Pandora’s Box: The Full Story of Borderlands Lore is an Epic Tale For the Ages

Jack/Handsome Jack

That brings us to Jack, possibly the series’ most famous character. The saga of Jack is a complex and fascinating one; it’s a tale of madness that begins after the Pandora Vault was opened and Atlus imploded, leaving many factions in control of the planet. A new corporation, Hyperion, entered the fray with a moon base called Helios, and the search for alien tech resumed once more. A mysterious new substance also began to appear, called Eridium, and it became almost as sought-after as the Vaults themselves.

borderlands Moxxi's Heist of the Handsome Jackpot

Enter Jack. He began modestly, as an Engineer/Programmer for Hyperion, and with the help of the Vault Hunters, he put together a defense force to repel an invasion of Helios by a group called the Lost Legion. But as they say, power corrupts, and something happened to Jack as he became hungry for more power and loot. He turned on the Vault Hunters, killed his superior, and created a slave army of AI and robots, seeking to have the Second Vault – and Helios — for himself.

The race was on for Pandora’s Second Vault. Having discovered its location, the Vault Hunters wanted desperately to get to it before Jack, whose madness and lust for power boded nothing short of disaster should they fail. As fate would have it, both parties arrived around the same time, and while the Vault Hunters were occupied defeating the formidable guardian inside called The Sentinel, Jack managed to slip past them and found an artifact that gave him a vision of the location of a hitherto-unknown Third Vault. It also told him of a deposit of the much-sought after Eridium buried deep within Pandora.

But here is where Jack was changed irreversibly. While he held the artifact, the Vault Hunter Lilith destroyed it. As it exploded in his hands, the artifact branded Jack with the symbol of the Vault and drove him to insanity. In place of the old Jack, already a soul corrupted by greed and megalomania as it was, a new persona named Handsome Jack was created. Mad and twisted now beyond anything recognizably human, he took over Hyperion Corporation, made himself Dictator of Pandora, and began rebuilding the terrible weapon called the Eye of Helios.

Jack’s Fall and the Children of the Vault

Fortunately, Handsome Jack’s reign of insanity was relatively short-lived. Driven to find the Third Vault seen in his vision, he was killed by Lilith and the Vault Hunters, who then learned the location of many, many more Vaults. Jack was to have one more life, this time a virtual one, and uploaded himself into Helios’s computer and attempted to find a new human host with which to make himself corporeal again. But he was again defeated by the trusty Vault Hunters, who eventually brought Hyperion Corporation crashing down – literally and figuratively. Helios itself fell, taking even the virtual last remnants of Jack with it. It impacted the planet of Pandora and created New Pandora.

We now move forward in our tale six years, a period of time that, although it seems arbitrary, happens to conveniently correspond with the typical development time for a AAA video game. In the aftermath of Jack’s final defeat, and the destruction of Hyperion Corporation, a new pair of characters called the Calypso Twins came to the fore and united a group of followers into the Children of the Vault (COV), which brought together the various bandit factions of Pandora into a violent – and formidable – new force. They set their sights on those many new Vaults whose locations had been discovered by the Vault Hunters when they brought down Jack. The Calypso Twins wanted these new Vaults, but especially they sought the one called The Great Vault, for obvious reasons.

Once again our heroes, the Vault Hunters, sprang into action. In their race against the Calypso Twins to reach the Great Vault first, they were contacted by Typhon DeLeon, the first Vault Hunter. He told them that the Great Vault was not a Vault at all – it was the entire planet of Pandora itself. It was at this precise moment that, according to legend, millions of living rooms way back on Earth had their walls splattered with freshly blown minds.

You see, the Eridians, that ancient alien race whose advanced technology started the whole tale, had created Pandora to imprison The Destroyer, that very-same creature of gargantuan indescribable power that, you will no doubt recall, had been presumed killed so long before. They had also, conveniently, left the machine they used, in case those who followed needed to contain him again. It seems they were not only an intelligent species, but quite a thoughtful one as well. Now the story’s race became one to gain the four Vault Keys needed to power the alien machine, and it was further complicated by the revelation that Typhon was the Twins’ father. Minds were once again obliterated on a massive scale at this fresh volley of unexpected news.

From there, events proceeded rapidly. One of the Calypso Twins, Tyreen, almost killed her father, disabled the machine, and merged with The Destroyer to battle the Vault Hunters. A titanic struggle ensued, buttons were mashed furiously, and Tyreen/The Destroyer were defeated and destroyed. Litlith sacrificed herself to save Pandora, leaving a Firehawk symbol on Elpis as the story (so far) ended.

Thus, the long and epic story of Borderlands concludes – for now. But do not think that there won’t be more to our tale. The capacity of the human soul to lust for power, to seek wealth, and to collect loads of sweet, sweet loot is limitless, and as surely as there will be a next console generation, there will undoubtedly be more adventures, more stories to tell in the Borderlands universe. Until then, keep your eyes on Pandora, and may all your drops be Legendary.

Thanks to Reddit , GamesRadar and Game Rant