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List of Borderlands franchise characters

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Borderlands is a series of action role-playing first-person shooter video games in a space western science fantasy setting, created by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games. The franchise currently consists of five games, Borderlands (2009), Borderlands 2 (2012), Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (by 2K Australia), Tales from the Borderlands (a spin-off by Telltale Games), and Borderlands 3 (2019). It also includes two comic book series, three novels and a film currently in development by Lionsgate.

All Characters are listed in alphabetical order.

Main characters[edit]

Amara[edit]

A Siren vigilante who fought criminals on her homeworld, she decided to travel the galaxy in search of greater challenges.

Her Action Skills include a Phasegrasp that holds an enemy in place similar to Maya's Phaselock, a Phaseslam that has her perform a powerful melee attack that knocks enemies away and a Phasecast that sends forward an Astral Projection to damage anything that gets in its way.

Athena[edit]

A former Crimson Lance assassin, who escaped to help the Vault Hunters loot Knoxx's armory. Afterwards, she travelled around Pandora as a gun-for-hire before taking a job as a Vault Hunter for a lowly Hyperion programmer by the name of Jack, becoming one of his chief lieutenants in his rise to power. Janey Springs from Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is Athena’s girlfriend.

Her Action Skill lets her pull out her Kinetic Aspis, a shield that absorbs all frontal damage, building up power before being tossed at the nearest enemy.

Aurelia Hammerlock[edit]

The sister and arch-enemy of Sir Hammerlock, Aurelia is the heiress of the Hammerlock family fortune who travels the galaxy to hunt dangerous creatures and to plague her brother's existence (often both at the same time). Growing bored, she came to Pandora on safari, eventually getting tangled up with Jack's entourage.

Her action skill has her throw out her Frost Diadem Shard located on her left arm. The charm automatically homes in on nearby targets and attaches to them, dealing Cryo damage in an area around them.

Axton[edit]

A former commando for the Dahl Corporation, Axton was forced out of service due to his glory hound ways (which resulted in far too much collateral damage), which also cost him his marriage. He became a bounty hunter until he was lured to Pandora by Handsome Jack with promises of fame, fortune, and glory.

Axton's skill involves deploying his Sabre Turret, which provides supporting fire and other benefits.

Brick[edit]

A simple-minded Vault Hunter who likes punching things and is designated "as himself" in the original game's opening sequence whereas the other characters are given descriptive titles, though his official class designation is the "Berserker". In-between games, Brick was expelled from the Crimson Raiders after brutally murdering Shep Sanders, a minor character from the first game, for leaking the location of New Haven to Hyperion, enabling the attack that killed Brick's pet puppy among many others. He henceforth became the bandit leader known as "The Slab King" before eventually rejoining the Crimson Raiders during the course of 2.

Claptrap[edit]

A type of Hyperion robot designed to provide assistance to settlers and newcomers to Pandora. They are almost universally hated by the population of the planet, and the bandits use them as target practise. The one who greets the Vault Hunters in Fyrestone is the most ubiquitous, and becomes a more major character in the second game, eventually becoming a playable character in the Pre-Sequel.

His action skill has him run VaultHunter.exe, a buggy program that analyses the battlefield and grants him a random ability it deems appropriate for the situation.


FL4K[edit]

A mysterious beast tamer. Little is known about them except that the bandits consider them "totally badass." Originally an indexing bot who served a Grand Archivist, they achieved self-awareness as well as developing a thirst for murder.

They come with the ability to have one of three pets out at all times: A Spiderant that gives them passive health regen, a Jabber equipped with a pistol that boosts their movement speed and a Skag that boosts their damage, all of which can evolve depending on certain augments. Their Action Skills allow them to summon Rakks to attack his enemies, create a radioactive rift to teleport their pets and a cloak that lets them perform three auto-crits.

Gaige the Mechromancer[edit]

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

Krieg[edit]

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

His Action Skill has him go on a rampage with his buzz axe, regaining health for every kill.

Lilith[edit]

Lilith Cashlin; a Siren, one of six women in the universe born with mysterious powers, she came to Pandora after hearing rumors there was another Siren on the planet. By the second game, her powers have been enhanced by Eridium, and she is waging a one-woman war against the bandits of the Tundra so that Roland and the Crimson Raiders can focus on Jack. She dated Roland between games.

Maya[edit]

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

Her skill is Phaselock, letting her trap, damage, or control enemies.

