The Maliwan Lore - what we know so far and what's coming in the future

I want to made this post just to gather information about Maliwan and what we know by now from all the games and what could we expect in the future. It will probably turn into a speculation thread. So go ahead. :>

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It’s you who should start the discussion, add some summary and people will join.

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Im just kinda lazy. :slight_smile:
Im more curious what others gathers from the games.

Well for one thing, like every other company Maliwan considers Tediore to be bottom of the barrel. Implied by Katagawa Jr. listing the “stronger” companies that could have taken over Atlas instead of Maliwan from Rhys; Rhys stating that Tediore guns are “garbage with a trigger”, and “TL” in the Heist DLC asking who you worked for when you meet him and him not being sure if Tediore is still even a thing. Maybe Maliwan will try to absorb Tediore going forward if they think it’s even worth the effort.

From what we know Naoko Katagawa is Jr’s only living sibling, so if she’s not in line to take over/chooses not to take over the ownership of Maliwan will probably change hands to a different family entirely.

Also Maliwan’s OG sales pitch-
Isn’t it time you take your weapons to the next level? Sure, old-fashioned slug throwers have served you well in the past, but so did Bologna sandwiches. You’ve grown. Your tastes have changed. They’ve refined. It’s time you had a gun that evolved with you and didn’t feel like a family heirloom. Maliwan believes in honoring the past by embracing the future. Every Maliwan weapon is designed by the skilled technicians in our bleeding-edge laboratories to pack as much elemental punch as possible. Our staff of artisans crafts each weapon to look as good as it performs. Maliwan offers a full line of pistols, shotguns, rifles, and rocket launchers to fit every style. If it’s not elemental, it’s not a Maliwan.

By far my favorite sales pitch from Marcus’ gun vending machine in BL1-
“Is shooting bullets just not cool enough for you? Buy a Maliwan and light some people on fire!”

There are a few guns they make that stray from the elemental exclusivity of the Maliwan brand:
-Hyper Hydrator: water pistol mode “squirt 'em” is kinetic dmg type, makes shock do more damage, but that fire mode isn’t “elemental” as far as damage it does. (I mean water is an element, but not in Borderlands)
-Tsunami: During the “spin up” for the Tsunami I think it does regular kinetic dmg and then starts alternating shock and corrosive. (not a hundred on this one)
-Mind Killer: is a completely kinetic weapon, no element at all. has a pretty sound wave effect though.
-The Emperor’s Condiment: shoots a mustard laser. so that’s…something…
-Vosk’s Deathgrip: alternate firing mode Vosk’s grasp is a singularity. don’t recall if there’s any elemental damage associated with that firing mode.
-E-Gun:the first Maliwan gun I can think of that abandons elemental damage, but it’s in TPS instead of BL3.

Like other companies in the Borderlands universe they have basically an army associated with them same as Atlas (in both of it’s established forms, Crimson Lance and then Rhys’ army), Vladof (inferred in TPS and Moze’s service record with them), Hyperion (obviously, but they’re not the bad guys anymore, probably, fingers crossed for Mr.Blake to reappear with some morally ambiguous job for us to do), COV /Bandit/Scav(kinda), Dahl (heavily inferred, and confirmed in Fight for Sanctuary), Jakobs (only out of necessity: the Jakobs’ Resistance during BL3 as far as I know is the only fighting force associated with Jakobs).

Anshin has enough of a footing in the Borderlands universe to be able to send people on most likely espionage jobs, as per Zane’s mention of doing an “Anshin Job”

Pangolin has enough of a standing in the universe to be able to post a bounty on Zane, don’t know about an army as of yet. (Maliwan also has a bounty on Zane)

Don’t know the status of Tediore or Torgue as far as having an army goes. (Pangolin and Anshin no confirmed large scale force) and S&S munitions (now S&S accessories) never seemed to have much impact in the Borderland universe and disappeared almost entirely after BL1.

