow because she was shown entering in through a portal - in other words, she was Phasewalking. And we know that there are limits to Phasewalking, including that when she Phasewalks, she only gets one strike before she reverts. Lilith likely didn't have a choice when she left through that portal. She went in, took the one single shot that she had, and then had to leave.
    • According to Borderlands 3 and the translated Eridian texts, the Sirens are fated to always cause massive cataclysms. Since Lilith failing to kill Jack started the Disaster Dominos that led the events in Borderlands 2 and 3, it's entirely possible that Lilith was supposed to let Jack live.
  • Do you think Jack's desire to kill Lilith overshadowed the fact that he was shown HER being used as the catalyst for the Warrior?
    • I'd personally say it ensured he fixated on her - specifically her, rather than Moxxi or Roland - as the one to come after. Might even have been the reason Lilith faked her own death, and the reason Jack didn't quite buy it.

     Lilith and Athena 

  • Lilith proceeds to hunt down Athena across the planet three years after both were involved in Handsome Jack's rise to power. She also decides these crimes are worthy of death. This, despite the fact Lilith tried to convince Tiny Tina to forgive Angel for her role in Roland's death. Angel who was personally involved in a lot of Jack's atrocities. Then Brick, not the most forgiving member of the Vault Hunters to begin with, says executing her "isn't us." What's up?
    • Angel had no choice in what she did, being Jack's prisoner. Athena could have left Jack's employ at any time; personal honor doesn't excuse her from helping Jack, especially when he went insane. And Lilith became highly irrational after Roland's death, which Angel warned you about in Borderlands 2. Lilith becoming irrational about Roland is perfectly in-character.
    • Keep in mind also that Lilith was in exactly Angel's position - a Siren collared, controlled and used to charge the Vault Key while Jack tortured her mercilessly. She even said that if she couldn't be freed, she would rather die than continue to be within Jack's power, just as Angel chose to in the end. Lilith could relate to Angel. Athena, in Lilith's mind, was just Jack's goon.
    • Considering that Lilith was willing to send Axton and Gaige after Aurelia, she's probably just vengeful.
    • Also, according to Tales From The Borderlands, Scooter dies at about the same Athena is captured, which probably does not help with Lilith's state of mind.
      • Athena would've arrived in Sanctuary a day or so after being captured, while it would've taken a few days for the Tales crew to get back to Hollow Point as they don't have access to Fast Travel, and then a further few days to get the rocket built to get to Helios. Scooter died only a few hours before Helios came crashing down, but Helios is still clearly in the sky during the closing of the present segment of Claptastic Voyage. Scooter wouldn't have been a factor for Lilith's rage.


    Jack and Moxxi 
  • Jack apparently blew up Moxxi's Underdome when he thought she was cheating on him... Except, you know, by the start of the game they've already broken up, apparently relatively amicably, and it's doubtful they'd be so cordial if Jack really had blown up her Underdome while he was still just a programmer. I'm thinking retcon, unless anybody's got any ideas?
    • Perhaps Jack only decided to blow it up after he went insane proper? Or perhaps he had already done it, and that was what made Moxxi decide he was a sociopath under his hero veneer....
    • Moxxi specifically said that Jack blew up the Underdome after she dumped him. That's rather ambiguous, and it could have meant after she blew up the Eye of Helios. Alternately, Moxxi was just being nonspecific and didn't care to tell the second game's Vault Hunters all the details of the sorry affair.
    • No, Moxxi specifically says Jack blew up the Underdome after he thought she was cheating on him. I'm thinking Moxxi either just didn't feel like explaining the whole affair and made up the reason, or Jack really did think she cheated on him (which could explain why he's unwilling to ask her for help at first) but only acted on it after he went insane.
    • It's almost a Dummied Out problem. The captions say "cheating on," but the dialogue says "dumped him." Someone at quality control missed it.
    • Acting on it in the 3 years between P and 2 makes the most sense. Jack was still only a lowly code monkey at the start of the game. President Tassiter would never allow Jack to use a superweapon to destroy an ex's property, and Tassiter certainly knew it existed. It isn't made clear whether Tassiter knew what it was powered by, but you can be damn sure Jack would've been fired right on the spot if the Eye was activated for any reason. This forces Jack to use more conventional weaponry to destroy the Underdome, and it isn't likely he had the clearance to request the resources to do it.
    • Or Moxxi was just lying. Right after you blow up the Eye, Mordecai says he didn't know that Moxxi tried to kill Jack, and Lilith says Moxxi plays things close to the chest. Her covering up Jack's reason to hate her fits that.
    • Another possibility is that Moxxi didn't know at first who destroyed the Underdome. It "mysteriously" went up because Jack thought she was being disloyal (disloyalty seems to be a particular Berserk Button with him, see the Merriff), and after his true colors were revealed she pretty quickly realized he was responsible (and also Handsome Jack probably would have bragged about it, whereas old Jack would not). This could even explain A) how she knew there was something wrong with Jack before he went fully nuts (she suspected he was responsible but had no proof) and B) why she's tending bar on Elpis to begin with (she just lost her other business venture).