Mordecai[edit]

An extremely effective sniper (despite his alcoholism) accompanied by a bird named Bloodwing, whose companionship he generally prefers over other humans. In the sequel, he is the advance scout for the Crimson Raiders. Following Bloodwing's mutation and death by Hyperion, she is eventually succeeded as Mordecai's pet by another bird named Talon.

Moze[edit]

A former member of the Vladof Ursa Corps. After a disastrous once last job, she decided to go AWOL alongside her mech.

Her Action Skill deploys her Iron Bear mech armor that she rides in, which can be customized with a variety of weapons such as chain guns, grenade launchers, and railguns.

Nisha[edit]

An intensely cruel and sadistic woman introduced as an optional boss in the second game, where she is known only as the "Sheriff" of Lynchwood, a Hyperion-controlled town serving as an effective bandit concentration camp where she is permitted to execute inhabitants en masse for any behavior she deems criminal. She is the current girlfriend of Handsome Jack, and was given the city as an anniversary present. Her actual name is only established in The Pre-Sequel, where she is a playable character.

Her Action Skill has her temporarily lock onto enemies while gaining substantial buffs, locking onto critical spots when aiming down sights.

Roland[edit]

An ex-Crimson Lance soldier who quit after his corrupt superiors tried to frame and kill him. By the second game, he has reforged the remnants of the Lance and other survivors on Pandora into the Crimson Raiders, the anti-Hyperion resistance. He dated Lilith between games and is unceremoniously murdered by Handsome Jack near the end of 2 in the immediate aftermath of Angel's death.

Salvador[edit]

A heavily-built but height-stunted (due to steroid abuse) Pandoran native who was lured into becoming a Vault Hunter by a Hyperion raid on his village, which promised him violence and challenge in equal measure.

His skill is Gunzerking, allowing him to regenerate health and ammo, become resistant to damage, and dual-wield weapons.

"Jack"[edit]

An actor by the name of Timothy Lawrence who was surgically altered to look and sound like Jack to act as his body double. He was conceived by the developers as an excuse to effectively make Handsome Jack playable despite his crucial non-playable role in The Pre-Sequel. Designated in-game as the "Doppelgänger" class, his unique abilities revolve around summoning digitally projected copies of himself.

Wilhelm[edit]

Wilhelm is a Hyperion cyborg who serves Handsome Jack, and who nearly defeated the original Vault Hunters after the events of Borderlands. Originally a legendary mercenary/bodyguard who became obsessed with enhancing himself via cybernetics, he signed on as a Vault Hunter under Jack after he was offered a couple million dollars.

His action skill lets him summon Wolf and Saint, two Surveyor Drones that attack his enemies and heal him respectively.

Zane Flynt[edit]

A retired assassin who has done work for every corporation and the third of the Flynt siblings. After making too many powerful enemies, he decided to lay low on Pandora.

He makes use of various gadgets for his Action Skills such as a flying drone that attacks his enemies, a holographic decoy that can both attack and distract his enemies and a deployable barrier that both protects his allies and amplifies their damage when they shoot through it.

Zer0[edit]

An extremely mysterious assassin who came to Pandora to find a challenge worthy of his skills; speaks almost entirely in haiku. Designed as a deliberate homage to the common archetype of enigmatic warriors, it is not even known whether he is human.

His skill is Deception, which creates a holographic decoy while he turns invisible, allowing him to strike suddenly for massive damage.

Recurring characters[edit]

Supporting Characters[edit]

Angel[edit]

A mysterious woman who helps both sets of Vault Hunters with information and missions. She is revealed to be broadcasting from a hacked Hyperion satellite named "4N631" at the end of the first game.

In the second game, she continues to help, now admitting to being an A.I. However, it is later revealed that she is a Siren and Handsome Jack's daughter, and per his instruction she reluctantly betrays the Vault Hunters halfway through the game, nearly getting Sanctuary destroyed in the process. Having spent most of her life plugged into the Hyperion network and pumped full of Eridium to charge the Vault Key ever since accidentally killing her mother as a child, Angel eventually encourages the Vault Hunters to euthanize her, which Jack subsequently blames them for entirely despite his treatment of his daughter being the reason she wanted to die, even calling him an asshole with her final words.

