I never really thought about it but Mellka and Deande are in many ways the protagonists of the story. Which is kinda cool.
There was a good topic not long ago where a few of us were discussing exactly this (and where I made the observation, that I still stand by, that Mellka is the game’s clearest candidate for a protagonist.) It says a lot about the strength and depth of Battleborn’s female cast that, after about 150 hours of gametime, I still haven’t tried playing any of the male characters yet.
And I still want to think of Mellka/Deande as a love story… but eh, I would.
Very cool perspective. Girls bring a fun aspect to modern games.
Here’s a ton of Battleborn Girl Power from last night:
I’m a man and I feel oppressed.
I like the female characters in Battleborn. Neither helpless maids, nor overbuffed tsundere paladins.
They wrote the Female characters as Characters first Gender second.
Which is what I think writers should do for every demographic.
Many fiction fans have character bonds that we wish were love stories…
I have a (bleep) ton of them.
Mellka and Deande… I can see it working.
Mel certainly has a ton of voice over, with Deande coming in close second. Kleese and Ghalt probably make up most of the rest of the voice work…
… with the exception of one other character no one has mentioned, and who I personally find unbearably cool:
I don’t have a quick link, but whoever did Nova is a great voice actor! If you keep clicking on Loadouts in the Gear screen before you have Command rank 3, she actually has a ton of voice quotes about how annoyed she is getting with you. Keep it up long enough and she explains why all the MAGNUS AIs in the Solus system are bat-crap insane (Spoiler: their patron AI deity up and left without saying goodbye). Keep pushing and eventually she just goes to repeating the same brush-off in a robotic voice, but there’s still a lot of good voice work before that.
And then there’s:
Kleese? Are you going to put me in the robot suit? Kleese? Robot suit? Kleese?
I’m really looking forward to seeing Nova as a playable. I don’t think it is the Henchman-looking thing in the character silhouettes for planned release, I think that’s just a friendly Bulwark bot, but I do expect Nova will show up at some point. Can’t wait!
I also see Lothar Rendain not as the classic bad madman like Handsome Jack was. He pretty much tried to save something from the Varelsi by teaming up with them. By lore he fought the Varelsi for a very long time himself, but probably saw, that the end was inevitable.
It’s my personal head cannon that, after a tumultuous and heated phase of hating each other, Mellka and Deande eventually became a couple. (I just cain’t quit yuu, Dee-Andy!)
On the subject of Handsome Jack I do wanna point out that he is a total psychopath, but BLPS answered a load of questions and all he really wants is to civilize Pandora and get rid of all the bandits that do nothing but slaughter and pillage everyone. That’s what makes him and Rendain good villains. You can actually see their point of view and (to a degree) agree with it.
On the subject of of Battleborn’s story I totally agree with how Mellka is kind of the protagonist. She’s in basically 100% of the cutscenes and you play as her in the prologue. I love the heck out of Mellka and she deserves that love.
I really dig the women of Battleborn. Strong, smart, occasionally silly, I feel like there’s positive female role models aplenty, and while they are definitely feminine, I don’t feel like there’s an oversexualized one in the lot. Deande is really the truest femme fatale, as the “sexy spy chick,” but I hardly see her as exemplifying any negative tropes or roles.
No damsels to be seen. Alani has a level of charming awkwardness, but it’s wrapped around a core of liquid badass. Love the designs, too, different shapes of women, all lethal. Waifish Shayne, bootylicious Reyna, Galilea’s “Samus Aran with a sword and board” look, punk-rock Mellka, even Ambra’s stern matriarchal vibe.
I consider myself a forward-thinking guy, and I like the idea of strong female characters as heroes and villains, and I think Gearbox really did a great job. They write great characters, regardless of gender or even species.
Shayne may be Waifish but she’s also 16, I do believe. I really do enjoy the female cast of this game though. Mellka would most likely be the main protaganist in the game, if there was one, since you have to play as her in the Prologue, and in the Voids Edge mission, if you choose certain characters Mellka pops in to say what she’s going to do after instead of the BB you might be playing. (At least it’s happened to me before)
Personally I think Ambra might be wearing a bit too little, but that’s just my opinion, aside from that, and Shayne’s chest-wrapping/Alani’s shirt thing, there isn’t really much exposed skin on the female characters, which I find extremely refreshing and encouraging. (Though I have to ask why Thorn was given such pointy boob coverings, I mean really, it looks more like walnuts than armor.)
