Obvious Plot Twist in the Cards?


It took me too long to realize this, and in retrospect it’s such an obvious thing.

Lilith Phasewalks through dimensions, this is how her powers have worked from day one.

Having said that, we have assumed that when she Phased Sanctuary 1, she phased it into the same dimension it originated in. What if everything that happens after that moment is in an alternate dimension because we were separated from everyone else?

What we have is both a way to Remake BL2 within the ongoing lore, and also make it Borderlands 4.

In the original dimension the original Vault Hunters go on to battle without the four new Vault Hunters.

Imagine if that’s where Borderlands 4 picks up, with Sanctuary 1 phasing into a new dimension over their version of the Highlands, this time with the OG Vault Hunters playable?

Story & Side Missions come from talking to the other VHs who are NPCs when you don’t select then as your character(s). If a side mission comes from your character they pull up the mission from the map on the table.

Where the plot can diverge is here: Sans the BL2 Vault Hunters the Lilith & Roland can broadcast an intergalactic all-call for help (with the financial/material support of Marcus, Moxxi, Earl, Scooter, Tannis, and Hammerlock) and in doing so recruit Zane, Amara, Moze and Fl4k seven years earlier. These could be their Final Forms we have already seen.

Fl4k could still be working as a service bot, that Tannis acquires to replace her Cl4ptr4p given the heightened threat from Jack as a favor from one of her fellow academics.

Marcus could reach out to his vending and arms connections on Elpis, particularky Nurse Nina, who contacts Vladof who send in the Ursa Corp now that they have confirmation of the monetary and strategic value of Pandora, and send Moze to Sanctuary as a personal favor to Nina for tipping them off.

Moxxi & Scooter can pool their resources together to hire Zane, who has some sort of history with Moxxi that is hinted at in Handsome Jackpot. He’s still in full on Assassin One mode, and curios what happened to Assassin Zer0.

Lilith contacts Athenas to tell them of Maya’s disappearance. In doing so word of the Firehawk’s feat reaches Partali. Amara, inspired by the heroism, decides to venture to Pandora to join the fight and learn from Lilith.

With that the game starts with a quest for a way into the Bunker. But this time, instead of trusting Angel, Moxxi steps in with a better idea that they hide from her: Find Timothy… And the quest to discover his whereabouts and a spaceship become the new objective which take us to The Handsome Jackpot at its Peak. At this point Athena and Janey can come into the picture to help Scooter and Ellie expedite upgrading Sanctuary 1 or finding another option.

From there the next move would be to Bypass dealing with Angel and the Deathwall and getting to Elpis to take down Jack’s orbital reinforcements/ support. This gives a chance to confront the Hyperion workers and suits and Scientists onboard like Nakayama, Rhys, Vaugh, Yvette, and Vasquez, even Loaderbot.

The end result can be Helios being brought down in the Dust again, and the New Pandoran Army emerging and going after Bunker using the Burrows as a route past Terramophous Peak. They end up in a three front skirmish with Hyperion and the Slabs, which leads to Brick radioing in for help.

Meanwhile Jack has hunkered down in the Highlands and moved all his forces there so that the Extraction Plant, WEP, and Opportunity far more fortified. While there he is furiously negotiating deals with Maliwan and Dahl to surrender partial mining rights on Pandora and Elpis in exchange for their immediate Military support against the Crimson Raiders and Vladof.

As our team reaches the gates of the Highlands the Maliwan and Dahl fleets start to appear in the sky, there forces occupying Lynchwood, Tundra Express, and Eridium Blight to secure the Eridium mining operations. and the Watcher emerges on Sanctuary to announce: War is here.

That would then Unlock Brick, Athena, Timothy, & Cl4pTr4p as playable.

How’s that for a first third of the game? The second third would involve a time skip to the Calypsos landing on Elpis instead of Pandora because of the all out war that had been ongoing decimating the population, and them having no leverage with Maliwan because they had already partnered with Jack.

