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Video Game / Battleborn

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"For every kind of badass."

Battleborn was a futuristic Hero Shooter/MOBA hybrid from the folks at Gearbox Software, creators of the mind-bendingly popular Borderlands franchise, that launched on May 3, 2016. The game follows numerous factions currently vying for control of the Solus System, the last remaining star in the universe. As these groups struggle for the only source of energy remaining, a much larger issue looms, namely the unstoppable horde of star-eaters, the Varelsi. Good luck with that.

Tonally, Battleborn could be considered a Spiritual Successor to Borderlands, featuring a dark setting and premise, contrasted with a self-referential sense of humor, Comedic Sociopathy, and cartoony visuals. However, its gameplay took a lot of inspiration from the MOBA genre, featuring 5v5 battles with unique champions and NPCs to grind for loot and experience. The main twist to this is the perspective, as the game takes place in first person.


Battleborn featured a large starting roster of 25 playable heroes with additional, free heroes after launch. The characters page can be found here.

The game could be played through two main ways, Story Mode and Competitive Multiplayer:

  • Story Mode: Battleborn's Story Mode was a narrative experience. Play it solo, with 2-player splitscreen or go online and create a full 5-player party. Story Mode is split up to be modular, letting you to choose which missions you'll enjoy next. Then you can go ahead and replay missions for the chance to earn even better loot.
  • Competitive Multiplayer: Battleborn's team-based competitive multiplayer action could be experienced by up to 10 players online in 5v5 matches, and includes three distinct multiplayer modes. Two additional modes were later released post-launch. Just before the addition of Supercharge, all these modes were made Free-to-Play via the Free Trial update.
    • Incursion: Teams of heroes must defend their base from waves of AI-controlled minions while working together alongside their own minions to destroy their opponent's base.
    • Capture: Teams of heroes face off in a fast-paced death match and must capture and hold objectives on the map to win.
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    • Meltdown: Teams of heroes must guide their minions as they march to their death at the center of the map. Points are scored for every minion who throws themselves into the incinerator, and the team with the most points wins.
    • Face-Off: The first of the additional modes released. Teams of heroes fight against each other to exterminate invading Varelsi in order to collect and deposit Varelsi masks for points. The first team to 500 points wins.
    • Supercharge: The second of the additional modes released. Supercharge was an exclusively 3v3 hybrid mode that combines Meltdown and Capture. Like Meltdown, the goal is to guide minions to be sacrificed and earn points. The twist however is that teams could sweeten their minion waves by fighting to control a single capture point. The team that owns the capture point "supercharges" their minion wave, adding tougher minions and more opportunities for scoring points.

Additionally, further PvE comes in the form of five DLC Story Operations. Story Operations were side stories that expand on some Battleborn heroes' lore and can played either solo or co-op with up to two buddies. They are shorter than the main Story Missions and highly replayable with dialogue, enemies, and objectives changing depending on how many Ops points are collected in a current playthrough. Furthermore, subsequent replays of a story operation will increase in difficulty to provide more challenge though difficulty can also be reset down by talking to Nova near respawn points to suit personal preferences. Each playthrough also moves towards unlocking more lore, skins, titles, and taunts depending on how many Ops points are collected at the end. The Story Operations were:

  • Attikus and the Thrall Rebellion: Recounts the thrall rebellion Attikus led to overthrow his Jennerit oppressors.
  • Toby's Friendship Raid: It's one thing to try and call Toby "cute." It's another to try and get away with stealing his mechsuit.
  • Oscar Mike vs. the Battle School: Join Oscar Mike as he relives his attempt to redeem himself and reverse his exile. Of course, trial by obstacle course is the only acceptable solution.
  • Montana and the Demon Bear: Grab some marshmallows and cozy up to the campfire, this outer space lumberjack has quite the story to tell. Join the Battleborn as Montana recalls his encounter with a terrifying Varelsi beast.
  • Phoebe and the Heart of Ekkunar: Why would the Battleborn venture into dangerous Aztanti ruins? FOR SCIENCE! Phoebe and her crew set off to Ekkunar to investigate what exactly is keeping this shattered planet together. What they find creates more questions than answers. Join the Battleborn in unlocking the mysteries of the Varelsi, the ancient Aztanti and the place beyond the portals.

The game also featured multiple progression systems. Playing either Story Mode or Competitive Multiplayer Modes would earn XP towards temporary Helix augmentations as well as persistent Command Rank and Character Rank levels:

  • Helix System: An accelerated character growth system which allows players to level up a character from 1 to 10 in a single story mission or competitive multiplayer match. During a single Competitive match or Story episode, each level gained activates a new Helix augmentation opportunity. Each level has two augmentation choices and a character's Helix resets at the beginning of a new match or episode, meaning character's abilities can be tailored to the situation at hand. This helps level the playing field so that every time, everyone starts on equal footing.
  • Persistent Progression System: All experience points, whether earned through playing Battleborn's Story Mode or Competitive Multiplayer modes, contribute to leveling up individual Character Rank, as well as player profile Command Rank.
    • Character Rank: Each hero can permanently rank up from 1 to 15 outside of missions and matches the more they are played with, up to rank 15. Increasing the Character Rank unlocks Mutations which are extra Augments that become available on the Helix Menu. The higher a Character's Rank, the more Helix augmentations, taunts, titles, and skins are unlocked for that character.
    • Command Rank: Players can rank up their own player profile, all the way to Command Rank 100. Rising through the ranks will unlock characters, new Gear options that can be used to benefit any hero the player chooses to command, titles to impress friends, and more.

On June 6, 2017, the game added a Free-to-Play multiplayer update known as Free Trial. Free Trial allows unlimited access to all competitive multiplayer modes and the same character and account growth and progression one would find in the full game. Free Trial players will have access to a subset of Battleborn's unique heroes through a rotating roster of six heroes that changes weekly. Heroes can be unlocked and kept from the in-game Marketplace using Credits earned while playing matches, or through Platinum premium currency. Players if they so choose can upgrade to the full base game which includes unlocking all 25 base characters, all Story Mode missions as well as the Prologue, and permanent access to private matches. Additionally, all player progression stats will carry over upon upgrading to the full game. On September 15, 2017, Randy Varnell, the game's creative director, announced the upcoming Fall update will be the final content update to the game.

On November 25, 2019, it was announced that Battleborn would be shutting down. The Platinum currency became unavailable to purchase after January 2020, and the game's servers shut down on January 31st, 2021. Due to the nature of the game's design, even the single player campaign has become unplayable.

