Did Gearbox Quietly Introduce A New Lore Thread & Timeline?

I was wondering if there was a way to connect some of the disparate story elements that were introduced. One visual cue and mechanic that I took for granted is potentially more significant than I realized.

In Fight For Sanctuary the New Pandoran Army, Hector’s Dahl forces, are exposed to spores in the form of a yellow gas, that when exposed to it, causes our characters to grow stronger in combat until it eventually starts to harm us. At its worst it mutates people who are exposed into plant infused rage monsters. Hector’s forces were mining long enough ago that Dahl was still in power on Pandora, to which Hector delivered the first Vault key. That places these events before Borderlands one. This infectious flora sprung from with the depths of Pandora.

In Bounty of Blood Oletta the Crone, a former Jakobs researcher introduces us to some of the flora that was used to control beasts on Gehenna as part of the experimentation they did for Project EndlessHorizons. It’s not clear if the flora was native to Gehenna. The Vault Hunter uses it to control the Belliks and get them to fight each other. The time frame of the Flora experimentation appears to be in Oletta’s lifetime as she worked in the Jakobs facility doing the research with Butcher Rose’s grandmother.

In Fantastic Fustercluck we find out that Hyperion was experimenting with a yellow gas to turn civilians into super soldiers, so to speak. Instead it drove them mad and made them hyper aggressive. It was then decided it would be deployed to destabilize populations before invading them, and abandoned. This yellow gas’s origin is not disclosed, and the timeline suggests that Krieg’s torture and transformation took place on Pandora during Hyperion’s occupation, so between the Pre-sequel and BL2.

There have been psychos on Pandora dating back to when Dahl pulled out. They would have also already taken the Vault key from Hector and his battalion, who were trapped in a cave in, which is when it is implied they were exposed to the spores at length.

Having said that, the implication so far is that there are three different yellow gases that enrage /or power up humans and animal life. Is it actually one spore that has been experimented with by multiple companies over time?

In one case the plants that create it seem to be native to Pandora, that entire planet being a construct surrounding a trapped Vault Monster within an Eridium shell.

In another case a similar spores come from genetically engineered flora that Jakobs experimented with in the past and abandoned. Side note: Eden-6 had a secret vault with a giant plant based Vault Monster in it.

Jack’s portrait hangs in the Jakobs Estate and he is in his Hyperion attire, implying he had a relationship with the family, possibly personal and professional earlier in his life.

Hyperion eventually tries to weaponize a yellow gas for military purposes and creates psychos. You could make the case that they were inspired by the Dahl Lost Legion on Helios who inhaled a gas that transformed them into Ascended and Eternal forms, not unlike Seraph Guardians and Ascended COV.

Here’s a possible workflow for this spore:






The timeline is the tricky thing, but it’s entirely possible that multiple corporations came across the spores over time during their mining operations independent of each other as they did the Vaults, and multiple corporations were on the same planets at once, before, during, and after the corporate wars.


I still deeply believe she is Rose’s grandmother


I thought so too, but in another thread I linked back to the dialogue/ echo from the Obsidian Forest where she and Rose meet, and Oletta directly refers to her Grandmother as someone she worked with. Oletta is curmudgeonly but she doesn’t seem unstable. Digging that up pushed me to thinking they weren’t one and the same. Also the quip about Rose’s B. O. was a nice tie-in to the this lore. Let me link that post as it also ties into this in how it relates to Rose’s unique abilities with Beasts…

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I think Hector’s crew is just a Doom reference.

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My including them is more about the spores and the time frame it establishes for when they were mining in the area where the spores could have been discovered. I’m not saying they’re significant in other regard than what the spores did to them.

Or a Flood reference. Or both.

Jack’s portrait hangs in the Jakobs Estate and he is in his Hyperion attire, implying he had a relationship with the family, possibly personal and professional earlier in his life.