An the third act would start when a second, charged Elpis suddenly appears in the sky, along with another Lilith as the Lilith of this Dimension is Phasewalked out of sight to who knows where? (I have an idea of a logical location.


Interesting ideas. I am gonna have to process a few minutes LOL.


Multiverse Madness


@Isthiswill I think my initial response is that you could be correct about us eventually finding out that Lilith is still alive, just in another dimension. I have a really hard time thinking that anything will be retconned that obviously and blatantly in a franchise like BL though. They have retconned stuff before, but it has been basically stuff that doesn’t matter to most players (I mean, I noticed, but I don’t think a large percentage of players care because I don’t hear a ton of talk about it). I have a hard time thinking they would retcon major plot points.


What I am about to say will sound pretty harsh. Feel free to completely ignore me and this comment.

I had a hard time understanding this. It has all the hallmarks of bad fanfic. Time travel. Multiverse. Character revivals. Erasing past canon. Confusing and twisting plotlines. All the things that are the signs of poor writing meant to please a crowd and completely disregard any possible consequences from past events and the actions of characters.

I can understand wanting to have a “cool new adventure with the best of everything from past instalments”, but this is not the way to do that. If you want to have a game where you can play as any of the VHs in the franchise, just do that. No attempts at a plotline that will just become completely incoherent after the first 5 minutes. Just toss 'em in the ring and say “kill these hordes of enemies, fight some old bosses, do random quests for old NPCs”.


No time travel, only the Multiverse/ Multi-Dimensional aspect the series has always had by way of Lilith’s power.

What I’m proposing is that with that in play a writer can propose that the player’s perspective is distorted towards the assumption we are still in the dimension we started in after Lilith Phased Sanctuary.

As a writer they can pick up the story from the moment we are phased off Sanctuary and tell it from the perspective of those still on Sanctuary.

The reason I call it obvious is because it’s been abused in scifi for decades, with Star Trek being my favorite example, but in this case it lines up with Sliders due to Lilith’s powers.

By introducing the Mayhem Drive, the transportation that takes place in Guardian Takedown, and Multiversal skin packs, the door has been open to introduce alternate realities. The Seer’s dialogue feeds further into this.

Having said that, I just want to demonstrate how you can take that concept and use it to:

provide nostalgia
Reuse existing story beats, locations and characters
Create a novel-to-the-series story arch using existing lore

It’s not new, it’s not original, but it’s possible.

Avengers: Endgame is the high water mark for these sorts of things (for now). But for mass audiences, especially gamers who generally don’t concern themselves much with the story elements of the game, this gives them an in-canon gaming experience that lines up with consumer demand.

Also I think I left out Katagawa Jr. Being who Maliwan sends to Pandora to manage their share of the Mining Merger. :wink:

And for clarification, the existing lore path we as players are on in BL3 doesn’t intersect with this alternate dimension until when Lilith phases Elpis into their dimension. To borrow from Dr. Who or the MCU, Phasing Sanctuary is a point where divergent realities would fork, with our POV character for BL2 originating in one dimension in the road to Sanctuary on the ground, and our POV character for BL4 originating in that same moment in the other dimension on Sanctuary in the air after it has phased into the dimension Lilith has been passing into since day one.

P. S. - I am also borrowing from the Prestige with the perspective shift after a “transportation” event.


They already have trouble building a good plot when there are no multiverses involved, I don’t even want to imagine how its gonna be with multiverses


I’m pretty sure we are already in the midst of it based on the final boss fight mechanics in Guardian Takedown. What we see happen is either Time or inter-dimensional travel, the latter of which is already canon.

So far there are two worlds that are full of eridian temples and Guardians that have been shattered, presumably intentionally, and that has something to do with it all. Hopefully they’ll stick the landing.