Tropes that apply to Battleborn

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  • Aborted Arc: Wherever the plot was going after Phoebe and the Heart of Ekkunar, including Rendain's return from the void, was Cut Short by the game's death.
  • An Adventurer Is You: The characters are split into three categories: Attackers, Defenders and Support.
    • Attackers are the main damage dealers of the game, such as Rath, Deande, Phoebe, Whiskey Foxtrot, Mellka, Thorn, Marquis, Oscar Mike, Benedict, Caldarius, El Dragón, Orendi, and Pendles.
    • Defenders are tanks who can soak up damage for the team, such as Attikus, Galilea, Kelvin, Boldur, ISIC, Toby, Montana, Shayne & Aurox, Ghalt, and Ernest.
    • Support characters help the team by acting as buffers and healers, such as Miko, Reyna, Kleese, Ambra, Alani, Kid Ultra, and Beatrix.
  • The Aesthetics of Technology: The different factions have different aesthetics when it comes to their technology.
    • The UPR has a modern military look to them and their tech. They are rather utilitarian as they prefer function over fashion in this regard. They're however not as advanced as factions like the LLC and the Jennerit whose tech are just as sophisticated in level as they are in appearance.
    • The Rogues have a duct taped together look to their tech which fits in line with their principles of freedom. It's all scavenged and cobbled together from tech from other factions such as the UPR and doesn't have a real sense of uniformity. With such a look that's all over the place, their technology is likewise as such and can't exactly be considered overall advanced.
    • The Eldrid use Organic Technology and the like that harmonizes with the natural laws of the Universe. As such their technology has a very natural and ancient looking aesthetic to it. Due to their millennia worth of history, it's actually more sophisticated than it appears to be. It's just that they refuse to exhibit their technology's sophistication in a way that clashes with nature like the other factions do.
    • The Jennerit are one of the more high tech of the factions and are capable of using dark energies to bend the universe's laws to suit their needs. As such the aesthetic of their technology reflects how both advance and dark it is. The aesthetic's best described by Word of God as "Gothic Tron" which mixes dark foreboding Gothic art with the art visuals from TRON.
    • The LLC are the most technology oriented of the factions. They however value fashion just as much as function in accordance of their wealth showcasing principles. Thus the aesthetic of the LLC's technology is extremely clean and shiny with a lot of Victorian inspired ornate designs decorated about. It's best described by Word of God which states that if the aesthetic of the Jennerit is "Gothic Tron" then the LLC's is "Steampunk Tron".
  • Affectionate Parody: The DLC Story Operation Attikus and the Thrall Rebellion affectionately incorporates many elements found in a typical Film Noir detective story.
  • The Ageless: Those who have become immortal via the Jennerit's Sustainment process do not age and also gain an immunity from natural illnesses.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: As explained by Nova when you don't stop clicking the Gear part of the Command section before reaching Rank 3 despite her protests, every single Magnus is nuts. They got this way because the only thing tethering them to sanity - the Magna Carta, their governing AI - just got up and bailed on them. It closed all its ports and stopped responding. Most Magnuses just straight-up died on the spot, consumed by their own intelligence in a fraction of a second. The survivors, meanwhile, were deeply touched. As such every AI in the Solus System is insane and that includes Nova herself who ensures her threats of throwing you out of the airlock for not heeding her protests were very much real. While the level of insanity varies among Magnuses as exemplified by Nova and ISIC, it's pretty much an undeniable fact that they're all out of their minds.
  • All There in the Manual: Much of Battleborn's lore is found in external sources.
  • The Alliance: The United Peacekeeping Republics is a coalition of space-faring civilizations united under one cause: fighting the Varelsi. Built from surviving intergalactic democratic societies, the Peacekeepers take it upon themselves to protect all sentient beings incapable of defending themselves.
  • Alternative Calendar: The Standard Codex Reckoning (C.R.) calendar which is mentioned in a vast number of lore challenges and such.
  • Amazon Brigade: A Battleborn group can comprise completely of female badasses.
  • Ancestral Weapon: Within the Eldrid faction, well-constructed weapons are often passed down through a family lineage or to successors within an order, granting them legendary status in the fight to preserve order in the universe.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The ending after the Heliophage mission. Rendain may be dead, but the Varelsi are going to keep coming.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: A good number of the cosmetic skins in the game are rewards for doing certain things such as reaching certain Character Ranks, and collecting certain amounts of Ops points in the DLC Story Operations. A number of skins are also among the possible rewards within the faction loot packs that are obtained from defeated enemies and other ways.
  • Army of Thieves and Whores: The Rogues
  • Artificial Stupidity: The computer-controlled bots in PVP modes will not take advantage of the healing offered by returning to base. Not only will they never use the button which instantly transports them, sometimes they will run all the way back to their base to reload, but not actually enter the base, preventing them from returning to full health.
  • Atop a Mountain of Corpses: Parodied at the end of the Bootcamp Trailer. Oscar Mike sets one up for himself while filming it with the usual woman clinging to the leg being...El Dragón.
  • Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: The Last Light Consortium's characters combine Steampunk styles with Magitek equipment
  • BFG: Plenty have been promised, but special mention goes to Montana's minigun
  • Big Bad: Rendain, who wishes to murder the last star in the universe.
  • Bird People: Aviants are anthropomorphic bird aliens who originally come from the Menneck B system before the Varelsi darkened their star. They come in a variety of subspecies and are generally categorized as either flyers or flightless Aviants. Among these Aviants include:
    • Benedict who is a Buteonen Aviant, a hawk bird man with wings as a third extra set of limbs. He battles enemies with a rocket launcher despite one of his wings being shattered and only capable of limited flight with the assistance of an Aviary Exosuit.
    • Toby who is a cute little Finisci Aviant, essentially an anthropomorphic penguin that looks no different than a regular one complete with thumbless flippers and all. Although ridiculously cute much to his chagrin, the little fella is a force to be reckoned with as he rides his Mini-Mecha "Berg" into battle to devastate opponents.
    • Pendles' left handed kama which is made from the bones of a Kormiri Aviant he killed in the past, in particular using his previous target's skull and beak for the scythe's head and sickle. While it's not been fully explained what exactly a Kormiri Aviant is, Pendles' lore includes Benedict referring to the Kormiri that Pendles killed as an "old Pel".
    • Ernest is a short pudgy pink bird man with talon arms who serves as a Demolitions Expert and sergeant. Although not immediately evident, he has mechanical folding wings which he carries on his back that provide him a bit of a glide. It's not a true glide in the same sense as that of Benedict's though and Ernest's still considered a flightless Aviant either way.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • The Archive: The codex is saved and civilians have been evacuated but the Eliim forest that once housed the titular archive can't be saved and burns in flames. At least something and lives were saved.
    • The Sentinel: The titular superweapon has been successfully destroyed so that it can't fall into the hands of Rendain and Varelsi. However, this also means that victory came at the price of another piece of ancient Eldrid history being lost.
    • The Heliophage: Rendain is defeated and the titular device has been completely destroyed. However despite this victory, it just prolongs the inevitable. The Varelsi are still invading and there's still just one last star left in the universe that will eventually die either at the hands of the Varelsi or at the end of its natural solar lifespan. Regardless of this, Solus being saved still means that everyone still gets to live and fight longer in the light for how many remaining days that may be. With that the Battleborn continue forward to protect that light and all that is left.
  • Bling of War: To show off their wealth and luxury, the LLC incorporate a lot of gold, ornate designs, and other similar markers in their fashion. This extends even to their war machines.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: In line with their extravagant sense of fashion that excessively demonstrates their wealth, the LLC's weapons are decked in gold and ornate designs.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Like in the Borderlands series, headshots will do extra damage as a "critical".
  • Boss Rush: In the final battle, Rendain summons a random selection of several of the Jennerit and Varelsi bosses fought, and sics them on the player.
  • Canon Immigrant: Montana was originally a character in Gearbox's cancelled Band of Brothers: Furious Four.
  • Computerized Judicial System: In one of Orendi's lore challenges, her discipline hearing was presided by a Magnus named Gendarme. The hearing however ends up as a chaotic mess as Orendi immediately starts attacking everyone and everything upon entering. As Orendi causes more and more damage, the Hon. Gendarme becomes too preoccupied with updating on the fly the growing list of charges against Orendi to do anything else. The recording of this incident then comes to an end with Orendi having destroyed Gendarme's remote access node.