Crazy Earl[edit]

The owner of a scrapyard, Crazy Earl is an angrily antisocial man who is only seen as a face through a slot in a door which he always stays behind. In both sequels, he operates a black market sells special items for Eridium.

Dr. Zed Blanco[edit]

An surgeon first met in Fyrestone at the beginning of the first game, Zed is the proprietor of the vending machines supplying healing items and protection-based equipment throughout the series, despite the fact that his license to practice was revoked. The first DLC of the first game features his evil twin brother, Dr. Ned.

Ellie[edit]

Scooter's obese sister and fellow mechanic, introduced in the second game and becoming much more prominent in 3 following her brother's death. One major series of side missions in 2 revolves around her deliberately orchestrating the escalation of a long-standing blood feud between her biological family, the Hodunks, from whom Moxxi estranged herself and her children to protect them from their incestuous tendencies, and the Irish Zaford clan into an all-out war out of spite and boredom.

Helena Pierce[edit]

The mayor of New Haven in the first game, she is identifiable by her mangled face which is a result of having worn a necklace made of a material that attracted skags to attack her. In between games, Pierce became a lieutenant in the Crimson Raiders when Hyperion moved in and was eventually murdered by Handsome Jack, as revealed in a series of audio logs early on in the sequel.

Janey Springs[edit]

A lesbian mechanic living on Elpis introduced in The Pre-Sequel, fulfilling a role equivalent to that of Scooter and Ellie in the other games. She and Athena become a couple subsequent to the game's events.[1]

Mad Moxxi[edit]

A heavily sexualized woman introduced during the first game via her eponymous DLC, Moxxi has been married and divorced at least three different times, including to Marcus, and is later established to be the mother of Scooter and Ellie. In subsequent games, her colosseum has been destroyed and she now operates a bar in Sanctuary.

Marcus Kincaid V[edit]

An outwardly friendly but extremely amoral arms dealer who operates all weaponry-vending machines on Pandora and elsewhere as well as narrating the beginning of each game.

Patricia Tannis[edit]

An archaeologist suffering from Asperger syndrome and demonstrating comically exaggerated antisocial tendencies, previously sent to Pandora by the Dahl Corporation to investigate the alien ruins, where the deaths of her colleagues drove her further into insanity and isolation prior to being located and recruited by the players. In Borderlands 3, she is revealed to be a Siren, having inherited Angel's powers upon her death.

Scooter[edit]

The stereotypical redneck operator of the Catch-A-Ride systems, which spawn in-game vehicles. Scooter is described as a savant when it comes to machines despite his general idiocy. He dies heroically in Tales from the Borderlands and is replaced as the primary vehicular manager in 3 by his sister.

Sir Hammerlock[edit]

Alistair Hammerlock is an archtypical gentleman hunter introduced in Borderlands 2. He is identifiable by his multiple robotic limbs, necessitated due to injuries from a past encounter with a giant thresher named Old Slappy, whom the player is eventually given the opportunity to slay on his behalf. He is the titular main NPC of the third major DLC, Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt. Hammerlock is openly homosexual, and becomes engaged to Wainwright Jakobs at the end of 3.

Teddy "TK" Baha[edit]

One of the first characters the first Vault Hunters meet, TK is a blind hermit with a weird sense of humor and a shotgun. He is killed by bandits offscreen midway through the game, but returns as a zombie in subsequent DLC.

Tiny Tina[edit]

Tiny Tina is a young, eccentric girl first introduced in Borderlands 2, who is fascinated by bombs and explosions.

Tiny Tina is voiced by Ashly Burch in both games. Her brother, Anthony Burch, was a writer for Gearbox and envisioned Tiny Tina after his sister, leading her to get the role in the second game.[2]

Mr. Torgue[edit]

Torgue High-Five Flexington is the founder of the Torgue corporation, which specializes in weaponry that fires explosive projectiles. He is introduced in the Campaign of Carnage DLC of Borderlands 2. Mr. Torgue's personality is an exaggerated caricature of several "manly" and "badass" stereotypes.

Antagonists[edit]

Bandits[edit]

Bandits are one of the primary human enemies encountered on Pandora. They are divided into different clans indicated by slight differences in appearance. The Bandit clans were formed from the released convict labour workforce of the Dahl corporation after it abandoned its operations on Pandora prior to the first game. Bandits come in various types including psychos, midgets/tinks, and the heavily mutated goliaths. Notable bandits include:

Baron Flynt: One of the highest-ranking bandits in the first game, he lords over the Salt Flats from an abandoned mining rig.

