Borderlands 4 really needs a GOOD antagonist again(Mad Moxxi DLC SPOILERS)

Last week I finished the main game and the side content. Just now I watched the credits to the Mad Moxxi DLC. I loved it all, this DLC was awesome.

It was also once again a very clear reminder how much the Calypso’s suck, they are ■■■■■■■ terrible. I get that Gearbox was going for the Social Media thing we have today but this ain’t it chief.

Handsome Jack in 2 was fantastic, a ■■■■■■■? Oh sure, but funny as hell and just awesome really. The Moxxi DLC is great because it has nice locations but also, especially because it goes back to Jack. And hell, even Pretty Boy is a cooler enemy than any of those two annoying as hell twins. Freddie as well, way better than them. Did a different team make the twins or something?

Which brings me to this. Could Jack actually still be alive or no way? I think we all during the DLC had moments where we thought of this possibility, but then at the end it seems like it’s truly Timothy and he’s happy as can be that he has a chance with Moxxi.

But then I watched this video, if you have the time, maybe do it as well. Does the dude have a point or way too farfetched?

The worst trope in media: “They’re not actually dead! They’re popular so we brought them back!”

A good writer doesn’t bring back dead villains who were good. They make new villains who are also good.

Many people have already done great analytical essays (papers and videos alike) on why HJ was a good villain. They have also done ones on why the Calypsos are not. That being true, I’m not going to rehash here what those people can say better with a quick Google search. Suffice to say, Jack is dead. He should stay dead. They need to get competent writers who can write compelling characters and not boring caricatures.

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I prefer BL1 , and not having a specific antagonist. The whole planet and then some was the antagonist. If anything, Angel was the antagonist.

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BL3 was made by a different team. A lot of staff turnover happened between games, afaik, and in some ways that shows. The Calypso twins had an OK concept ans some good moments, and Jack was a stale concept (CEO of a company and manipulator) with some bad moments, but overall BL2 was better written and worked better. (Stuff like him claiming to be the hero, pointing out how villainous we are, which was clever and far better than BL3 with it’s “we’re the heroes and they’re pure evil” attitude.) I think if they brought Jack back, they’d mess it up.
Hopefully, they learn from BL3 and BL4 has a good villain with great writing.

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Let Handsome Jack rest. Re-using the same villain would be hella lame at this point.
He got an extra send-off in Tales, replay that game if you miss Jack so much.

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I think we leave Jack where he is.

Whilst Jack is a better antagonist than the twins, we need to move on from him.

What is needed is the writer to create a antagonist that rivals Jack. It’s just a case of are they capable of doing so.

Way I see it is that if we keep recycling Jack then the borderlands story as a whole (not just BL3) is not going to go anywhere.

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I think a good thing would be if they laid off trying to top Jack or have just one singular top villain, and did something new. Maybe have an actual team of villains who each on top of being responsible for moving the main plot, have some form of established rivalry or relationship with the new vault hunters of the game to add more of a personal element to it.

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Let me add one thing.
A villain like Jack is not something you try to have, its something youre blessed that you got in your franchise. Extremely good villains are REALLY rare all across medias, we just need a decent villain with good design, thats it.

Its beyond delusional to even expect another villain in the level of Jack (Im not saying youre doing it)

And no, pretty boy is actually a really weak character, the weakest villain in borderlands 3 If I recall correctly. The calypso twins are just ok, but they’re annoying and lack direction, sometimes being aware of the joke they are and sometimes not, which makes them inconsistent.

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Tyreen was never meant to be the final antagonist of the game. Troy was meant to be. Everything during main campaign foreshadows this, especially the Eden 6 events : Aurelia talking about family betrayal, Troy starting to change after he realized he didnt need Tyreen to leech living things.

Troy just had better potential than Tyreen as a main villain, I really don’t understand why they chose Tyreen in the end. She’s more annoying than anything.

Also agree with first post : I don’t want Jack back, I want them to write better antagonists.