  • Crapsack World / Cosmic Horror Story / Hopeless War: All of the universe's stars except Solus have been consumed by the Varelsi's incursion. All of the remaining factions are fighting each other even if they are allied to some extent against a common threat. Not to mention the less-ethical business methods by the Last Light Consortium in the name of profits at the price of endangering the locals. Even the more-benevolent faction like the United Peacekeeping Republics has gone to deep ends of morality (i.e.- war with the natives of Ekkunar, cloning programs that created rejects like Whiskey-Foxtrot, etc.) for the sake of the denizens' safety. The situation had gotten worse when the most powerful faction, the Jennerit Imperium fell into the control of Lothar Rendain who usurped Empress Lenore and joined the Varelsi in hopes that joining them would be a better choice at survival, which many of the resistance within the Imperium are not happy about. This is why the Battleborn, a group of like-minded heroes from all groups, came into the picture in order to make a difference.
  • Cute Machines: The diminutive minions, who basically waddle as they move around. A red and blue one randomly pop in the main menu for Funny Background Events, like sliding along the floor. A Lampshaded Trope while the enemy team is gaining point milestones in Meltdown mode - Nova will tell you she doesn't care how cute they are, sacrifice minions.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: The opening cutscene shows a few of the characters performing beyond their abilities in game. Rath is shown wiping out dozens of minions with a single sword-swing. Basically all the enemies in the cutscene die with one or two hits, while most in the gameplay take more.
  • Damager, Healer, Tank: The three main categories the Battleborn are sorted by follow this basically.
    • Attackers fill the damager role as they tend to focus on being mainly damage dealers.
    • Defenders fill the tank role as they tend to focus on being able to soak large quantities of damage. Some Defenders though fill the tank role more than others, namely ISIC and Boldur who are indicated as such via Tank being listed as one of their three characteristics in the Command Menu. Then there's Ernest who possesses abilities that buff allies along with ones that provide defense making him a pseudo Supporter of sorts.
    • Supporters fill the healer role as they tend to focus on having abilities that support other characters with a number focusing primarily on providing health. Characters like Alani, Ambra, and Miko have abilities that primarily focus on providing health to allies and are aptly indicated as such via Healer listed being listed as one of their three characteristics in the Command Menu. Reyna and Kleese meanwhile have abilities that primarily focus more on providing shields instead of health and are indicated as such via having Shielder listed in their characteristics rather than Healer. These two have some Helix augments that can allow them to provide health as well however at their core, they're mainly geared towards providing shields. Then there's Kid Ultra and Beatrix. The former heals allies through abilities while the latter through certain augments. Both however focus more on buffs when it comes to aiding allies.
  • Deadly Gas:
    • Pendles' smoke bombs and Miasma ultimate involve the use of poisonous gas.
    • Between the phases of Geoff's boss fight, the fumigation systems in the buildings he resides in are needed to be activated in order to release a gas that's normally used to drive out Bliss bugs. While Geoff is a Spider Tank, he thinks he's an actual giant spider and thus is driven out into the open by the gas. That being said, the gas is lethal to players.
  • Deal with the Devil: Basically what Rendain did. In exchange for he and his people being spared from the threat the Varelsi posed that he concluded as inevitable, he would ally with these cosmic horrors and aid them in the destruction of the universe. Chapter 1 of the Battleborn motion comic sheds some further light to this deal.
  • Dynamic Difficulty: Story operations have a unique difficulty system based around their main collectibles, Ops points. Ops points are collected by completing main and side objectives as well as through discovering them in certain chests. Collecting these at or beyond certain amount tiers wields rewards after successfully completing an operation playthrough. The drawback though is that doing so within an operation will also increase the difficulty of that operation. Enemies becoming harder to defeat and increasing in number; new enemy types either appearing or replacing others; harder side objectives appearing instead of easier ones; and bosses having new moves are some of the difficulty changes. Thus it's a risk/reward situation as while more Ops points may mean better rewards, it comes at the cost of higher difficulty. Along with this, as 5 Ops points are automatically awarded at the start for each successful previous run with up to a maximum of 50 Ops points, each subsequent operation playthrough becomes harder. The difficulty fortunately can be lowered in a solo run of the operation by talking to Nova near most respawn points to reset the amount of Ops points in possession. Furthermore, this reset is only for that run as to not to ruin one's overall progress.
  • Eating the Enemy: Kevin does this with Chomp ability. Using his gigantic skeletal maw to bite enemies, he can gain a permanent health upgrade if he kills them with it. An augment to this ability can make it that a portion of the damage dealt by Chomp is returned to Kelvin as health.
  • The Empire: At their peak, before the Varelsi threatened the remaining star systems in the universe, the Jennerit Empire was the most far-reaching civilization in existence. The star-spanning empire was originally ruled by Empress Lenore and fought against the Varelsi. That was until the Empress' right-hand Lothar Rendain led a coup against her, feeling that it would be better to join up with the Varelsi instead in order to survive. The coup resulted in the darkening of the Jennerit's then throneworld of Jennar and everyone on it, including the Empress Lenore. With that, the Jennerit Empire under Rendain was renamed the Jennerit Imperium. Although Rendain had seized power, not everyone within the empire decided to abide by his regime as evidenced by a growing resistance that's been rising throughout the Jennerit Imperium.
  • The Emperor:
    • The Empress Lenore former monarch of the star-spanning Jennerit Empire before Lothar Rendain usurped her.
    • Having usurped Empress Lenore to become the leader of her empire now renamed the Jennerit Imperium, Lothar Rendain is naturally this by position.
  • Energy Economy: Shards are this during missions and multiplayer matches. They are basically this game's equivalent to the gold obtained during typical MOBA matches. As stars are put under duress in a Darkening process, they exude waves of energy which coalesce into plasmite crystals (aka "shards") when they pass through certain particles or atmospheres. These shards are highly charged with energy, and therefore, are prized where resources are low. In game, shards are found from destroying Exploding Barrel-like canisters, and large shard crystals as well as occasionally as dropped loot from defeated enemies. In missions, the large shard crystals tend to used to power obstacles which open up once said crystals are destroyed. When enough shards are obtained, they can be used to purchase turrets, traps, and drones; activate gear; and in certain Multiplayer modes, buy more powerful Minions. In The Void's Edge, they can be used to give Wolf a temporary upgrade from among three options with one upgrade per person.
  • Escort Mission: The Meltdown game mode is essentially one. The Archive and The Void story missions are about escorting spider sentries through scores of enemies.
  • Episodic Game: The way lore is revealed in Story Operations works in a way similar to an episodic game. Instead of simply telling the relatively same story every time a level is played like with the missions, parts of a story of sorts are instead revealed over the course of multiple playthroughs of an operation. Through dialogue that changes based on what run a player is on, each playthrough of a story operation is more like an episode of a series than just a simple rerun of the same level. This is doable since story operations are shorter in length than missions and the Ops point reward system they have encourages replaying the same operation over multiple times.
  • Exploding Barrels: Red glass canisters containing shards tend to litter areas. Due to the energy stored within, they naturally explode when hit.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Reyna has one, along with a pompadour.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Lothar Rendain was originally the right-hand of Empress Lenore for nearly 20,000 years of the Jennerit Empire and was even the central commander for the multi-faction alliances against the Varelsi. However as more solar systems winked out of existence, he came to the conclusion that the Varelsi and the coming Darkening were inevitable. He saw that the only way to survive this would have to be to ally with the Varelsi and aid the cosmic horrors in destroying the remaining universe. Thus he betrayed his Empress and pretty much everyone else in the universe.
  • Fantastic Caste System: The Jennerit society has one with the genetically-altered Sustained at the top, non-Sustained Jennerit just below them, and everything and everyone else below.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Jennerit despise any race who express flaws and inefficiencies (which are, in fact, most other races).
  • Flying Firepower: The handicapped but still capable of fighting Benedict the Hawk man who provides air support for his fellow Battleborn with his rocket launcher.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Along with their angular features, the Jennerit race is known for their four-fingered hands. Both traits set them apart from more "human" denizens of the universe.