Last thing I can think of is that they also make an alcohol “Maliwan Black Label”

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I am very curious as to what Maliwan plan to do in the future. The takedown I feel has been glossed over by many but they are really advanced mechs - Hyperion hadn’t anything with such strength or mobility like that. It makes you curious as to why they’re building up such an armada or whether it’s just a case of ‘that guy did it and got super rich and famous - I’m gonna do that too!’

I never thought of Maliwan as a potential enemy for us. In 2, Hyperion and Dahl were the ones that came to mind. Torgue was loud but a nice enough guy but Maliwan didn’t really have any attention drawn to it. And I love that we’re getting more of a fleshed our idea of these manufacturers - Maliwan, Atlas and Jakob now has a bit of personality behind them which I love! Who knows - maybe Tediore will make an appearance to get a bit of vengeance for being the laughing stock of the arms race.

Regarding Katagawa, I did see some discussion regarding his sister though I must have missed any indication regarding her in the games? I’d love a bit more light on that as I honestly hadn’t heard of her.

Maliwan, judging by their latest technology, are a very strong competitor right now. Rhys was lucky that the vault hunters came when they did.

Which makes me sad about Hyperion…or hopeful that they’re quietly hiding their time.

If the Great War was to ever happen as foretold, it’s be great to see the weapon manufacturers come together for a big battle where they have to work together to save the universe.

And…you know…totally wouldn’t complain if jack found his way back to be an apprehensive ally even if momentarily-BUT yeah Maliwan could fill that too. Katagawa is dead. But maybe another in the company will take over his work. For good or for…not so good.

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Katagawa Jr didn’t own Maliwan, he was President of Acquisitions or something. There’s probably a Katagawa Sr still kicking around up top.

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Personally i was kinda disappointed that Maliwan didn’t get the in-depth exposition like the other manufacturers did in the previous games. We know Hyperion in such details, Atlas was well introduced in B1 with their ads and Knoxx dlc, Torgue blew sh^t up in 2, Dahl got more detailed in TPS and with Maliwan we got almost nothing except it’s a family business, things like what they specialize in, are they just asian themed hi-tech corporate army or they have something special behind that truly differs them from other manufacturers. I’m talking worldbuilding here, not just guns and enemies. I hope dlc 3 deliver more about Maliwan in the story department, they’re such a huge part of the games so far, its weird that we get so little about them even with the takedowns.

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this Tediore dissing running gag appeared in BL3 am I right? I don’t recall Tediore being mocked in previous games?

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Tediore weaponry are being put out as a the cheapest expandable weapons since B2. They had pretty decent weapons in B1 though. There was this ad, back then.


I still love my Deliverance shotgun though. It wrecks buzzards like no other. In 3 Rhys makes a remark about Tediore but the line fell flat as we don’t know anything about Tediore lore.
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there is a bit of lore through the fidelity e-mail, I haven’t played much Tediore lately so I don’t remember them exactly but you can learn a bit about Tediore in them

I mean after Katagawa was defeated, Maliwan was still assisting the Calypsos and fighting us on Nekro. I saw a bunch of people ask why since Katagawa was dead, surely their involvement would stop there. I hope more information gets added to Maliwan also though I won’t be holding my breath too much. Going by the future dlc announcements and the mention of the next takedown, I’m not sure if Maliwan are going to be making anymore noise for a while.

I think Ava is somehow involved with Maliwan. She looks kinda maliwanish. :>

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I dunno. I saw her using a Tediore gun in the final fight…a Tediore gun that she never reloaded/threw.

I think she’s a spy for Tediore, come to be a spanner in the works! They’re seeking their revenge!

Yeah, they probably avoided the need for one by staying away from the Corporate Wars.

Are you referring to that radio advertisement that says that they now basically sell the “light beam projectors” for weapons that fall on the ground?