That’s just my opinion though, as I’ve seen far too many games have female characters who don’t wear much and I’ve gotten pretty tired of seeing the same design. (And as a gay male, I would like to see more half-clothed/barely-clothed men than women, just saying.) There isn’t really any sexualized females in the game that I can tell, and they’re all fairly decent role-models, aside from characters with a disposition like Orendi. Nova could be viewed as a ‘Damsel’ though, since you have an entire mission dedicated to protecting her and all that, and in the first cut-scene with Deande getting saved by Rath.
And that’s cool. I’m not gonna pretend I have the slightest clue about what it is like to be a 16-year-old girl, but I understand body image issues are par for the course. A young female gamer sees Shayne and her giant rock monster buddy, identifies with her and her strength, I think that’s cool.
Actually, I think the men show a lot more skin, really. I mean, Monty, El Dragon and Whiskey kinda wreck the curve on their own. So if you’re into burly/cybernetic/purple or possibly reptilian muscular guys…
Again, outsider’s perspective, but I think GBX has had a nice infusion of LGBT presence. Athena and Janey Springs’ happily ever after, Bi-Axton, the possible Mellka/Deande ship that everyone in this thread is advocating. A lot of the background details from Borderlands regard gay relationships as normal, without even playing it up at all, and that’s cool too. I recall one instance in Wildlife Exploitation Preserve with an echo of Jack threatening the wife of a female scientist/researcher character, and the focus is on the characters and their actions, not their gender or preference.
It’s a fine line between tokenism and genuine inclusion, of course, but I like that Battleborn’s general theme is pretty much “we’ve got all kinds of badasses.”
True, I also there there’s a bit of love that everyone has for Toby, in some form. (And I believe Orendi/Shayne is a possible ship) There isn’t really that many guys in the game so far that I would find attractive based on their looks, I don’t really know their personalities much, but it is a game, so I’d rather not go that far into things. Deande/Mellka are definitely a thing that has to happen though, even if it’s an on-again off-again kind of relationship.
I personally don’t think much of sexual orientations in games, unless there is a main character romance that’s being shoved into my face, then I get a bit annoyed, otherwise I think it’s interesting if there is a LGBT character, but again, I don’t think much of it.
ANYONE WHO DOES NOT LOVE TOBY IS A SOULLESS MONSTER. He’s battle penguin! He’s the BEST!
Oh yeah, I don’t take any of it super-seriously, but I also understand that gaming culture has been dominated by immature male viewpoints for a LOOOONG time. Misogyny, homophobia, just general exclusionary/superior behavior. A company like GBX taking even small strides to change opinions in palatable ways is encouraging.
Torgue’s “you should respect women, because respecting women is badass!” bits are some of my favorites. Tongue-in-cheek and silly, but also relevant.
HJ actually started out as (approximately) a good guy. He got bitter and cynical as he saw everything going to sh!t around him, and the people supposed to be supporting or helping him either abandoned him or turned on him.
He’s sorta not. He started out as this underpaid tech-support guy who was thrust into circumstances WAY beyond his ken. He became more bitter and cynical as he was repeatedly abandoned and/or betrayed by the people who were supposed to be on his side.
Rendain fought the Varelsi before he sided with them. I’m a little more willing to see him as crazynuts just because the entire Jennerit society seems to be incredibly warlike and brutal - like a high-tech Rome when they were all going crazy from the lead in the aqueducts. I’m pretty sure decadent Roman society played a big role in the Jennerit lore worldbuilding.
Jack can actually be labeled as psychopathic. He (in BL2) has basically no regard for anyone else’s life/feeling/etc except his own (and admittedly Angel’s). He only cares about furthering his own goals and doesn’t care about the consequences as long as it doesn’t hurt him. BLPS just elaborates on how he got that way.
Rendain on the other hand is simply attempting to save whatever he can by striking a deal with the enemy and has, as you put it, basically been brought up in a war-focused culture. There are clear differences between the two baddies (such as their upbringing) and I don’t deny that in any way.
I also believe I read somewhere that the Jennerit teachings or whatever was about preserving the Imperium at all costs, or something along those lines, so he could have just had those goals in his head, to protect and preserve the Jennerit at all costs, even if it meant allying with the Varelsi. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but I think I read that somewhere, and that the teachings were changed at some point down the line.