Will add that the relationship was almost certainly personal, considering the portrait in question is actually of him and his pregnant wife, whose face was conveniently destroyed.

Interesting implication that Angel was likely related to the Jakobs family, probably on her mother’s side.

As for the rest, I can’t believe I never noticed how some sort of yellow gas/spore seems to be a recurring theme throughout the story. It could be coincidental, but the fact that it’s popped up this many times leaves room for thought.


I was being open ended because it crossed my mind that I didn’t know Jack’s last name, or if Jack was his name in reality. Tassiter calls him John so many times, and JFK was know as both John & Jack Kennedy. So his dad not being around (he said so in TPS) could be for many reasons, one being he was off world doing his thing with Jakobs.

The vandalism of the portrait me think initially that Aurelia might have done it out of envy/ jealousy going back to the Presequel.

If not Aurelia, then Wainwright or Montgomery did the vandalism prior to Aurelia because it was someone who betrayed the family.

Or maybe, just maybe, the bandits did it, because they used to worship Jack, and didn’t have any love for his wife and child.

It’s a good conversation piece.


Isn’t that the same portrait that was hiding the entrance to the Angel area in Tannis’ lab-hideout in Konrad’s hold? Also identically defaced?


It’s exactly the same.


Thanks for the confirmation. So, re-used asset. But from a story perspective, why? Curious…


Though it’s a reused asset, doing so twice in canon could be used to indicate that Bandits are responsible for the vandalism, under the direction of the Calypsos, or, given some worshiped Jack circa BL2, his own decree. Jack did kill anyone who made mention of his wife after all.


Man I was already so confused about the timelines in Borderlands and now you had to go add to it! :crazy_face: I need them to start listing historic dates like they did in Battleborn when I could just go check Lowlines’ site as a guide.


Don’t worry, the writers are just as confused as you are.

Sorry, that was a bit harsh, but I couldn’t keep it.


Also, in more than a few conversations I broached the idea of Rose being the product of the Jakob’s Facility’s experimentation, possibly with Pheromones, Core, and Saureon DNA. It didn’t dawn on me to check her Cosplay guide for less noticeable cues. I hadn’t noticed she had lizard eyes.


I seem to recall that in the original lore (maybe in one of Tannis’ echo logs from BL1?), all of the different bandit types were a product of exposure to vault energies, implying that the extra-dimensional creature that the vault houses (i.e. The Destroyer) was somehow corrupting the Dahl employees left behind. Thus psychos, bruisers, midgets, etc. all came from the same source, as did their violent tendencies. Also remember that everyone on Pandora is a little bloodthirsty in their own way - all the original VH, Moxxi, Marcus, etc. Even Scooter murdered Lucky Zaford and buried him in a shallow grave. Now add in that the original vault monster is of the same breed as the monster in Half-Life, that GB worked on. And remember that there was all sorts of weird extra-dimensional mutations going on with that milieu.

None of that original lore had anything to do with Hyperion or Jakobs experimentation as the driving force behind it. However, it would not surprise me if GB added a new layer of “experimentation” lore on top of what they had originally conceived regarding the vault monster’s influence to explain the various mutations (kind of like introducing Midichlorians in the Star Wars Mythos because Lucas did not know how to explain the Force well enough, or otherwise felt he needed to confine it so as to retain iron control of the narrative, or whatever).

But, setting that aside, I think that you might be on to something with regards to the flora of Pandora being some sort of source for mutations. Perhaps the extra-dimensional vault monster uses spores in some manner or has simply corrupted the flora via its extra-dimensional weirdness energies? Any corporate meddling would then be a downstream effect.

I totally missed the Jack picture in Jakob’s manner. Thanks for that! According to the Hyperion profile sheet, Jack is from Tantalus. And it is heavily implied in BL2 that Jack’s Grandmother was a Psycho of some sort (or at the very least heavily abusive). So I wonder how all that fits in with the operating hypothesis?


