Are the Vault Hunters COMPLETELY misunderstood?

All the way back in BL1, they were characterized as, well, treasure hunters, glory seekers, etc. And there’s nothing wrong with that, same as in BL2, even when Jack hires the characters in TPS if I remember right? So now Vault Hunters are regarded as these kind of do-gooding superheroes? Not like the VHs for the most part aren’t decent people, maybe somewhat violence-happy, but still. Crimson Raiders as a positive organization, yeah, but with some of the lines about VH’s in this game makes me go…how did we get to THIS?


i agree. gearbox has clearly lost sight of the goal here. Don’t even know why we cared if pandora was in danger. how many of the VHs past and present are even from pandora?


Legends are a funny thing. It’s how a hero like Hercules goes from a self-aggrandizing wife-murdering drunkard to a morally upstanding Disney do-gooder.


Yep I agree. Vaulthunters at the core are psychopaths and looters, willing to commit murder and all kinds of abominations to get what they want…certainly not “hero material”. In Borderlands specifically the constant teasing being called “Vault-thief” got on my nerves quick but I realize that that actually is the correct term. We as vault-hunters are nothing more then bandits and murderers. Thats why Typhon Deleons dying line made me go lol rather then summon empathy. Theres “nothing” to be done old man. People who represent Vault-hunters have always been around, and they are usually not the prime cut of humanity either.

Now its Borderlands “charm” to downplay this shocking foundation and make light of it. I guess thats why BL1 and BL2 became such a success.

In part 3 I was a little offed by being portrayed as a hero doing “good deeds”. The only thing preventing me from going ham on that narrative is the ultra restrictive pogression mode forcing you into one direction without much choice. You can only do what NPCs tell you to do, you cannot refuse, you cannot opt to do it differently. If you dont do as you are asked you dont progress.

By accident in the end you help out the “good” side but even the crimson raiders are simply opportunitists trying to stay alive. Saving the universe is at best a byproduct of greed and survival not an act of heroism.

Well…regardless. I certainly wont start to act like a hero or see myself as one in Borderlands. Maybe such a presentation “sells better” with the crowd? I dont know…doesnt work for me tho ^^

Yeah I’m really not sure you agree with the opening post. He calls them decent people, just not heroes. Not psychopaths and murderers.
The first arc of Borderlands 1 is helping Zed and T.K not die to bandit raids. There’s also Helena Pierce we assist in New Haven. If Roland and the gang were truly psychopaths they would have left them all for dead.

Speaking of: Roland in 2 was characterized as a gentleman and a model of leadership. He was a good person, that was kind of the point of his character. Maya was portrayed as pretty compassionate and intelligent in her echo logs. Even Sal, for being kind of violent and a little thickheaded, never actually killed anyone who wasn’t trying to kill his family first and bared zero ill will for the people trying to hang him for doing so.

There’s also the Overlook questline where we bring crucial medicine to the town.

Vault Hunters are glorified mercenaries, not psychopaths. They take jobs for cash which usually involve killing people but those people are almost always actual psychopaths and murders or were trying to kill them first. They can pick more profitable options sure but only when the innocent party’s life doesn’t hang in the balance, or when they’ve been roped in to picking between two evils anyways.


It’s probably because of all the side quests… I mean why are we delivering burgers? Because there’s a pay out - and while that’s what matters to us a lot of the things we do involve helping people. This started all the way back with TK Baha, do favors for the folks of the towns to earn their trust.

Why would a Vault Hunter need to earn their trust? To get money for ammo (and typically some gun rewards) so we can shoot psychos and steal their money too.

I would agree with this however, we didn’t abandon Pandora as a result of being tricked into fighting the destroyer. There’s a reason we didn’t leave for a more profitable planet - because of the rapport we built. Then when the second generation of VHs wrapped up their revenge with Jack, well the two we have found out about so far went to help others as well.

Gotta remember, Gearbox knows what we want better than ourselves (lol) so projecting our experiences onto the story doesn’t change the fact VHs are still heroes to most citizens.


Yeah that’s one of my main gripes with the narrative of BL3 too. Some of the best fun I had especially in BL2 was being a horrible person doing mercenary jobs for other horrible persons. Like Ellie’s family feud questline, murdering some guy for Scooter because he defaced one of his stations, murdering a video game reviewer for Mr Torgue for giving a game a too low score, more senseless murder for anyone who pays you, most things Tannis asks of you, helping Dr. Zed with his rather questionable experiments. Murder a foul-mouthed radio host for C3n50r807 and do jobs for pirates and Captain Scarlett who also isn’t the most ethical character. Generally I loved how BL2 consistently replaced “kill” with “murder”. A few exceptions aside, even your allies were mostly cold-blooded psychopaths. That was great because, well, that was Borderlands.

In contrast, BL3 is a much more generic good guys vs. bad guys affair. I’m not sure why they did that, I mean being a murderous S-hole seems to be great fun for a lot of players. How else would you explain the popularity of games like GTA or Saints Row?


I disagree. I’d say the trend started in BL2 when there was a greater emphasis on the story. NPC’s constantly reminded your character that you’re the savior of Pandora or they’d get really excited when they see you and exclaim, “Oh a VH!”. They’re just ways to make you feel important like the hero of a story.