Yeah, and, judging by Mr. Torgue’s dialogue during Totally Recall, there’s a Black Label brewery on Pandora itself!
And, apparently, that’s not the only instance of Maliwan presence on Pandora.


Judging by the text on these battery recharge boxes, there’s also at least one Maliwan warehouse (2B-01) on the planet.

Also, some more random Maliwan stuff I dig:

  • Here’s a low-res image from the BL3 artbook: the chibi like valkyrie and oversphere appear on the Maliwan toy dispensers (which, personally, I thought were an amazingly creative touch), but I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen the female variants.


Also, next to the Kraken you can see a scrapped mech variant that looks like something straight out of Warframe.


  • So, everybody knows about the scrapped Pre-Sequel campaign dlc, “Luxy’s Space Adventure”. You also probably know that Gearbox has already incorporated its two main inspirations (plant-zombies and space cruiseship) in the Fight for Sanctuary and the Handsome Jackpot dlcs respectively.

What you may have missed, is that the Luxatania (the main location of the cancelled expansion) was probably going to be a Maliwan ship, judging by the color palettes/patterns on various concepts.

Here are some relevant concepts, if you want to revise them a bit.


  • Old Maliwan dropship concept. I find it interesting because they seem to have made a model for it at some point:

maliwan elicottero o navetta di rhys


  • Old Maliwan mech textures:

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Oh, sorry I wasn’t clearer with that, I meant that Jr was the son of 2 higher ups in Maliwan (who we are to infer at the moment own the company, as Katagawa was referred to being “12th in line to take over the company, until he made 11 quick little cuts to the family tree” which according to him put him next in line), not that it was his company at this point. He was just in charge of “Mergers and Acquisitions” according to his official title in the company.

As far as Maliwan continuing to be involved, I think it might boil down the contract that Jr had the Calypsos sign (detailed in the Opposition Research side quest). or possibly revenge for killing one of their executives, or even maybe a self serving interest in continuing to get the technology from the Vaults that the Calypsos promised Maliwan.

and yeah, the Tediore bashing didn’t start until Borderlands 3. the worst things said about Tediore previously was in their own sales pitch “If you’re on a budget, Tediore is always the way to go” “Mrs. Tediore here! I’m not going to tell you that spending exorbitant amounts of money on weapons with silly features like elemental tech or increased damage will break the bank, leaving you so poor you’re incapable of buying food, shelter, or medicine when you need it most, to the point where your desire for excessive personal protection ironically results in your own death. I’d never say that! I’m simply here to suggest that Tediore’s weapons are so cheap, that you could easily buy an entire arsenal and still have enough money left over to, say, buy a car! Buy a house! Not starve to death! Tediore: because breaking your enemies shouldn’t break the bank.” and “Cheap, reliable, lightweight, and incredibly fast reload speeds; Tediore makes an easy-to-use gun”

I think she is always using a version of The Boo ++, I think each npc that has a neat reward for you and is an active companion to you has a set weapon they use. Ava-The Boo++; Zer0-Null Pointer (at least the Hyperion sniper he’s using looks exactly like the Null Pointer); Ember-Ember’s Purge (only one I can be 100% on because it does the lava pool effect around enemies it hits). Those are the 3 that come to mind off hand.

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I mean, yeah that’s been the joke since BL2. Tediore guns are so cheap and crummy that it’s more efficient to throw them away to explode and digistruct a new one than it is to just, you know, reload the gun. And if I recall correctly I think they generally have the lowest relative sale value in the game. The in game radio ads are basically like, “well if you’re a poor person who needs to defend their house, I guess a Tediore will do in a pinch.”

I even read an interview once that the devs said they were toying with the idea of having Tediores have a chance to explode in your hands but decided that was going too far.

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Not to mention that you don’t need thumbs in order to reload them (another of the radio ads you can overhear in BL2’s Sanctuary)

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There is a side quest in Lectra City called “Good Wife” where you actually meet her. Fun quest to do but it is Lectra City so prepare for a tough fight.

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