     Vault Hunter.EXE 
  • During Claptrap's action skill Vault Hunter.EXE, which randomizes an action skill for him to use, there is a chance that the skill will be based off of characters from Borderlands 2. This includes Krieg, Gaige, Salvador, and pretty much all of the vault hunters. They are all even represented by special hats and/or phrases (such as Claptrap referencing anarchy when mimicking Gaige's action skill or getting Salvador's hair). But how does he know about these people? Borderlands 2 takes place after this game.
    • It's implied that most classes are not unique; Krieg is explicitly a Psycho, Salvador is mirrored by a number of dual-wielding enemies, so on and so on. Gaige could be an exception (since Deathtrap is explicitly her own creation), but maybe she just modified an existing class archetype, which in turn Fragtrap replicates. The hair and phrases have to be chalked up to Willing Suspension of Disbelief (or whatever class archetype Gaige is using is known for pigtails).
    • Seconding this concept; there are apparently enough "Commandos", "Mechromancers" and "Gunzerkers" for it to be a worthwhile investment to manufacture class mods for them, or there's enough similarity between a variety of vague class archetypes that it works out. Based on this, Claptrap's action skill mimics the broader archetypes of turret/minion users, and lunatic madmen with axes, while also throwing in some new stuff like Pirate Ship Mode. After all, from a purely conceptual standpoint it wouldn't be a far leap to say Deathtrap has enough similarities with Wolf and Saint (discarding Bloodwing due to her being flesh and blood, not mechanical) that both fit into a broader "Minion" class with some compatibility with plug-and-play software (think like USBs), and similar goes for the Scorpio and Sabre turrets which are even mass-produced.

    Aurelia and Alistair 
  • Based on appearance alone, Aurelia is black (or at least a person of color) and Alistair is white. What gives? Is one of them adopted? Are they both biracial and just a prime example of genetics being a complete crapshoot? Are they step-siblings?
    • Sir Hammerlock has skin tones only slightly lighter than Aurelia.
    • Take another look: Sir Hammerlock may not be that dark-skinned but he is definitely NOT white. It's easy to assume he is from his ECHO-portrait due to his traditional English Gentlemen voice and attire, but his facial features reveal otherwise.

    Eye of Helios 
  • So the Eye of Helios must be powered by the Eye of the Destroyer. Jack mentions the eye was one of a kind, but you can do a mission where Nakayama cloned the Destroyer, just smaller. Why didn't Jack just have someone good at math clone it again?
    • Odds are the people who could do it were vented into space.
    • Also, you don't want to clone a full-sized Destroyer, because if you do, it's going to eat you, the space station, the planet, and the local star without even needing to chew.

    Claptrap and Guns 
  • How exactly does Claptrap physically fire guns? His hands seem too big to fit between the trigger guards and the actual triggers, and there's no indication that his hands are divided up into smaller finger regions.
    • My guess would be that the FR 4 G-TP designation somehow wired the gun into Claptrap's robotics, allowing him to fire the gun remotely, without pulling the trigger or something. That's my guess.


