Over the past decade, the Borderlands series has consistently been one of the best loot'n'shoot video game franchises ever released. Part of this is invariably due to the games' over the top sense of humor, poking fun at everything from movies to internet memes to other games to themselves. This iconic comedy has stuck in fans' minds for years.
Something that's definitely included in this humor is the presence of Easter Eggs, hidden secrets that reference other media or even the real world. The Borderlands games are full to bursting with these tidbits, ranging across all three main titles in the series.
With Borderlands 3 on its way and surely bringing even more secrets, let's take a look at 10 Easter Eggs from the Borderlands series you didn't know about.
Our first entry on this list comes from Borderlands 2 and, despite the hilarity of many other Easter eggs on this list, is a bit more somber. Michael Mamaril was a Borderlands fan who passed away young. His friend reached out to Gearbox while Borderlands 2 was in development and asked if there was some way to include a eulogy to one of their biggest fans.
Gearbox went a step further, and Michael Mamaril was immortalized in Borderlands 2 as an NPC you can meet in the town of Sanctuary. It can be hard to seek him out, but it's always worth it, as he'll always gift you a blue rarity weapon or better. While we all appreciate the ridiculous humor in the Borderlands games, it's rather touching to see such a sincere tribute.
Moxxi is a decidedly non-PG character who's appeared in every major Borderlands title to date and has been everything from a bar owner to an arena proprietor. Along with her colorful history, she seems to have picked up a few trophies, as her decor in the original game will tell.
In Moxxi's Red Light, players can find a shelf that has a number of references to the DLC for Borderlands. This includes a zombie brain, a bobblehead of Marcus Kincaid, a tiny platform akin to her stand from the Underdome, and a mustachioed Claptrap. It seems that Moxxi gets around and has souvenirs from all over.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel was a game that released after Borderlands 2 but took place before the events of that game, hence the title. There were a number of Easter eggs included there, not least of which was a reference to the iconic film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
In Stanton's Liver, players can find a massive purple rectangular stone. Interacting with it takes them through several scenes reminiscent of the film, including the opening sequence and the space baby ending. You can also pick up some loot along the way, making this weird Easter Egg definitely worth it.
At a very specific spot in the Highlands region of Borderlands 2, players can find a magical sight: a double rainbow, arcing across the sky. This Easter egg is a reference to the classic double rainbow meme, a video which featured a man excitedly gushing over the phenomenon.
Reaching this spot in the game is accompanied by either Handsome Jack or Claptrap chiming in and quoting the double rainbow video, expressing incredible awe and wonder, and asking "what does it mean?" as the man in the original video did. For those who remember the early days of internet memes—or anyone who's familiar with internet history—this little secret is sure to earn a smile.
The Borderlands games aren't above directly referencing other games in their Easter eggs, such as this one which pulls the model of a Creeper from Minecraft and puts it directly into the game. There's a part of the Caustic Caverns where players can find these explosive enemies, although they may seem a tad less intimidating when facing them with a rocket launcher instead of a pickaxe.
Moving through the area where the Creepers spawn is pretty worthwhile, too. At the end of it, you can obtain a special skin for your characters that unlocks a Minecraft head. Wandering through the world of Pandora with a blocky, pixelated cube for a head may not make too much sense—but then, neither does much else in these games.
Sometimes Easter Eggs reference movies or memes or other games, and then sometimes they're just ridiculous. Case in point, there's a section in the original Borderlands where you can unlock a scene in which the insane scientist Patricia Tannis rides around on a large fish.
If you go to a Treacher's Landing in the Rust Commons West, you'll find a ship along with a number of elemental barrels. Shooting these barrels in a very specific order will cause some obstacles to rise up from the water and some music to begin playing as Tannis rides a fish out in a stunt performance. She then vanishes, leaving the player with a whole lot of questions that are never answered.
Another reference to a film, this one is a bit less obvious than the monolith in The Pre-Sequel. In the Dust region of Borderlands 2, players can find a box that spawns in certain random locations throughout the map. Opening the box will reveal a gun called the Gwen's Head and will prompt a voice line from either Handsome Jack or Claptrap saying, "What's in the box?!"
This is a reference to the movie Se7en, which concludes with the antagonist serial killer killing the main character's wife, Gwen, and putting her head in a cardboard box. This leads to the final confrontation between the two as the protagonist, in anger and grief, demands to know what's in the box.
This secret area in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel can only be accessed close to the end of the game. At one point, you'll be standing on some platforms, most of which will rise into red barriers that kill you. One platform, however, will instead take you to a hidden Super Mario level.
As in the Super Mario games, there are a number of pipes in this secret level that spawn various enemies. After defeating them, you can collect some loot, and then use a pipe to leave. It's a fun little Easter egg that is sure to make any Nintendo fans smile.
Borderlands 2 also isn't afraid to poke fun at games that are considerably more serious than itself. In the Caustic Caverns, players can venture out to a distant island in the middle of the toxic waters. You'll need to have a lot of shields and health to make it, as it's a long trip, but, once you reach your destination, you'll find a reference to the Dark Souls games.
The island has a bonfire, along with a ghostly knight sitting nearby. Alongside him is the NPC Solitaire, a clear reference to the character Solaire of Astora from the first Dark Souls game. It's a cheeky nod to a very serious game by a game that doesn't take itself nearly as seriously.
Finally, we have an Easter egg that is a reference to another Easter egg on this list! In Borderlands 2, you can make Tannis ride a fish for a second time. This go around, you'll need to head out to Sawtooth Cauldron and make it to the Main Street Reservoir. Here, you'll spot more colored barrels to shoot.
Shooting them in the correct sequence causes some spinning blades and fire to rise up from the depths of the nearby lake. As the music swells, Tannis arrives for a second time, riding a fish and leaping over the deadly obstacle. Again, this behavior is never explained when you speak to her later—but then, we're not sure we need it to be.