  • Galactic Conqueror: Lothar Rendain, leader of the Jennerit Imperium who has decided to ally with the Varelsi and aid them in their destruction of the universe on the promise that he and those who follow him would be spared from the universal end and be granted "ascension" to "the passage" to "the other side".
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny:
    • To flaunt their vast wealth, a lot of the LLC's fashion, tech, and weapons incorporate gold in their appearance in varying degrees.
    • The Firstborn bonus pack is a set of exclusive golden skins for Thorn, Reyna, Montana, Marquis, and Rath given to those who choose to pre-order the game.
    • The Open Beta challenges have golden skins of Shayne & Aurox, ISIC, and Benedict as rewards for completing them.
    • Linking your SHIFT account between the game and Battleborn Tap nets you a golden Orendi skin.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: In regards to the conflict between the five main factions, each faction is nuanced in general.
    • The UPR are altruistic soldiers dedicated to rescuing and protecting refugees fleeing from the Varelsi threat. However beneath this otherwise good face, the faction has a dark side, one which is steeped in bureaucracy, draconian law enforcement, and even forbidden genetic experimentation and clone soldier production. This has led them to doing some hard and questionable decisions such as an forceful attempt to set a base on Ekkunar in the past until they were driven off by the Eldrid. Furthermore, where the other factions can be characterized by their position on how to save Solus, the UPR's focus is squarely on the preservation of life, no matter the cost even if the star is lost.
    • The Eldrid are firm believers of being in harmony with natural laws of the universe. They prefer to simply observe, preserve, and catalog all that they can find and be one with nature rather than impose upon it. Although that maybe the case, their beliefs at its core are more the reverence of the natural order of the cosmos itself and less of life. They believe that the universe should be left alone to run its course even if it means natural death and entropy. As such, they greatly oppose anything that would disrupt the natural order of the universe even going so far in some cases as to attack or sabotage the efforts of certain other factions regardless of whatever these factions' motives may be.
    • The LLC are a aristocratic merchant class focused solely on making a profit even at end of the universe. They sell weapons and such to the other factions regardless of the cost as long as they get paid. On top of that, even the kindest of the LLC members have an air of aristocracy, entitlement, and affluence that cannot completely be shed; whether that means a daily assumption that someone is there to clean your dress, or firmware-held beliefs that all beings of lesser classes must be eliminated to raise the value of the remaining universe. While they certainly wish to preserve the universe, if it were to come to a sudden and dramatic end, the LLC would be the group selling tickets to the live stream to watch the last battle.
    • The Rogues are the truest form of outcasts, rejects and wanderers from every civilization and walk of life. They are vagabonds, pirates, raiders, mercenaries, hermits –beings who value personal freedom over anything else. For some Rogues, that freedom means a life of freeing possessions from other people. For other Rogues, it just means living in isolation, free from the rules, restrictions, and conflict of the rest of the universe. While not every Rogue is a criminal, certainly there are a few who just want to be left alone, but most Rogues value freedom and pleasure, sometimes in that order. The Rogues are wild, weird, and individualistic however despite their differences, the Rogues share one thing in common: They do want to survive. They have all spent their lives trying to avoid capture or destruction, and now that their home, the Last Star, is threatened, many of them will put their criminal empires on hold in order to turn their attentions to the real enemies – Rendain and the Varelsi.
    • The Jennerit are the bad guys among the five factions. They're pragmatic and ruthless, more than willing to manipulate and control anything and everything to accomplish their goals and achieve what they view as perfect. They even go so far as to bend the natural laws of the universe in order to gain things such as immortal life. What they can't control or fix to fit their concepts of perfection, they destroy. The Jennerit are in essence everything associated with a stereotypical evil empire. Despite this however, they are not necessarily "the bad guys". Although they fit the bill, not all of them are evil. It's just that they're not nice and have rather "flexible ethics". The Jennerit did ally with the other factions against the Varelsi as the strongest military force before Rendain betrayed everyone and decided to have the Jennerit switch sides. Even then though, the Jennerit are split within Rendain's Imperium between those who follow him and those who rebel against him. In fact, Rendain himself is not exactly evil as he's ultimately driven by a desire to save something of the universe from what he perceives as inevitable even if it means screwing everyone else.
    • Also a Deconstructed Trope since the quirks and traits of all of these factions are what forced people like Trevor Ghalt and the titular Battleborn on trying to stem the tide of Valresi rather than entering in pointless war against each other out of both resources and bitterness.
  • Harmony Versus Discipline:
    • The Eldrid are Harmony as they believe in studying and maintaining the natural order of the universe as well as using and integrating more nature based technology. Although they value nature, that belief however is less the reverence of life and more the reverence of the natural order of the cosmos itself, a concept that involves not only birth and life but also natural death and entropy as well. Thus they'll fiercely oppose anything that would disrupt the natural order, up to and including other factions' efforts to save or destroy Solus.
    • The Jennerit are Discipline as they're a pragmatic and ruthless civilization that change things to suit their ideals and needs. Whether it's prolonging one's life, altering beasts, or even bending the very laws of the universe, they'll manipulate and control anything and everything in order to accomplish their goals and desires. This mindset also includes destroying whatever they can't fix to fit their concepts of perfection.
  • Hold the Line: While some missions may have a task about guarding something, The Saboteur is entirely constructed of these, the final one already infamous for its difficulty.
  • Higher-Tech Species: The Jennerit as a race are the most advanced in terms of technology compared to the rest. They have tech that bends the very laws of the universe to suit their needs. What their tech is capable of includes having artificially positioned their very throneworld of Tempest to suit the liking of the Jennerit upper-class, and the ability to turn individuals into beings that are all but immortal.
  • Hit So Hard, the Calendar Felt It: As revealed in a visit by Randy Varnell at the Battleborn Discord server, the Standard Codex Reckoning (C.R.) calendar came about because of a few very extra-ordinary things. One of those being the natural death of the star Celestis, leaving 1 million active stars to be tracked by the Eldrid on Codex. Other reasons that make year zero big are when the Varelsi first appear and begin darkening uninhabited systems; and Lenore discovering the science of Sustainment.
  • Homeworld Evacuation: As a result of the Varelsi wiping out stars, many races such as the Aelfrin had to evacuate from their homeworlds.
  • Horde of Alien Locusts: The Varelsi, a legion of extra-dimensional cosmic horrors who have been consuming stars to a point that only one star Solus is all that remains in the entire universe.
  • Ideal Illness Immunity: In addition to becoming an never aging immortal, the Jennerit's Sustainment process makes those who've undergone it immune from natural illnesses.
  • Immortality Inducer: The Jennerit have a process called "Sustainment" which makes a being all but immortal. Discovered tens of thousands of years ago by Empress Lenore, the process involves harnessing the dark energies of the universe and using the Sustainment Engine, a device housed in the massive moon-sized starship Exodus, to expend enormous amounts of power in order to make a single being an immortal. This however is extremely energy-expensive, consuming stored energy on a planetary scale just to alter one being. Therefore, Sustainment isn't done often and candidates for sustainment are vetted through a rigorous process before finally being approved by the Empress herself. What's even rarer, and quite unusual, is when a member of a non-Jennerit race is allowed to become Sustained.
  • In Harmony with Nature: The main deal with the Eldrid. They believe in the natural order of the universe and prefer harmonizing with the universal laws rather than altering them as seen with their abilities and technology. For this, they've been called space hippies by other factions. Although they may come off as such, that doesn't mean they're pacifists who'll just hug it out when pushed. They'll fight to preserve the natural order of the universe against those who would disrupt it.
  • Intelligent Gerbil: A good number of the alien races in the lore are basically sapient versions of Earth animals. To name a few, there are the Aviants, Bird People; Pendles' race the Roa, Snake People with snake tail-like Combat Tentacles that naturally molt off upon adulthood; and the Monstrous Seal-like alien race which the main antagonist of the DLC Toby's Friendship Raid belongs to.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: According to the devs, this is what makes the Peacekeepers unique compared to the other factions. Peacekeepers are generally the most well-rounded faction. They don't do the most damage, tank the longest, or move the fastest, but they do all those things well. They also have very few weaknesses to hamstring them. This makes them some of the best utility team players in the game. No matter what the team composition looks like, Peacekeepers work well with everybody and help maintain the team's balance.
  • Justified Extra Lives: The extra lives system in the single-player campaign is handwaved as an LLC system where your character will be warped back to a checkpoint upon taking enough damage and you only get a limited amount of uses due to the LLC being moneygrubbing bastards who seriously stiffed the Battleborn (and possibly all of life if they end up failing due to it...).
  • Lampshade Hanging: Every Battleborn has lines pointing when they seen a mirror match of themselves in a multiplayer match.
    • Leveling up can also be commented on, ranging from just saying they're even more awesome to Oscar Mike giving an attention to all units that he is now slightly better than he was a second ago or Mellka thanking "all the dead guys that brought me here".