I’m not at the point where I would compare them to Prequel Lucas just yet. The Jakob’s EndlessHorizon’s lore has been one of the more interesting things to come of out BL3 for me. And after the Fustercluck and playing the DLCs to farm weapons your points got me thinking further:

Xylorgos (sp?) features Dahl mining equipment and Facilities. It’s not spelled out how long the planet has been in that state, but for an entire village to be erected around a dead Vault sized monster, and the place to be thought safe enough to be a tourist stop, it’s been there at least as long as we can imagine Dahl was on Pandora in game lore. It’s not said outright that the researchers were there on behalf of Dahl, but that would be consistent with their place in the lore going back to BL1, and like all previous Dahl mining missions, people get mutated or lose their minds.

Gehenna: It’s played as a one-off failed experiment, a testing site for things they didn’t feel safe exploring/ using on their home world.

Krieg’s Mind: It gave us the Gas they developed to create Psychos, also yellow like the spores from Gehenna that turn beasts on each other. The gas didn’t work as planned in making instant armies of pain impervious compliant soldiers. It induced madness that they thought they could use to at least destabilize opposition before taking them out during the upheaval. That comes straight from Dr. Benedict’s voice lines in the echoes and background audio though I’m paraphrasing.

That said, you could make the case that:

Jack’s connection to Jakobs was how they were able to get access to Oletta’s research on the spores, which Jakobs could have sourced from any Vault-adjacent Flora. Hyperion then deployed the gas they developed on Pandora so they could take over and get access to the Vault and Eridian Technology there, which they did.

Nekrotofayo (Sp?) gives us an example of the type of plant and wildlife (flora & fauna) that occurs where Eridians “first landed”. It’s noted that everything on that planet tried to kill the Maliwan forces, and was succeeding. Coincide that with the precedent that Eridium and Vaults are radioactive/ mutating people, that they would mutate flora of all sorts. We have New Pandoran power-up flora which was theoretically encountered around the same time as the Vault Key some time prior to BL1 by Hector’s men. We have the Gehenna spore that induce violent tendencies that also predates BL1. We have Jack’s connection to Jakobs which predates BL1 as well. The pieces seem to fit.


Maybe Dr. Ted was the secret mastermind behind Gehenna’s experiments…?


How about: the woman in the painting is Tannis. Jack defaced them ((and was so brutal with Tannis in bl2) because he blames her for everything that happened with angel. He even deflects\transfers blame for his own role onto her. After being nearly killed by Angel she couldn’t reconcile her feelings with what had happened, not to mention how Jack response, and it broke her.

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I gave that a little thought in the past, but it doesn’t work out with Tannis’s backstory or Jack’s at this point. There is nothing that connects Tannis and Jack with Jakobs to justify the portrait being there. Having the portrait among things Angel touched that have traces of her memories implies that she found it after the events of BL2, and likely on Pandora or the wreck of Helios.

That the image is defaced everywhere it’s found makes it seem more recent since until Aurelia and the Calypsos killed Montgomery and took over Jakobs, he and Wainwright would have been the occupants of the Manor. I can’t see them keeping a defaced picture hung all over the manor.

That makes me think that since the Bandits and Psychos are the only common connection between Konrad’s Hold and the Jakob’s Manor, that they are responsible. But on whose orders? Jack did turn down the picture of Angel on his desk after he was branded by the Relic in the Vault of the Sentinel. It wouldn’t be beyond him to order all images of his former wife destroyed, and Bandits and Hyperion soldiers did worship him based on voice lines like “Praise Jack” etc.

Tannis is a notoriously bad liar once you play through BL3 and catch all the times she gives up her secret early in the game, and that seems like one more layer of lore on a character many argue has too many going on.

The one thing I consider is that chronologically the portrait turns up in Jakobs Manor first, so I connect it with that family and that aspect of the lore before any other. It being there is a pretty bold implication that was unprecedented in the lore.