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I wouldn’t even mind if it isn’t something super new, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. My hope is that they just stop obsessing over repeating/topping Handsome Jack’s success, and write something entertaining.

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Yes and no.

If you’re bringing the villain back because you’ve run out of ideas and can’t integrate him well in the story and with the main theme of the game, that’s a sign of bad writing. If you bring him back and his (new) position in the story brings something new to the table or expands his character in a meaningful way (alongside other characters) then there is no problem.

Jack was “revived” in Tales from the Borderlands, but from a writing stand point he brought another perspective to his character as a deuteragonist and he got a much better send off/ final confrontation than the one in Borderlands 2. He enhanced the narrative, but he was not the center of attention, nor would have the game suffered if he was taken out. That’s how you bring a former favorite character back to live.

At this point however, I don’t think they have anything else they can do with him though. We have seen his rise (TPS), fall (BL2), requiem (Tales), backstory (BL3’s “Childhood End”) and we have finally settled Timothy’s fate (BL3 DLC1), there really is nothing more that he can bring to the table at this point

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Honestly, having Jack’s persona around in a device (like the Handsome Jackhammer in BL3) to be a comedic foil is enough of a fix. The Handsome AI from Tales being offloaded into a Vendor or Shop on Sanctuary 3 that sells E-tech enhancements for weapons (along the lines of Anointments) and the occasional mission related to all the information it has from Jack’s file would be a fun way to include the character without having him be the villain.

At this point it’s already been established that the Guardians are a major enemy we have to deal with, and that there is a 7th Siren to be feared, as well as the chances of Nyriad/ Tyrene’s powers being born into someone else or her deciding to send them to someone.

Whether they go that route with their plans, cooking up another set of villains from out of the blue isn’t really necessary in the universe they’ve established in BL3.

Sidenote: Katagawa, Pretty Boy, and Butcher Rose all followed the same motivation and strategy of Jack in BL2 and Presequel. Get what’s needed to get a super weapon so they can rule their respective worlds. Katagawa was the closest to jack in my book as far as persona. Pretty Boy and Rose we period caricatures but still following all the same beats.

Hoping that redundant story telling is retired going forward.

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No thanks.

Give us an antagonistic problem that doesn’t pander to the narrow-minded simplicity of modern media.

We want to find a villain so we have something to focus on and it just caters to this instinctive scapegoat mentality that has been present in the minds of the unwashed masses for hundreds of generations of human beings.

Clearly we need something to overcome.

But let it be a problem larger than could fit within an individual.

I can see the validity in that perspective, but we also need to acknowledge that Tell Tale Games has extraordinarily good writers. Their entire company was about writing and storytelling. While they did not technically “revive” Jack, they were able to give the character “life” again through a creative means and, as you put it, kept him from being the center of attention.

Bringing back an antagonist can be done under the right circumstances, you are correct. However, it is too often used as a crutch for writers. It can be similar to time travel. A means of doing what they want and chalking it up to “we make the rules”. I suppose that was more my point with my comment. Bringing back the real jack is impossible and bringing back Jack in another form has already been done (twice if you count Professor Nakayama’s failed plot in the BL2 DLC in which he never actually got the chance).

Again, I would agree with you and others here. They struck gold with their previous writers and the spectacular (much adlibbed) performance from Dameon Clarke. There is little that can be gained from bringing back Jack except the ire of fans from what would become an overplayed character.

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Interesting point about the sirens. As it stands, Tannis has phaseshift, Ava has phaselock and Amara has phasetrance, with Lilith’s phasewalk unknown (either she still has it somewhere or it’s moved on to someone new) and Tyreen’s phaseleech has moved on to someone unknown, plus Steele’s power and the 7th siren power unaccounted-for.
A team of enemies could therefore have three or even four siren villains - phaseleech, Steele’s power, the 7th power and maybe phasewalk. Hell, there could be three sirens on each side, fighting over Lilith’s power and whoever gets it.

While the previous games have clearly built up to the idea of a huge war, probably against eridians, I wouldn’t put it past gearbox to throw that aside and focus on sirens even more, so a siren war could be on the cards.

