Pandora awaits! The highly anticipated return of the Borderlands series is just around the corner. But while we may have to wait until September to strap in for a new adventure in Borderlands 3, there is still plenty of content from the series on current generation consoles to whet our appetites.
Tearing through bandits as any one of the famed Vault Hunters never loses its appeal. Pandora is also home to some wacky indigenous life. But as colorful as the world may seem, nothing is quite as zany as the NPC characters that populate the lawless planet or its moon, Elpis. We're also excluding Tiny Tina from the list because well, that's a bit too obvious.
10 Sir Hammerlock
“Excuse me, madam! You, with the makeup – could I have some lager, please? Completely ignored. Wonderful.”
During his introductory sequence, the character is reduced to three words: Hunter, Scholar, and Gentleman. Aside from the fact that he is also a cyborg, those three words perfectly embody Sir Hammerlock’s persona.
After first encountering the mustachioed Englishman in the Southern Shelf of Borderlands 2 he tasks the Vault Hunter with hunting and studying the wildlife of the planet. Unfortunately, he tempted fate and his robotic replacements for appendages are the results of getting too close to a thresher he named Old Slappy. Hammerlock satiates his vengeance by sending the Vault Hunters to put the beast down for good.
9 T.K. Baha
“Dagnabbit, I may be blind, widowed, crippled, and undead, but I haven’t lost my sunny disposition!”
Somewhat of a hermit, T.K. Baha had a bit of a tough run at life. He was forced to flee to Pandora in order to protect his weapons designs from Hyperion. Then his wife was killed by a giant skag known as Scar who he lost his eyesight and one leg to in an effort to end the beast. Finally, he died at the hands of bandits in his own home.
That didn’t stop the wisecracker from finding humor in all this tragedy. In Borderlands, his shanty residence can be found on the outskirts of Fyrestone – the place where the original Vault Hunters’ journey begins. Death didn’t stop him from returning as a colorful zombie in The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned and the Halloween Borderlands 2 DLC Bloody Harvest.
8 Patricia Tannis
“Do these teeth make my gums look fat?”
In the first adventure on Pandora, Vault Hunters obtained echo recordings that gradually played out the journey of Patricia Tannis and her team on Pandora. Patricia’s crew set out to discover clues to the whereabouts of the mysterious vault. The volatility of Pandora and its hazardous environments and dangerous inhabitants gradually led to the demise of everyone on her team.
Alongside these experiences, Tannis began to lose touch with reality straddling the line of sanity. Her spastic behavior and inability to care makes it easy for her to take part in the violent atmosphere of Pandora. It also leads to a multitude of looney conversations for players to enjoy!
7 Marcus Kincaid
“When you think ‘murder,’ think ‘Marcus munitions!’”
Where would the Borderlands even be without someone to tell the story? Marcus Kincaid is the voice that players hear at the start of every new Borderlands game or new DLC story content. He’s also a boisterous weapons dealer by trade. When ammo is running low, or a change in armaments outside of what players have already looted is required,
Marcus is the go-to guy. For Marcus, money talks, and he stops at nothing to be the top weapons dealer in Pandora. He frequently sends the Vault Hunters on missions to test out weaponry on unsuspecting bandits or eliminate potential competitors in an explosive fashion.
6 Mad Moxxi
“You want my camera, hun? You can borrow it on one condition – anything you shoot better involve naked flesh or explosions. Bonus points for both.”
It’s all in the name, really. Mad Moxxi uses everything at her disposal to get ahead including (but not limited to) manipulation, money, and sex. She’s not beyond embodying a flirtatious persona using sultry tones and language to approach nearly every situation. We're fairly certain that there isn’t a soul who has ever met Mad Moxxi where “Sugar” wasn’t the pet name she invoked to begin any of her agendas.
Moxxi is responsible for the bulk of the Borderlands games’ sexual jokes and innuendo. But don’t be mistaken, she is rather dangerous and lethal in her own right when the situation calls for it.