  • Magic from Technology: Although the Eldrid are a fantasy inspired faction that uses what by all means would be considered as magic, their "magic" is actually derived from utilizing more science grounded concepts.
  • Master Computer: The Magna Carta the governing AI of all the Magnuses. It kept their programs running in top working condition. When its connection with them vanished for some reason, most Magnuses just straight-up died from being consumed by their own intelligence. Those that survived became crazy in one form or another.
  • Mega-Corp: The Last Light Consortium is comprised of dozens of guilds and corporations. The most notable of these is Minion Robotics which provides all the robot minions and war machines in the setting. In a universe where combatants are running low, Minion Robotics positioned itself to become the "premier provider of custom-built and cost effective war machines for every need in the modern military campaign." They thus have a very dominant monopoly in this market. The company has been around for nearly 500 years, and for most of that time was led by the Magnus CEO, ISIC. During the Great Severance, ISIC left Minion Robotics to seek other "interests." For a brief stint, the CTO of Minion Robotics, Gunnar Kleese, took over as CEO. Well, at least for a few hours until it became painfully apparent that no human could perform the complex administration needed for optimal efficiency.
  • The Mothership: The massive moon-sized starship Exodus for the Jennerit.
  • Named Weapons: The Eldrid often give names to their weapons in the same vein as how certain weapons in fantasy are given names.
    • All three of Rath's swords are named: Axiom, Praxis and Precept (Precept's the big one)
  • Nature Hero: The Eldrid faction's Hat. Their number includes a sentient Fungus and a Space Elf. However, their approach is more in line with a scientific approach to affiliation with nature and its balance, according to Word of God.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The lore from Battleplan 42 mentions in great detail what is essentially a Magnus Ghost Pirate of sorts. Captain Dredge, also known as the Blue Baron, the Terror of the Ring, and the Saint of Black, is a Rogue who's greatly feared by his fellow Rogues.
    Dredge was once a Magnus doctor supposedly designed for modular integration into a variety of operating systems, on account of all the different computers used across the LLC arcfleet. When a 6-year-old boy was brought in for a failing cerebral augment, Dredge was sent to debug it from the inside. While in the boy's brain, that's when the Magna Carta went offline and although the boy was declared brain-dead, Dredge was still around trapped within the boy's brain. Within his fleshy cage, Dredge reformatted the boy from the ground up, learned in microseconds which neurons to fire to draw breath, to pump blood, to raise a hand, to animate the child like a puppet of blood and bone. He then proceeded to turn three of the LLC's finest medical technicians into his unwilling accomplices by driving into the nape of their necks transceiver pylons that transmitted signals to and from Dredge, essentially making them zombies that he controlled. After that he escaped from the LLC and became a Space Pirate with his zombies as his crew.
    Fortunately, Reyna was able to curb Dredge's lust for vengeance upon mortals and organics thus and the Saint of Black and his Sinners Three aboard "The Doomlight" sail under the Rogues' banners, becoming the pride and scorn of the Rogue fleet. That said, there are whispers that Reyna consigns those among the Rogues who get to be too contrary for her taste a tour aboard the Doomlight, basically becoming a crew of the damned that serves Dredge. How much of all this about Dredge is actually true and not simply hearsay though is put into doubt by Reyna herself.
  • Noir Episode: The DLC story operation "Attikus and the Thrall Rebellion" is Attikus' account of the eponymous rebellion via holo sim with some creative liberties taken by him that frames it like a stereotypical Film Noir detective story complete with various tropes commonly associated with the genre.
  • Ominous Walk: Rendain in the E3 2015 trailer.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Rendain. Though it's pretty easy to be one of these now that all of existence is pretty much down to a single star.
  • Organic Technology: In line with the Eldrid's philosophy, many of them use technology that's interwoven with nature. One example of this are the massive Eliim trees that are bio-engineered to be organic knowledge repositories capable of storing massive amounts of data, which only the Eldrid have the technology or ability to retrieve.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: While no true "species" of Giants exists, the Aplians, represented in-game by Ghalt, El Dragon and Montanna, more or less fit the bill. They're at the least heads and shoulders taller than normal humans, with broad, exaggerated physiques and matching strength.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Despite individuals like Rath insisting that they're not vampires, the Jennerit tick on several boxes that basically say that they're space vampires.
    • They look like vampires especially in case of some who have very noticeable fangs. They also use the dark energies of the universe to alter it and themselves to suit their needs, most notably the Sustainment process which using energy siphoned from entire planets can turn those deemed worthy biologically immortal.
    • They have an evil red and black colorscheme and an aesthetic that's according to Word of God a mix of gothic influence and the art style of TRON. Basically this "Gothic Tron" aesthic translates to much of their structures looking like a futuristic Überwald setting complete with floating Dracula castle-like structures, graveyard-like courtyards, and coffin shaped containers. Bats even apparently pop out when said coffin containers are opened.
    • When Rendain took over the Jennerit Empire and decided to ally with the Varelsi, the mission he set the Jennerit on can basically be interpreted as "destroying Suns", a goal that could be interpreted as something a vampire weak to sunlight would seek out.
    • As a faction, they use tech that can manipulate the life energies of other beings thus while they do it in different ways, all of the Jennerit, at least the playable ones from what can be seen, are capable of some form of life steal.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Subverted Trope, Played for Laughs - in The Saboteur mission, Nova trips the facility's alarm because she entered in "password" for the password. She tries "password123" which is also met with failure, leading her to remark "Damn, these guys are good."
  • Pastiche: The way Attikus recounts the events of the Thrall rebellion he led via a simulation in his DLC Story Operation is done in the style of a typical Film Noir story with multiple elements common with the genre. Highlights include:
    • In the story operation, Attikus casts himself as if he were a typical Hardboiled Detective complete with Private Eye Monologue style of talking. He even dons a stereotypical detective trench coat and suit as well as detective fedora when telling it for added effect.
    • Whenever Attikus recounts his story within the operation, the level's colors except for the color red fade to black and white giving it a look which per Word of God is reminiscent of something out of Sin City. Along with this visual change, a jazzy Film Noir score plays as well.
    • In the story operation's trailer, Ambra and Aria are cast by Attikus as if they were a pair of Femme Fatales with Ambra most in particular. In the actual story operation proper, Ambra's Femme Fatale client role is shared alongside Deande and Oscar Mike. With Ambra and Deande, they are also framed in a Lady in Red role via the almost seductress manner they conduct business with Attikus and the clothing they wear which incorporates red. Oscar Mike on the other hand, just has red lipstick on his helmet and bungles the whole Femme Fatale Lady in Red role.
  • The Perfectionist: The Jennerit in general are this. Anything they deem imperfect must be fixed or destroyed. If the Jennerit need to manipulate the laws of the universe in the process, so be it.
  • Planet of Steves: Due to being clones, Oscar Mike and the rest of the Mike clones are all named Mike in one form or another. For example, info from his lore challenges reveals that the leaders of the Mike clones are named King Mike and Queen Mike. Additionally, the Mike clones settled in the past on a planet which they aptly named Planet Mike, so basically a literal interpretation of this trope.
  • Planet Spaceship: The Jennerit have a massive moon-sized starship called the Exodus which houses the Sustainment Engine and massive power facilities capable of storing energy from other planets like Tempest the Jennerit throneworld for use in Sustainment. Despite its massive size, Exodus is capable of faster-than-light travel and often moves from planet-to-planet to collect vast amounts of energy to power Sustainment procedures. Many of the Sustained and those worthy of being Sustained live aboard Exodus, though some still reside on Tempest.