As good as jack was as an antagonist he is gone, and as stated before something new and fresh is needed. I’m no writer but maybe two or more villains that were once singular focused on one thing as a team that soon tore them apart as ways to accomplish said villainess deeds differed. And now they are out to one up each other and you get to use them against one another as the vault hunters. Kinda like Clint Eastwood in A Fistfull of Dollars play them against one another for your gains, and everything doesn’t have to be about vaults but we will prob be hunting the one “true” vault… :joy:

Tbh, Jack was a great antagonist, and the Calypso Twins were a feeble attempt at a follow up.

I don’t want another Jack, as that’s been done, the twins are dead and need to never come back.

We had “technically” Atlas as the enemy, through Commandant Steele, who also was Siren so we have also had a siren as the enemy too. HJ was a guy with a superiority complex, so that’s been done. Calypso’s were an ungodly annoying pair. So was Ava. Twin’s were BOTH sirens so that’s AGAIN a siren enemy.

Why not use the guardians? The scryer guardian was cool. That would be an interesting concept, a future borderlands set in multiple time lines as we have to jump around to unfix the guardians attempt to fix the timeline so the Destroyer was never released in the first place. We could “see” old characters, like Roland, and Scooter again, but not interact with them as we would be resetting the time line, so unfortunately Roland still dies, but his death at Angels confinement area was the correct path and not what the Scryer or guardians had planned to “change” the timeline.

Maybe this could be an opportunity to open up more lore for characters, being able to see Liliths and Roland’s relationship, for example, see the hardships Ava had to go through according to her diary, etc etc.

Maybe we could even see T.K Baja again lol Wouldn’t that be nice. So he can tell you all about seeing the look of your face lol

Jack is impossible to top and trying to make a villain with the intent of surpassing him will likely result in a sucky one. Not every villain needs to constantly talk down to you over the ECHO, the Calypso twins tried doing that and it came off as obnoxious. It’s Jack’s insults without the snappy writing, charm, or depth.

Future Borderlands games don’t need another copy of Jack, just an antagonist that is good in their own right.

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Personal opinion. I don’t need a great villain, I need great gameplay. BL1 changed its antagonist a third of the way through the game (Sledge to Steele)! You barely knew either were there. And yet BL1 founded a franchise.

When BL2 was revealed, no one was demanding a great story. I, and I suspect most other BL1 players, wanted new guns, new skill sets to experiment with and a massive campaign to play through. We got all of those but we also, unexpectedly, got a good story with an astonishingly well written and performed antagonist. But you could have thrown most of the storytelling away and BL2 would still have been a great game.

TPS started the move to story-above-gameplay. I think 2K Oz understood the original Borderlands better than GBX but they were contracted to tell a story rather than just make a Borderlands game. So, what we got was too much exposition and too many scripted sequences. Anyone who knew the franchise knew the characters, so it was never about the player making their own story. I would have loved to have seen an original Borderlands game from 2K Oz.

BL3 has gone full on story telling, in the currently popular manner of the Far Cry or Metro games. It has long cinematic sequences taking me out of first person and making me a helpless observer. Isn’t the point of first person immersion? Does anyone want to sit through Maya’s memorial again? I don’t feel my character is the centre of the story. It’s all about the NPCs, whether villains or heroes, and I’m just there to enable their story.

As Borderlands lurches towards “games as a service”, with an interactive cartoon telling the story to get players to endgame asap, I think a great antagonist would be completely irrelevant. Instead, return to making the player the centre of the “story”. Give us something to strive for to complete our characters. Make the action compelling enough to make us want to play the campaign again and again. I still play BL1 and BL2 to this day, for that very reason.

I would like a Borderlands where the villain is only there to progress the gameplay. If the game succeeds or fails on an NPC, the game’s wrong.

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Jack is dead. What we need to bring back are Eridian weapons. Listen to the decoded Eridian statues, they talk of a 7th siren. One that shouldn’t be there. Hopefully that much is true and we can do what the alien said at the end of Presequel

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