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@Isthiswill I believe that what you’re saying is possible, but not likely at all. And by that I mean that I didn’t interpret the GTD Scourge mechanic as anything other than basically “Eridian ■■■■■■■■.” We don’t know what Eridians/Guardians/whatever they are called can do, how they work, or what powers they have. I view the GTD mechanic with Scourge teleporting the players as basically “unexplainable Eridian ■■■■■■■■.” And I believe that’s basically what the writers thought about it when they wrote it as well.

In the past, gameplay mechanics have correlated to the story very, very minimally, if at all.

I agree, but this is more a shot in the dark based on what’s been given and trends in popular scifi. Paradoxes and multiversal confluences are all the rage.

My take on GTD was that we are teleported to an alternate reality version of the planet. This is where “their masters” reside, as hinted at in the Trials.

Originally the Destroyer was described as being sealed in an extra-dimensional vault, and only a portion of it entered ours, hence it’s reduced power. The “feeding cycle” lore BL3 introduced may have fleshed it out with specifics, and the visuals of the interior of the Vaults point to them being vacuous spaces between spaces. This dimensional & spacial aspect of the lore seems to be a mechanism they are somewhat consistent in using.


Personally, I interpreted the speeches during the trials as that the “Guardians” are basically robots or slaves left behind by the actual Eridians and or Nyriad herself when Nyriad sealed them all inside wherever she put them. Basically, the Guardians are not “people,” they are shells or robots or something, created by the actual Eridians to protect the Vaults from plundering, for the good of the universe. Hopefully my rambling makes sense.


That reality, but not that specific planet.

Also of note, the Writing about why the Eridian name for Nekrotafayo means “First Landing” and the state of the planet when we see it could be applied as follows:

To move between dimensions either a highly enhanced Siren, or harnessing the power from a planet’s core is required to break the dimensional barrier, and Nekrotafayo is where they (the Eridians) first entered our dimension.

In the Writing in the Crypt in Konrad’s hold they talk of those who wanted to let the Destroyer run free, and how the Warrior was used to fend them off. Those Eridians, refusing to be sacrificed could potentially chose to return to their original dimension, hence the state of Minos Prime, and the actions of the Seer (and their being two factions of Guardians, ones loyal to the Eridians against the Destroyer’s imprisonment and those trying to free it at the behest of the exiled pro-destroyer Eridians in an alternate dimension).

Borderlands Metal :metal: and then Borderlands Deathmetal :metal: :metal:
they just have to ask DC writers how to :joy:


Lilith, based on the functionality of her powers in BL1 and the explanations of Eridiums effects on powers in BL2, does not technically swap dimensions. Her power is not a “dimensional shift” so much as it is a “matter shift”. She can alter her matter to allow her nigh invulnerability and more expedient travel for a short time. In BL2, this has been enhanced for nigh instantaneous travel as well as the ability to transport others with or without herself. I do not blame anyone for being confused on this considering they have stated it is “dimensional” when in practice it acts very differently.

Again, this might be hard to read and may hurt your feelings. Feel free to ignore this comment.

Honestly, the fact that the concept you have is so hard to explain and convoluted that a Masters degree screenwriter (me) can’t understand it should probably tell you all you need to know. It verges on Kingdom Hearts levels of ludicrus story.

You want the floating city, Sancutary 1 from BL2, which had 1/2 of the original VHs on it, to swap dimensions… into a dimension where… the original VHs don’t exist? (or do and you have copies of Lil and Roland?)…

…but what state is this other dimension in? Is it the same? Then there would be literally no difference in the story and things would continue as they did in BL2. So, it would have to be different… how would it be different? What would change to allow for these characters to shift into another dimension and instantly know they should contact some very specific people…

Okay… so which is it? We start the game with Lil, Roland, and Sanctuary 1 in another dimension… then swap back to the original one that we played through in Bl2?.. so it literally just BL2 again… but you said in the original dimension the original VHs, Lil, Roland, Mordi, and Brick go on to fight… but that isnt right because Lil and Roland are in the new dimension with Sanctuary…

Do you see why I say this is poorly written fanfic? Do you start to see why I am confused and why I commented how I have? None of this makes sense and has so many overly complex, needless twists and turns that it only serves to frustrate the audience and any writers who take up the mantle of writing this.