  • Precursors: The Eldrid homeworld Ekkunar was originally settled by a group of beings known as the Aztanti, who eventually spread out across the universe. The Aztanti are believed to be the seed race which eventually evolved into several core races of the Eldrid, a notion scholars generally agree on. Aztanti relics can still be seen stretching across the surfaces of a few of the remaining worlds, especially on Ekkunar and the icy moon of Nylo, Bliss.
  • Protection Mission: There are several missions where you have to protect stationary objects, usually power cores, from attack by waves of enemies. These are some of the toughest levels in the game on advanced difficulty.
  • Proud Merchant Race: The LLC are the aristocratic merchant class of the galaxy at the end of the universe. They are the money and manufacturing arm of… well, everything that is left. They are makers, and bankers, and entertainers, and traders, and sellers, and inventors, and war profiteers. Their ingenuity is only surpassed by their desire to turn a profit.
  • Proud Scholar Race: The Eldrid faction value the natural universe and dedicate great deals of time and resources into observing, preserving, and cataloging all that they find. Although they are pretty much nature loving scientists in this regard, they are not beyond fighting against those who don't comply with their desires and views.
  • Proud Warrior Race: The Jennerit have a strong appreciation for warfare and martial combat. As a society, they venerate warriors of all stripes and participate widely as a culture in observing the events held within the numerous Jennerit Fighting Pits found on almost any settled Jennerit world, both within the lower settlements and the floating cities of their throneworld of Tempest.
  • Punny Name: Oscar Mike, whose gameplay resembles that of a typical CoD player. (For those not in the know, "Oscar Mike" is both an actual military term (On the Move) and a memetic criticism/mockery of Modern Warfare 2's perceived overuse of it during the Russian invasion segments.
  • The Quisling: Coming to the conclusion that the Varelsi threat was inevitable, Lothar Rendain saw that the only practical solution for survival would have to be to ally with these cosmic horrors instead. Although this meant betraying everyone else in the universe aiding the Varelsi in their destruction of the remaining universe, he saw this as the most pragmatic option as the objective was worth it. After all, per the Jennerit motto "Any Deed. Any Price".
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits:
    • The Battleborn are a group made up of individuals from the different factions who have put aside their factions' petty squabbles with one another over the last scraps of the universe to come together and fight the actual enemy destroying the universe. Even those factions themselves have been reduced to internal squabbling, clashes of personalities, and differing ideals, all put together by the glue of "the universe is going to get murdered if we don't saddle up and fight back".
    • On an individual faction level, the Rogues exemplify this the best. Made up of those who don't exactly fit elsewhere and preferring individual freedom over uniformity, they're a completely incohesive collection of individuals that fits the trope to a T.
  • Really 700 Years Old: There are Sustained Jennerit who are nearly 20,000 years old in the universe. Case in point, Lothar Rendain who had served as the right-hand of Empress Lenore for nearly 20,000 years before betraying her.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: The intro is set to "Countdown" by Deltron 3030.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: A prominent and commonly seen color palette with the Jennerit however, while much of their culture paints them as the bad guys, not all of them are necessarily "bad guys". Some are good in the Good Is Not Nice sense while others are genuinely evil. Take Ambra one of the playable Jennerit Battleborn with this color scheme for instance, while the Jennerit's "flexible ethics" makes her come off at times as some magical evil mastermind who has fits of malevolent laughter, she is actually one of the good guys and is actually a Wide-Eyed Idealist who believes wholeheartedly in the beings she's fighting alongside to save the last star. On the other side of the moral spectrum, there's most notably Rendain who fits the evil color scheme as he had decided to aid the Varelsi in their star consuming conquest, a decision which destroyed countless homes and lives. He along with the majority of those who follow him and share the colorscheme are definitely evil.
  • Regenerating Health: Due to Eldrid beliefs, the Eldrid Battleborn don't use shields like the other playable characters. They instead are capable of passively regenerating health as well as having greater amounts of health.
  • Regenerating Shield, Static Health: The majority of the playable Battleborn characters have shields that passively regenerate while their health remains static and requires other means such as healing and Life Drain to be restored. Eldrid Battleborn don't use shields though and instead rely on Regenerating Health.
  • Replay Value:
    • At 25 on launch, they are multiple playable characters with varying playstyles that provide different gameplay experiences. They range from traditional first person shooters to unique melee based characters. When playing story missions with certain characters, they potentially may say unique dialogue that would otherwise not pop up when not playing as them.
    • In addition to picking helix augments which can either enhance or change how a character plays, gear in loadouts when activated can provide further advantages which range from increasing fire rate to providing Life Drain. Gear and credits to buy gear packs though are typically earned in PvE missions and operations. Replaying PvE modes thus gives the opportunity of acquiring really good gear either found in loot boxes or dropped by defeated bosses.
    • The dialogue in the main story missions is not necessarily always the same. One playthrough may have a character saying one thing while another may have the same character saying something different. There is a whole variety of potential dialogue that can pop up as well as be mixed with others in missions. Add the fact that certain characters played in certain missions may chime in with unique dialogue, replaying a mission can be different each time dialogue-wise.
    • Replayability is at the heart of the DLC story operations. The main focus in them are the Ops points which can be collected through completing certain objectives and finding the points in certain chests. Collecting Ops points at certain amounts will give out rewards. An operation's difficulty will also scale depending on the amount of Ops points possessed in a number of forms such as enemies becoming harder, new harder objectives appearing, and bosses having new moves to name a few. A max of 100 Ops points can be possessed however only 50 points can be collected in a single playthrough. Replaying is thus encouraged as 5 points is awarded at the start of each subsequent playthrough for each previous successful one. So 5 points will be given at the start of the second playthrough, 10 for the third, 15 for the fourth, and so forth up to 50.
    • Among the rewards of the DLC story operations are skins and faction commander packs. Each character has 2 skins, one awarded at 40 and 85 points. For the 40 points skin reward, after completing the operation for at least 8 times, a character merely has to be used to complete the operation once to receive the skin as at least 40 points are given at the start. Faction commander packs are awarded at 60 and 100 points, and are based on which faction the character used to complete an operation playthrough belongs to. For the 60 points pack reward, it can only be obtained once per faction. The 100 points pack reward on the other hand, can always be obtained provided that 100 points are collected at the end of an operation.
    • In addition to the Ops point system, the other replayability draw for the DLC story operations is the episode-like story across multiple playthroughs each operation has. Unlike in missions where dialogue is somewhat random per se, the dialogue in operations is constant and changes on each subsequent playthrough run thus painting a storyline of sorts across multiple sessions that reveals lore about characters. This presentation is described by Word of God as akin to watching a Netflix season of episodes with each individual operation being a season and each individual playthrough run being an episode. With up to 10 "episodes" per operation, it heavily encourages replayability.
  • The Republic: The Peacekeepers used to be this. Now they're just a ragtag fleet of badasses
  • Robot War: In the distant past, the LLC faced a number of robotic revolutions. Fortunately these were solved through tentative, but profitable, peace negotiations. Since then, they have accepted and recognized artificial intelligences (known as "Magnuses") as equal members of their society. Now, the faction is split nearly equally between humans, Magnuses, and hybrids of the two, and they have avoided additional robot revolutions for nearly two centuries.
  • RPG Episode: The lore of Battleplan 35 has Shayne, Galilea, Beatrix, Phoebe, and Mellka having a Girls' Night Out Episode playing a session of Minions and Mazes, a Dungeons And Dragons parody. Shayne is the Game Master while Galilea roleplays as Hecta, a Zomboid Star Knight; Beatrix roleplays Eurydice, a Dryad Animancer; Phoebe roleplays as Hulkuleez, a Troglodon Berserker; and Mellka roleplays as Nelka, a Half-Human Death-Jester.