In TPS, you save Elpis and Pandora, by extension. You do end up helping to create Handsome Jack, but that’s beyond your control. I don’t think there were too many NPC’s that flattered your character because they were just mercenaries on a secret mission.

A difference between BL1 and its successors is that BL1 doesn’t use the “Save the world” trope. BL2 and TPS use it. BL3 magnifies it. Also, BL3 has more themes about family and camaraderie. So this change of tone shifts VH’s alignment toward lawfulish good.

One thing that irked me about Amara was when she described herself. “Surely you know who I am. The Tiger of Partali? Crime-fighter? Warrior for peace? Gch. It’s Amara.” So this character is a do-gooder, who likes to protect the weak and beat up mean people? I feel like the character lacks depth. Not that is something BL characters are known for, but she could use more. Maybe, she could be a diva and all of that righteous attitude is a facade for her bloodthirst for violence and stardom. Her being a VH eventually becomes a journey of self discovery and enlightenment. I’m just disappointed.


I don’t know, BL1 feels very different from BL2, I’d argue it’s the only one where you actually are a Vault Hunter. In the first you are looking for vault and help NPCs in order to get to one.

In BL2 you suddenly join ‘save the world from Jack’ effort, and vault is an afterthought at best. TPS and BL3 are more of the same to me, as far as what VHs are doing - they are more like mercenaries now.


I think BL2 was more of a “race jack to the vault” to keep him from opening it. So we were still hunting a vault, jack just…seemed to already know where it was.

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I feel like this is part of the increasing stakes with every new game, in BL1 we just had to open a Vault, in 2 we also had to stop Jack from accessing its power and now in 3 we have to save the Galaxy from Tyreen and Troy. With the odd one being TPS where the saving part also plays a lot with Jack’s hero complex, but the overall plot is so much about corporate scum X other corporate scum that there’s not a whole lot of good being done.

I do feel there was space for the themes of Vault hunting to be explored in BL3, with all different characters with different views in Vault/Fortune seeking, Rhys wants to something good with himself and his company, Lilith and Ellie want to protect Pandora, Wainwright has his family legacy, Ava just wants to be a badass, Tyreen and Troy want to be gods and of course there’s Typhoon that’s in for the adventure.


VHs are no heroes, did you see them get any recognition for their actions and “saving the universe”? Weren’t even in the cutscenes… :smiley:

Seriously tho… I’ve always thought of them as super capable mercs who will do what ever if the price is right. The Vaults were presented as an ultimate price, well… untill BL3 that is…

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Hammerlock was quite thankful on multiple occasions, additionally Wainwright seemed genuinely grateful. Rhys appreciated you saving his life as well - going so far as to shave his siege stache if you mentioned your distaste. Lorelei is grateful for helping best back Maliwan, getting her coffee, and the burger shop running again too.

I think the problem is you’re only looking at the final boss fight, which in BL3 has the stage usurped by Lilith. No one talks to you really aside from Tannis who is hardly grateful when you go to save her life because she doesn’t do social interaction.


The term “Vault Hunter” seemed to always carry some sort of grand meaning it, like how in every game, the vending machines refer to you as one, like it’s a compliment. And after BL2, I’m sure the term gained even more fame. As for BL3, if you really need some justification for the game’s events, itd be a little hard to go hunting vaults if Tyreen opens all of them, and proceeds to, as she claims, eat all of the stars in the sky…

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In BL1, you are a true vault hunter w/o pretext. People think the Vaults hold vast treasure, at the end you find out they hold organic weapons. In BL2 Jack knows this and goes to control it. Jack tries to kill VH’s from finding them and the OG enlist their help. In TPS, Jack enlists VH’s to help pursue his bigger goal with a huge payout like a “side mission”. In BL3 the Crimson Raiders enlist new VH’s to help stop the COV. All of these people are in the area seeking vaults for treasure and get caught up finding the truth and making money to those who pay them on the side or to who is most convenient.


They’re mercenary treasure hunting glory seekers in the beginning, but grow to fight a common enemy, thus creating the Crimson Raiders.

(I’ve had this idea for a game that would be a prequel to the entire series that would really get in touch with the original mercenary role, working for Atlas before BL1, the siren in this one being Commandant Steele, but I doubt that’s what this forum needs right now…)


I think saving the universe would kinda be a matter of survival even for most heroes.

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That is an argument similar to psychological egoism, that even the most selfless acts can be twisted into appearing as selfish acts, and it is honestly frustrating because no matter what counter argument is made, the other side can just find some way to twist it to their purposes.

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oh cmon you really think something minor like a siren god would have any kind of impact on the universe? People tend to think they are bigger then they are. Plus as the story showed there are much more beings in the universe that rival a sirens power. Tyreene would simply be a new member in an old society of gods and with her experience and attitude she would ve been fish food.

Also in my understanding “heroism” is something different then doing things because I have to…

And vice versa of course. It just depends on how you tell the story.

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Well, sirens are powerful, but not as powerful as some of the vault beasts. But, a siren, melded into the Destroyer, which required the extinction of the entire eridian civilization to imprison inside of a planet that was specially designed just to hold it, and which has the power to, well, destroy the universe… is there anything yet mentioned to be stronger than that? What “old society of gods” are you talking about? Did we suddenly go from Borderlands to the Cthulu Mythos?

For the ‘vice versa’ part, it’s really hard to make bad actions appear good. “I kicked the puppy because wholesome family values”… ummm

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