To celebrate the upcoming (and long-awaited) release of Borderlands 3, we’re looking back at our favourite missions, moments and characters from the first three games in the series!
First up, 2009’s Borderlands!
Upon its launch in October 2009, few people could have predicted the runaway success of Borderlands as a franchise. A brand new IP from Gearbox that mixed together elements of RPG games with the First Person Shooter genre, absolutely crammed with pop culture references, loot and, most importantly, more guns than you could ever imagine (it even gained a Guinness world record for it, only to be beaten by its own sequel!).
Ten years later, we’re nearing the release of the third entry in the main series, so to celebrate, we’ve revisited the first game and picked out a handful of our favourite missions!
So, in no particular order, here’s five of our favourite sidequests from the first Borderlands game…
Nine Toes: Take Him Down
Your first main boss mission in the game revolves around wiping out the leader of the bandits near Fyrestone, Nine-Toes.
On his own, he’s not that much of a challenge to kill. His attacks are only slightly stronger than bandits you’ve already faced up until this point, but there’s an added threat in his arsenal; his two pet skags. “Digit” and “Pinky” (toe references, geddit?!) will attack you simultaneously while you try and whitle down Nine-Toes’ health, and while the difficulty level is still relatively low here, they prove to be an annoying distraction all the same
The whole mission is worth it for the bandit’s pelvic thrusts, the loot-filled mini arena he lives in and the totally unnecessary information about his additional genitals.
Many of Borderlands‘ missions take place in Pandora’s caves and underground tunnels, where players will encounter packs of angry skags, powerful larva crab worms and camps of bloodthirsty bandits.
This is very much the case in the Tetanus Warrens, where players are instructed to hunt down and assassinate a major threat to New Haven; the bandit leader King Wee Wee.
After making your way to the end of the map, killing a bunch of brutes and bandits along the way, a gate will slowly lower, revealing the royal midget himself. He’s not difficult to defeat, but he does have a buzz axe attack and a strange purple energy grenade assault to look out for. In addition to gaining “Wee Wee’s Super Booster” (a shield that secretly restores health), players who investigate King Wee Wee’s throne room are also rewarded with a loot chest. Lovely!
Not bad for a mission that is so obviously named after a horrifically insensitive sport and masturbating.
Finger Lickin’ Bad!
The “Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution” DLC campaign isn’t the only CL4P-TP focused extra content in the Borderlands franchise (FYI, the Pre-Sequel DLC is incredibly funny!), but it does a brilliant job of introducing everyone’s favourite hunk of junk as a wannabe revolutionary leader. Many of the area’s enemies are now under the influence of Claptrap’s newfound power, and there’s few missions in the campaign that showcase this as hilariously as “Finger Lickin’ Bad!“.
Upon the player’s arrival at Sanders’ Gorge (*eye roll*), they must make their way through the central torchlit tunnel to the wide open area in the center of the map, where they are ambushed by a swarm of Claptrap-ified rakk. As is the case with rakk in all of the Borderlands games, they’re incredibly easy to kill, and doing so reveals the target of this mission; a Claptrap dressed like a chicken, appropriately named “Cluck-Trap”.
Cluck-Trap isn’t much of a fighter (did you really think it’d be any different?), and he’s dead in a matter of seconds.
It’s a perfect representation of Claptrap; weird, over the top and almost completely useless.
Earl’s Best Friend
In the later games of the Borderlands series, Crazy Earl is a merchant whom you trade eridium/moonstones with to gain upgrades for your weapons and storage. In the first game, however, you are required to directly help him out, and in this particular instance, it’s to aid him in finding his best friend.
Players must fight their way through the Trash Coast on a rescue mission, taking down minor groups of bandits, ending up in a small area filled with cages, where Earl’s kidnapped friend is being held.
True to the nature of Earl’s personality, his best friend is far from a “regular” character, as it turns out to be a tiny skag, with a circular sawblade as a collar, named Skrappy. Upon his return, we discover that Skrappy is a “lap skag” and was terrified by his captors, who apparently wouldn’t know how to clean up his “Skrappy-doos”.
The mission adds a bit more character background to Crazy Earl, and, as a pet lover myself, it makes me feel like I have something in common with him, rather than just being subjected to his “WHATCHU WANT?” lines in The Pre-Sequel and Borderlands 2 (as funny as it is).
This one’s a bit of a cheating choice, as the entire “Altar Ego” sidequest is actually comprised of three separate missions. A new religion has seemingly popped up, so it’s up to the vault hunters to stamp it out before it gains traction (a foreshadowing of the events in Borderlands 3 perhaps?).
The first part, “Burning Heresy“, requires players to locate and destroy three scriptures in bandit chapels dotted around the Rust Commons. It’s an easy mission, but, as you’d expect, burning these supposedly sacred texts ultimately ends up making these religious fanatics even more intense in their beliefs.
Part two comes in the form of “The New Religion“. Having disposed of the holy scriptures, it’s time to pay a visit to Old Lynne Abbey on the Overlook. This formerly abandoned church is now a recruitment hotspot for the new religion, so the vault hunters must go and collect some of the pamphlets to find out exactly what’s going on, all while killing a boatload of bandits in the process.
The third and final mission in the Altar Ego series is “Godless Monsters“, where players must take down the religion’s deity; a souped up Scythid crawler named Slither. He’s much faster than the normal enemies, and has the potential to drop rare eridian weaponry upon defeat. As the fight had two whole sidequests leading up to it, you’d be forgiven for expecting to fight something much bigger
The original looter-shooter’s missions are a great mix of exploration, violence and humour, with some fantastic loot thrown in for good measure. The sequels refined the formula to perfection, but the starting point is still a blast to play through today, and the HD re-release is well worth picking up.
What are your favourite missions and moments from the first Borderlands game? Let us know in the comments below, or send us a tweet at @PetWolfGaming!
Join us tomorrow for a look back at Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!