“Welcome to Catch-A-Ride, please enjoy your stay, and there’s a pimento taco – a pimentaco – in the glovebox.”
Believe it or not, Scooter is the progeny of Mad Moxxi, though, he’s not quite as slick. His father, Jimbo Hodunk, enlists the help of the Vault Hunters in Borderlands 2 to help settle a feud with another family. As a mechanic, Scooter plays an integral role in establishing the catch-a-ride units dotting the lands of Pandora where Vault Hunters can digitally spawn new vehicles.
Scooter is known for his wild, but simple view of the world and is accustomed to making the most raucous statements that are clearly designed to elicit laughter from the player. He is truly one of the most colorful characters Pandora has ever seen. Sadly, he meets is in end in Tales of the Borderlands as Scooter sacrifices himself for a noble cause.
4 Janey Springs
“Don’t ask why I call ‘em Moon Zoomies. Seriously. Don’t ask.”
In the pre-sequel adventure, Janey Springs greets the Vault Hunters upon arrival on Elpis. During this game, she resides on the Pandoran moon and makes her living out of trading junk. In her spare time among the chaotic life of Elpis, she finds time to write children’s books. This is just one quality among several that accent her bubbly personality.
Janey later falls in love with one of the pre-sequel’s playable Vault Hunters, Athena. Athena and Janey have both settled down together during the events of Tales from the Borderlands. The two eventually tie the knot if the player chooses to convince both fierce women to fight the guardian known as The Traveler in order to access the vault.
3 Dr. Zed
“All these entrails are makin’ me want a burger. That weird? That might be weird.”
Dr. Zed is one of Pandora’s few medical professionals despite having “lost” his medical license for reasons he wouldn’t divulge. The vending machines around Pandora that offer first aid and other items are managed by Dr. Zed. With T.K. Baha on the outskirts of Fyrestone, Dr. Zed is actually the sole resident of Fyrestone (other than Claptrap) upon the Vault Hunters’ arrival in the first Borderlands.
Later he joins Sanctuary and tests the human body’s limit by experimenting and dissecting bandits and tasking the Vault Hunters with testing out new weaponry on the crazed gangs of Pandora simply to see what happens.
2 Mr. Torgue
“Right now, you’re ranked fifty in the badass leaderboards, which puts you behind my grandma but ahead of a guy she gummed to death. IT TOOK SEVERAL HOURS.”
Mr. Torgue is clearly an extreme caricature of the Randy Savage. He carries a similar aggressive personality as the former wrestler’s on-stage persona and speaks with the same intensity.
Between Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, players are sure to hear Mr. Torgue play the air guitar mimicking the sounds with his mouth a number of times. The way to Mr. Torgue’s heart is through his mother and explosions. He loves a good explosion and anyone who is willing to lend an ear to his mother and the comically long stories she has to tell. He founded the weapons manufacturing company simply known as Torgue, and established the Campaign of Carnage in the Badass Crater of Badassitude in order to find a champion to access a new vault.
“THEY’RE COMING OUTTA THE WALL SPHINCTERS!!!!”
This spunky little robot is the face of the Borderlands series. He greets the Vault Hunters for the new adventure in both Borderlands and Borderlands 2. He is a playable character in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.
Claptrap is like dust in the wind going wherever the world takes him. By the time the events of Borderlands 2 begin, Claptrap is all alone since Handsome Jack ended his entire product line. He is now the sole Claptrap in all of Pandora and aims to take the fight to Handsome Jack with the help of his minion (a.k.a. you, the player). He may be a robot, but he is one of the most human characters in the game emoting both happiness and sadness, beatboxing around Sanctuary, and making a lot of humorously stupid mistakes. If you look closely in his “crib” in Borderlands 2 at the Southern Shelf, he has plastered pictures of bikini-clad Claptraps on his wall to keep him company. He never ceases making us laugh and is surely the heart and soul of Borderlands.