This is why multiverse, time travel, etc. are a writing crutch. They can quickly become overly complicated and asinine. It is extremely difficult to write a good, competent story revolving around time travel and/or multiverse theory. Even those examples you cited are not often good examples of it. Dr. Who does time travel every episode, but they are almost always disjointed narratives with the occasional reoccurring villain species/character or friendly face that has changed so much that it literally IS a face. Star Trek is episodic, like Dr. Who. There is little consequence for using time travel because things return to relative normality between episodes with little/no mention of the past events. Either that or are a nigh standalone movie that does not hinge on a previous instalment and said previous instalments plot to make sense.

The fact is that your proposed story for BL4 is akin to bad fanfic that revolves on having all the past VHs playable. Again, you can do this without the need for an overly complex plot that Tetsuya Nomura would give an approving nod.

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reveals trap card

I purposely removed a passage about the nature of the dimension exchange, explaining it as 1:1 because that would possibly confuse the reader given the plot device I am invoking is that 1:1 exchange is being used to propose that everything we have experienced since Lilith Phasing Sanctuary 1 has occurred in an alternate reality with alternate versions of the BL1 Vault Hunters. The realities were identical up until that point of divergence, and the caveat is that the 1:1 exchange was flawed (evidenced by our not being on Sanctuary). In the alternate reality that POV character is still on Sanctuary with those Vault Hunters.

Of course it reads as fan fiction since what you are reading is effectively me brainstorming the idea out in a post. It’s not even in draft stage. It’s just a stream of consciousness extension of the basic premise. I take no offense at your critique but I appreciate you volunteering your academic background as an explanation for why you’re so committed to henpecking the post without actually inquiring as to what state this idea exists in on my part. It’s evidence that our levels of enthusiasm for our own ideas/ criticisms and ignorance of authorial intent is atypical of anyone else in this thread at least.

Also, an apology before an assault doesn’t make it any less of an assault or any less tactful.

Now here’s the rub on my part and my intent:

My entire point of rambling on once I got started was to demonstrate how existing assets used in the games we have already played can be used interchangeably using this mechanism. This allows for a certain amount of economy in the game development process. The time needed to generate new story, new character designs, and implement them in game is reduced in favor of recombination. Of course this allows for a great deal of fan service ( did I mention Endgame or Flashpoint, MK11, Abram’s Star Trek, Into the Spiderverse etc?), and may very well be the bane of your existence as a writer. But it’s also something Borderlands fans were receptive to in the form of TTAODK, enough so to propel the creation of Wonderlands.

What it comes down to is, the games posit that Lilith and Elpis are missing, but not that they have ceased to exist, as a result of her using a high enhanced version of her Phasewalking power. The closest approximations of that scale of power/ phenomena have only been seen in use by The Traveler in Tales from the Borderlands (Where’s Fiona you ask?) and while fighting Scourge. The Seer invokes causality directly. The Watcher, Zarpedon, and Jack invoke precognition. And then there’s this:

and this

My point being that they have been shading towards the instability and flexibility of dimensions and time in the series since the Pre-Sequel. This is what can happen when Eridium and the Power of the Destroyer are mixed and used. BL3 ends with a repowered Lilith having absorbed her powers, enhanced by Tyreen’s absorption of both copious amounts of Eridium and the power of the Destroyer, to Phasewalk the same Moon that Jack was aiming the Eye of Helios at and created a Space-Time Singularity as a result of Moxxi’s sabotage. This same moon contained an inter-dimensional Vault, AND was a Vault Key itself.

Prior to the Pre-Sequel I wouldn’t say there was anything alluding to this level of Sci-Fi, invoking dimensional travel, time travel, and what not. Like it or not, it’s all a possibility (one popular as of late). It gives creators the flexibility of walking back creative choices, or subverting expectations be seemingly committing to a controversial choice, with the full intent of undoing it later on in a narrative.