    Moxxi tricking Jack 
  • Something just randomly occurred to me, didn't Jack explicitly say that he was the one who figured out how to turn the eye of the Destroyer into a giant laser? Which would imply he would know how most, if not all, systems related to its function would work. If that's the case why did he even need Moxxi to tell him how to shut it down at all, and why didn't he see that following her instructions would result in a massive implosion?
    • Jack is, to put it bluntly, an "idea man". He may have figured out the method for generating the laser, but he wasn't the one who could figure out the interfaces, couplings and hookups required to produce and control the weapon.
    • Jack is also a software engineer, or a "code monkey." He's not a scientist or mechanical engineer. He probably programmed the code used for operating the laser and may have devised some of the concepts and ideas, but the nit-and-gritty engineering and design of the machine itself were almost certainly handled by a wide team of engineers.
    • Two details that never get explained may explain all of this. Firstly, during her planning, Jack never questions how Moxxi could possibly understand the tech involved from so far away in no time at all in order to make her plan. Secondly, the game has a random scene reminding us she’s a secret tech genius that never even ties into a side quest. Now, look at the timeline. Jack and Moxxi dated some time after the DLC she was introduced in ended, and the laser must have been built in that same timeframe. Jack is a programmer and Moxxi is an inventor. Remember what Lilith said beforehand about Moxxi playing things close to the chest? We know from Borderlands 2 that Jack is more than happy to have his girlfriend involved in his plans, and isn’t the kind of guy who would be emasculated by his girlfriend’s help. Moxxi knows how to build things, Jack knows how to code them. The laser was entirely forbidden by Hyperion, meaning Jack couldn’t have relied on Hyperion resources and scientists lest Tassiter find out. Furthermore, we never found out how they met. There’s only one person on Pandora that could do the technical work, isn’t loyal to Hyperion and already has a connection to Jack. Moxxi. Moxxi helped him build the laser while they were together and didn’t tell anyone about it because at the time she supported the effort. She has no love for the roaming psychos. At the time, it’s pretty clear that he didn’t consider Vault Hunters to be the same, and so at the time his goal was actually pretty much the same as the rest of them, carving civilization for the sane out of Pandora. Remember, none of the Vault Hunters care about the lives of actual bandits. The only thing they care about are the lives of non-bandits, and Jack was gunning for them too.

    A big waste of time 
  • What was even the point of going down to Elpis? At the beginning of the game the Vault hunters are on Helios, meet up with Jack, then go down to Elpis because some signal is blocking the Helios defense systems. They kill the meriff, disable the signal, get a military AI, build a robot army then retake Helios, but none of it really mattered the defenses on Helios are still down, none of the created loaders show up to help you, the Vault hunters just take out the lost legion on their own. There is no in story reason for the Vault hunters to have gotten stronger, the level system is purely a game mechanic, so the Vault hunters should have been at about the same strength level from the beginning to the end of game. So why couldn't the Vault hunters just defeat the lost legion right at the beginning of the game?
    • Jack's Loader army was also attacking Helios at the same time as you were storming it as well. We don't really get to see that because Helios is a massive space station and we only attack a small part of it. Taking out the Helios defenses is important because it unlocks Fast Travel access to Helios, which is how you're able to board Helios and Jack can get his Loaders onto the station.

     The incredible disappearing cryo weapons 
  • So, why are there no cryo weapons in the second game (which takes place after this one), but then they are back in the third? I could see Hand Waving them disappearing for good by saying the only factory that made them was on Elpis and it got destroyed, but that wouldn't explain why they are back again in the third game.
    • I read somewhere on This Very Wiki that Cryo Weapons simply didn't work in Pandora's atmosphere. I don't know what's up with 3, but considering time passed between 2 and 3, maybe they ironed out the kinks or found a different way to implement them?
    • The official explanation is that Marcus couldn't get the frozen methane they use, although that mainly just raises other problems. (i.e why can't he just synthesize methane in a lab or get some teleported in from Elpis?)
    • A possible answer that also fits with the new Radiation element and all the brands being improved in some way in the third game - in the years since Fight for Sanctuary, everyone except Jakobs figured out a way to make cryo weapons that would work outside of Elpis. By the time the Children of the Vault rise to prominence, cryo weaponry has enough utility and demand to be found everywhere the third generation Vault Hunters go. It wouldn't be much of a stretch to assume they dealt with the "methane evaporates in Pandora's atmosphere" issue. It helps that the cryo weapons in 3 tend to have a more cyan tint to their elemental parts, while the ones in Pre-Sequel look more white-ish.

     How do the Vault Hunters survive in the Elpis vault? 
  • It's been established that Eridium is poisonous, and even turns some people into monsters in the same game. So how can the vault hunters go in the Elpis Vault without harm (as it seems to be mostly made out of Eridium)? It's like if someone went to a cave mostly made of plutonium but didn't get any radiation poisoning.