Captain Flynt: The brother of Baron Flynt and the first major boss of Borderlands 2.

Flanksteak: Leader of the Bloodshots, who have kidnapped Roland in the second game. Despite having a great deal of dialogue, he is never met in-person due to being killed by Hyperion forces bent on capturing Roland for themselves.

Flesh-Stick: A psycho involved in human trafficking who is responsible for the capture and death of Tiny Tina's parents at the hands of Hyperion. Instead of killing him, the player is tasked with luring him to Tina's lair without doing so so that she can torture him to death under the pretense of a tea party.

Krom: Turret-operating boss of the Rust Commons in the first game, and second in command to Baron Flynt.

Mad Mel: Leader of the vehicle-riding bandits who have been stealing Scooter's runners in the first game. His name references actor Mel Gibson and his iconic role of Mad Max.

Mr. Shank: The inmate leader of Lockdown Palace, and Moxxi's second husband, despite which he is heavily implied to be homosexual in accordance with stereotypes of prison sexuality, though he denies this. He kidnaps Athena in the Knoxx DLC.

Nine-Toes: The leader of the bandits attacking Fyrestone in the first game, and the very first boss of the entire series.

Sledge: A massive bandit leader characterized by a love of midgets and close combat.

Steve: A mascot of the series, alongside Claptrap; associated with the exclamation "Heyoo!". In the second game, he is encountered as an associate of the Zaford clan.

Taylor and Jaynis Kobb: A pair of brothers fighting over a bandit town in Rust Commons East.

Pain and Terror: Two high-profile members of the Children of the Vault who pilot a machine called the Agonizer 9000, itself situated within the mobile base known as Carnivora. Pain is voiced by and physically modeled after Penn Jillette, while the voiceless Terror is based on Penn's similarly silent partner Teller.

Crimson Lance[edit]

The Crimson Lance was the military arm of the Atlas Corporation sent to retrieve the Vault key and secure the vault after intercepting a message from Dr. Tannis. The Lance was eventually disbanded after the death of General Knoxx in Borderlands. Most members opted to join Roland and the other vault hunters in the resistance forming the Crimson Raiders.

Admiral Mikey[edit]

A five-year-old that was Admiral of the Crimson Lance 3rd Starborne Brigade, which unfortunately makes him Knoxx's superior officer. He's one of the reasons why Knoxx hates what Atlas is.

Commandant Helga Steele[edit]

The leader of the Crimson Lance in the vanilla game, dedicated to finding and plundering the Vault first. She is unceremoniously killed without a fight by the Destroyer at the end, but does return in fightable form as a minion of Claptrap in the final DLC. Steele is a Siren, possibly the one Lilith came to Sanctuary in search of, but her powers are never demonstrated in-game.

General Knoxx[edit]

The beleaguered general of the Crimson Lance after Steele botches the job, he is deeply annoyed by everything to do with Pandora and his superior, the five-year-old Admiral Mikey. When confronted, he is about to commit suicide, but upon seeing the player(s) opts to die fighting them instead.

Handsome Jack[edit]

Jack is the President of the Hyperion Corporation, which takes control of the planet Pandora and the main antagonist of Borderlands 2. He also appears in Tales from the Borderlands as an AI, and in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, which follows his rise to power.

Tyreen and Troy Calypso[edit]

The leaders of the Children of the Vault and the main antagonists of Borderlands 3; Tyreen is a Siren while Troy is her parasitic twin whom she shares her powers with in order to keep him alive. They are revealed toward the end of the game to be the offspring of Typhon DeLeon. The Calypsos frequently make live broadcasts for their bandit followers in which their presentation of themselves parodies real-life social media influencers.

Wildlife[edit]

The wildlife of Pandora are the most commonly encountered enemies within the franchise. Like other secondary enemies, each species ranges in size elemental attributes and weaknesses. Notable wildlife include bullymongs, skags, varkids, rakks, spiderants, threshers and crystallisks.

References[edit]

  1. https://thenextweb.com/gaming/2019/08/16/damn-near-everyone-is-queer-in-the-borderlands-franchise-and-im-here-for-it/
  2. Good, Owen (April 14, 2019). "Borderlands 3 brings back Ashly Burch in her first big role". Polygon. Retrieved April 14, 2019.


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