My angle is, when it comes to pushing out product, they could pastiche a game together with enough elements for the existing games to create an experience that retreads thing we’ve already seen and done, but allows us to do so with characters we’ve never gotten to use in environments they’ve never been playable in, using a new game engine (or the old one). Marketing such as game as the Big One, that could appeal to old and new fans of the game play style, and the varying character classes.

If I were to actually draft a proper pitch with a plot synopsis and an outline of the narrative arch for the story elements, I’d give your critique more credence. But for what I offered up, it’s a fan spitballing ideas that would be executable with the technical and narrative tools available to the developers.

TL;DR explanation of “The Plot Twist”

When our POV character(s) in BL2 is phased away from Sanctuary as it takes of, we were actually left behind in an alternate dimension/ branch timeline.

In the other/ new-to-us dimension our POV character remains on Sanctuary, but the other Vault Hunters do not. They are MIA (akin to Lilith at the close of BL3).

In their place Lilith, Roland, and later Mordecai become playable.

Instead of choosing to follow Angel’s advice, and not having the manpower to have anyone stay behind the Vault Hunters and the citizens of Sanctuary pool their resources to find an alternate plan to go after Jack, using their particular experiences from the Pre-Sequel to compromise Helios and muster a coalition force.

This leads to a whole new sequence of events, and forces the original Vault Hunters to recruit and partner with others, and Jack to do likewise now that neither can rely on the BL2 Vault Hunters other than your POV character.

The goal is to deliver the war, span the duration of BL2 up until all the time in their timeline that would match up when Lilith phased Elpis, though in their timeline this even would not be happening.

This would emphasize why the Seer refers to her as an Acausality.
Her return would also open the door to exploring where the new-to-us dimension’s BL2 Vault Hunters went, Fiona, and the Guardian’s masters.

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Wow, you really thought about this a lot! I personally like this idea. Having a way to play as the OG VH’s is something I’m all for in a new BL game. Sign me up!


Why would Fiona matter at all? If the Crimson Raiders compromise Helios at BL2 time in this universe then no one would be around for the Vault Key con and the Tales crew would never open the Vault of the Traveler and Fiona and Sasha would still be nobodies on Pandora.

And this idea is supposed to happen in both BL4 and a remake of BL2?

The writers couldn’t keep track of the one set of storylines and lore they had going into BL3 and you’re expecting them to handle a multiverse?


That is all related to the concept of Inter-dimensional travel.

The story concept I’m proposing starts with our POV character in a parallel dimension that diverges from the one of BL2 the moment Sanctuary is teleported. We are playing through the altered events in that dimension due to us remaining on Sanctuary instead of emerging on the ground (with my added conceit being that we switched places with our counterpart from the BL2 universe at that moment and the other 3-5 BL2 VHs from this new dimension are MIA).

This new dimension, and the story of the game play out over the time frame spanning BL2 & 3 and the two dimensions don’t intersect again until the end of BL3 when Lilith phases Elpis, and at that point the story can shift focus to what is going on with inter-dimensional travel and the whereabouts of characters lost in the midst of it. That is where Fiona can come in, as well as the missing BL2 Vault Hunters from the new dimension.

And yes, there is a high margin of error with stories of this sort.

To borrow a page from Endgame with Gamora, which borrowed from Dr. Who with Micky/ Ricky Smith, the climax of the game would be the return of the new dimension’s BL2 Vault Hunters that are missing along with Fiona, and the new dimension’s Maya taking on a role as guardian of the Vault of the Traveler, existing/ operating in both dimensions.

Maximum fan service achieved. :wink:

And instead of it being Borderlands 4 (Borderl4nds) it could be called Borderlands Too.

@Isthiswill A’s for effort and inventiveness, my friend, but I doubt these GBX writers have the same brainpower and vision :slight_smile:

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