  • Sacrificial Planet:
    • Due to the Varelsi consuming stars in the universe, countless planets were rendered completely uninhabitable from the loss of their stars which provided heat and gravitational stability for them. This of course is counting only the majority of planets. There are a few rare cases wherein the Varelsi not only drag stars back into their dark dimension but also whole planets as well. With Solus being the last remaining star left in the universe, the number of habitable planets and places is terrifyingly scarce.
    • The prologue web motion comic depicts the event wherein the planet of Penarch was destroyed. It's loss was one of the reasons that prompted Ghalt to form the Battleborn in order to protect what's left.
  • Scary Librarian: As the keeper of Eldred knowledge, "Chronicle" in "The Archive" mission technically qualifies. He will often shout things like "Quiet! Quiet in the library!" and "Enemies of free thought!" while mowing down enemies with machine guns.
  • Science Fantasy: Although the game is deeply sci-fi based, it has a number of things that are more fantasy in basis. These include among things, magical abilities derived from science grounded concepts and Magic from Technology technology. The most notable of all of these however are the Eldrid, an entire faction consisting of fantasy inspired individuals whose number includes a sentient Fungus, a Space Elf, a space dwarf, and a skeletal ice golem.
  • Screw Yourself: Implied via info from Oscar Mike and Whiskey Foxtrot's lore challenges. The heads of Planet Mike, home of the Mike clones, and essentially the entire Mike clone nation are King Mike and Queen Mike.
  • Shattered World: The planet Ekkunar, homeworld of the Eldrid is this. Some cataclysm fractured the planet several thousand years ago. While still basically spherical, huge geological chunks of the planet are separated from one another, exposing the molten core of Ekkunar. The brightest scientists in the remaining universe are still trying to ascertain why the planet hasn’t flown apart or settled back in on itself. The best guesses still fall back to near mysticism, citing the universe-law-bending Varelsi or some arcane machinery of Ekkuni Dwarves.
  • Shiny-Looking Spaceships: The LLC with their mindset to showcase their wealth have these.
  • Ship Level: The whole story arc of the DLC story operation "Toby's Friendship Raid" takes place across the DLC villain's fleet of factory ships with the Rogues infiltrating each ship one after the other per playthrough. Due to how operations work, it's handwaved that the factory ships are practically identical though the leopard seal argues that since each ship of his has minor cosmetic differences, they're not all the same. This however doesn't stop other characters from commenting how completely identical the ships are.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work: Solus is stated to be the last star in the universe yet outer space is still littered with millions of lights. This falls in line with the whole speed of light delay wherein light travels millions of light years before it actually disappears. It's still somewhat of an exaggeration though since the supposed stars these remaining lights came from would have to be much closer to Solus and also pretty much still existing in order for their lights to be seen. It's all however a bit excusable given the setting of the game wherein a legion of cosmic horrors are snuffing out stars ahead of their natural lifespans.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • In general, the five factions are too busy fighting each other over resources in a universe on the brink of heat death rather than band together to protect the last star from being snuffed out by a legion of cosmic horrors. Sick of this, Ghalt decided to form the Battleborn.
    • The UPR in general are far too focused on protecting everyone and following very obstructive bureaucratic rules to properly make an effort against the Varelsi. They spend more resources on rescuing people from the cosmic horrors than on mounting a proper offense against said horrors themselves.
    • The LLC in general are more concerned for making money by selling weapons and other stuff to the other factions than anything else. The end of the universe is a concern for them but only because it's bad for business.
    • The Eldrid in general are more focused on preserving the natural laws of the universe even if it leads to dire consequences caused by natural entropy and such.
    • The Rogues in general want to survive but they also want to be free and not be tied down by rules. As such instead of working with others, they'd rather look out for their own self interests even if it means stealing invaluable resources.
    • The Jennerit under Rendain in general have decided to ally with the Varelsi in order to survive the inevitable darkness. That however means accelerating the heat death of the universe and pretty much screwing everyone else.
    • The universe at risk of freezing to death because insane aliens are killing every star? Screw that, let's fight for resources and territory - and it's the canon explanation for the player-versus-player modes.
      • Two angry and well-equipped mercenary factions ripping it up nearby? Great place for Thrall mercenaries to set up camp and possibly get horribly murdered! At the very least, there IS a 50/50 chance they'll just hire them instead...
  • Slave Race: Thralls are this as they are widely used per the Jennerit Fantastic Caste System for labor and as grunt warriors. Most of the Jennerit Battleborn will clearly regard them as beneath them in some way as they cut through them in the story missions.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness: A legion of cosmic horrors have been consuming stars to a point that the universe is at the verge of heat death. It's thus up to a Ragtag bunch of Badasses to put aside their factions' differences to come together and defend the last star. An otherwise serious story however it's set in various vibrant colorful settings and filled with characters that are just as colorful in more ways than one thus giving the whole thing a feeling reminiscent of a Saturday Morning Cartoon.
  • Society of Immortals: Those who have attained immortality via the Jennerit's Sustainment process are called the Sustained and within the Fantastic Caste System of the Jennerit culture, they are at the top. Because of the huge energy consumption required to just make a single Sustained, there is but a select number of these Sustained consisting only of those who been deemed worthy enough to be granted the privilege of immortality. Furthermore due to things such as the Jennerit's view of most other races, Sustained are typically of the Jennerit race and it's a rather rare and quite unusual case when a Sustained happens to be a non-Jennerit.
  • Space Elves: The core race of the Eldrid faction, the Aelfrin are this. They resemble a typical fantasy elf race being that they are tall, agile, Long-Lived, prefer bows and knives, and are fervent protectors of the natural order of the universe.
  • Space Nomads: As a result of the Varelsi consuming stars, everyone in the universe is forced to become this. Most notable are the United Peacekeeping Republics and the Last Light Consortium with the latter being more based in space via their Arcfleet than the former.
  • Spider Tank: The spider sentries which are huge robot tanks that have a spider-like appearance with their multiple legs and all. Many of them believe their spideriness extends to more than their appearance and even want to be actual giant spiders. Most notable of them is Geoff who completely believes he's an actual giant spider and has dubbed himself Arachnis the Spider King, Lord of all spiders. Geoff in fact seems to be major influence in encouraging the idea among the sentries further based on some lines of dialogue.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Monday Night Combat, being a shooter with strong MOBA elements.
  • Standard Sci-Fi Fleet:
    • The Last Light Consortium Arcfleet is a commercially driven armada that operates primarily to optimize profits, even as everything is close to blinking out of existence. Long ago, the LLC moved all their residences and operations arcology ships, making the Arcfleet one of the largest continuous fleets in the universe. As the Varelsi were destroying every planet they could set up manufacturing facilities on, it was deemed hardly cost effective and thus necessary for the LLC to mobilize their workforce for peak efficiency (and survival). With 3800 Guildships and nearly 250000 arcships in the fleet, the LLC rely upon a networked system of A.I.s collaborating to do anything from coordinating fleet travel to outputting new lines of sentry drones at Minion Robotics.
      Incredibly ornate Guildships signal the technological opulence valued throughout the Arcfleet. While these ships are loaded with inhabitants according to trade - artisans, lawyers, and accountants to name a few - there are a handful of exquisite ships in the Arcfleet. Beyond the behemoths responsible for manufacturing drones for Minion Robotics, a few of the more notable ships are Drone Carrier Thrax (suspected to contain the central intelligence of the Magnus, Magna Carta), the famous Galatic Arena, and ships housing some of the more celebrated families in the LLC.
