A behind-the-scenes tidbit from a former Telltale employee reveals a case where a misinterpreted line in Tales from the Borderlands resulted in a hilarious and memorable moment.
It’s not even been three weeks since Telltale Games shut their doors, but the impact has been felt far and wide across the gaming landscape. Since the company shuttered their doors on September 21st, there’s been an uproar from furious Walking Dead players who might never see their beloved franchise finished. Instead, they’re faced with a season-ending cliffhanger that will never be resolved.
Former Telltale employees are dealing with their sudden lack of employment in a number of ways. One has started a class-action lawsuit against the company for violation of government employment laws. Others have immediately found employment with other studios, while others are dealing with their loss by sharing their favorite memories working at Telltale.
One story alluded to by former lead writer Jessica Krause, involved a broken-telephone request from the writing department to the animation team during the development of Tales from the Borderlands Episode 5.
Former Telltale narrative designer Molly Maloney explains in her reply. During one early scene where the Hyperion space station is falling into Pandora’s gravity well and Rhys is desperately searching for an escape pod, Handsome Jack appears on the various station monitors to distract Rhys while he tries to make an escape. The original request from the writing team to the animation team was simply: "Rhys flips off the monitors as he runs by.”
When we requested the animation for Rhys turning off Hyperion monitors in Tales from the Borderlands ep 5, the requested anim was worded as “Rhys flips off the monitors as he runs by.” What we got back was so good @ItsMeNickHerman decided to just go wth that. #TelltaleMemories— Molly Maloney (@Llyann) September 23, 2018
The intent was to have Rhys simply turn off the monitors in an act of defiance, but instead, the animation team interpreted it to mean that Rhys performs a crude gesture. And, well, you can see for yourself in this video.
Apparently, creative director Nick Herman found the mistake to be too hilarious to not use, and so they wound up shipping it.
While most Telltale games are currently on sale as the studio winds down, Tales from the Borderlands is still oddly the full $19.99 on Steam. Even at that price, it’s still well worth it for any die-hard Borderlands fan who just can’t get enough of whacky Pandora hijinx. And with the company closing shop, who knows how much longer the game will even be available?