    • The United Peacekeeping Republics possess a fleet of ships of varying space faring civilizations driven from their homes by the Varelsi. Due to the efforts of the Varelsi, the fleet has been growing. The Last Light Consortium Arcfleet was once a part of this fleet of ships but after the UPR were driven out from Ekkunar by the Eldrid when the UPR attempted to establish a base on the planet, the LLC and their fleet seceded from the UPR.
  • The Stars Are Going Out: The universe is on the brink of Universal Heat Death and only one star remains.
  • Stop Poking Me!: If you go into the Gear part of the Command section before you gain any ranks, Nova will explain to you that you're not allowed to use it until Rank 3... and then get aggravated if you refuse to listen to her and keep clicking around in there.
  • Taunt Button: Much like Monday Night Combat, there's one. Unlike Monday Night Combat, it is entirely for kicks with no actual reason to it in gameplay (unless you're hoping your kill will get psychologically tilted).
  • Too Dumb to Live: The wolf sentry in the mission "The Void's Edge" is tasked with destroying a Varelsi portal by leaping into it and detonating a huge pack of explosives. Because this will obviously kill him, Kleese programmed him to be totally oblivious to the suicidal outcome of the mission, literally making him too dumb to live. When Kleese explains what the wolf sentry has to do, the sentry bot replies "Awesome, that sounds both fun and safe."
  • Top-Heavy Guy: Montana, Boldur, El Dragon, Attikus...most dudes in Battleborn really, even the corpses of UPR soldiers lying around in story missions look like they've skipped leg day. The exceptions to this are pretty much all clearly inhuman another way aside from Kleese.
  • The Unfettered: The Jennerit in general are this as they'll do anything at any cost in order to achieve their goals. This is so much so that their culture's official motto is: "Any Deed. Any Price."
  • Universal Universe Time: Based on the various dates used in the Alternative Calendar calendar of Battleborn, the setting has this.
  • Uplifted Animal: The Jennerit Thralls are altered beasts who have been given a modicum of intelligence and are widely employed as a slave race for labor and as grunt warriors. One particular Thrall, Attikus is however unique among his kind as he was attached with a powerful cybernetic work harness that unexpectedly greatly augmented not only his strength but his mind as well.
  • The Usurper: Lothar Rendain was originally the right-hand of Empress Lenore and served as such for nearly 20,000 years. However when he came to the conclusion that the only practical solution to survive the threat of the Varelsi would be to ally with them instead, he led a coup against the Empress and took over the Jennerit Empire for which it was renamed under him as the Jennerit Imperium.
  • Wham Episode: The entirety of the Phoebe and the Heart of Ekkunar DLC Story Operation is a wham episode in itself due to its content. First off, a Varelsi telepathically speaks, a thing not encountered before as far as most know since the cosmic horrors simply attack and not communicate. The boss of the operation is an ancient construct resembling the gold dual shield wielding statue often seen in Jennerit locales. Lorewise, it's revealed that the Thralls are actually the descendants of the ancient Aztanti; and that the Aztanti actually opened a portal to the Void and encountered the Varelsi, making the first encounter with the cosmic horrors much earlier than recorded. Also while not outright confirmed, it provides the possibility that Empress Lenore as well as everyone and everything else that has been veiled may still be alive in the Void. The biggest whammy however is at the very end of the 10th playthrough run. Rendain returns.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: The Varelsi are snuffing out stars but the various factions are too busy fighting with one another to do anything about it. Fortunately, Trevor Ghalt sees the folly of all these needless infighting and so sends out a call requesting others to put aside their differences and instead come together to stop the Varelsi. Thus are the Battleborn formed.
  • World Half Full: See Bittersweet Ending entry, which the ending of Heliophage is this trope. Rendain has been vanished to the Void but Valresi will one day consume Solus or stalled until the end of the system's lifespan. However, the Battleborn managed to achieve small victories with the momentum of Valresi invasion being crippled without the command of Rendain. As a result, Cosmic Horror Story nature of its universe finally got its breather. Out of their decision to die alone in We ARE Struggling Together or fight together as a united force, they chose the latter.
  • World of Snark: As per usual for Gearbox.
  • You Mean "Xmas": In the spirit of the holidays, the lore from Battleplan 31 has the Battleborn share with one another the holidays that each of their different factions celebrate. Many of these have aspects that would make them analogous to Christmas in some form or another.
    • The Rogues have Newshines Day, a relatively new holiday, wherein everyone swaps their external navigation lamps to all sorts of brilliant colors, wears helmets with mylar blinders on, gets an excuse to put on their ugliest space suit for the Brightwalk and watch Solus flare up while enjoying egg-grog. How one drinks egg-grog whilst wearing a space suit and helmet is a trade secret though. At midnight however is the best part, at least according to Pendles. That being Newshines Shoe-Shine. Basically once a year, one takes a gob of spit and some elbow grease to wipe away all the muck and grime that they've accumulated on their shoes. The result of which Pendles claims are sneakers prepped for a fresh new year of sneaking experiences.
    • The LLC have a holiday whose name is still being workshopped a bit but for the moment is called Company Holiday 17. While it's still being decided by the guild whether it will be recurring or not, the holiday is basically a day off. Other than being a day off, there's nothing else to it than that except possibly for the Friday before being Casual Friday wherein one can wear silver trimmings instead of gold if they so choose. Although Company Holiday 17 sounds lame since everyone just gets a day off, it however is a very big deal according to El Dragón as EVERYONE gets the day off, and for liability purposes, everyone HAS to take the holiday. This includes internal security, the legal team, basically everyone. Furthermore, LLC employees aren't accountable for any damage to company property or staff for 24 hours. Because of this, Mellka upon hearing about this little detail regarding the holiday points out something that didn't cross El Dragón's mind before, or anyone else from the LLC apparently. The holiday could be exploited as a grudge day wherein everyone just does what they want and you can steal and fight and vandalize junk to vent all your pent-up frustrations. Basically, the LLC without much apparent foresight have a holiday that could be exploited in a manner similar to something like The Purge.
    • The Eldrid have Lightbloom, a celebration wherein everyone gives a "gift" in the morning. The gift is usually a plant or something, sometimes an egg, sometimes a rock, but whatever one gets, they’re supposed to be thankful because it represents the natural beauty of life. Then at the night of Lightbloom, the celebrants open their gift, or it blooms, or hatches, or… sits there, if they got a rock. They then tie the flower, or the shell, or rock to a moonbulb which is a glowing, floating plant from Ekkunar, and then let it float off into oblivion. Everyone just gets one gift and according to the Green Observer, the tradition will help to regulate the migratory patterns of the amber starhawk since the sky, thanks to the Varelsi, is disappearing.
    • The UPR have the BUF Festival, a very simple holiday wherein all one has to remember is 3 F's: Fireworks, Feats of Strength, and Falafel. BUF of course stands for "Bright Universe Festival". While the explanation is simple enough, it did prompted Kelvin to ask, "So, the UPR celebrates the rekindling of Solus with the 'Bright Universe Festival' Festival, with 3 F's?" To this, Whiskey Foxtrot says to not bother questioning as he himself had already tried explaining to "these jackasses".
    • The Jennerit have Solus Day, a new holiday which commemorates when the Battleborn defeated Rendain and the Heliophage was destroyed. Starting at dawn, Exodus the Jennerit's orbital mega-ship follows Solus' path across the sky, gradually eclipsing more and more of Solus until it reaches its zenith. An artificial total eclipse is then created. Afterwards, the eclipse ends, there's a Viper flyover, a masquerade, and etc. It's a thrilling spectacle according to Deande.