So I previously did one of these for Attikus and the Thrall Rebellion. Now that it has been roughly a week, I think everyone should have had enough time to play it and to listen to the majority of the dialogue. If you happen to play with others or run it through public matchmaking, you have likely gotten the story in bits and out of order so I am here to give you the full tale of how Toby fought an evil leopard seal who wanted to take over the universe and made a few (unexpected) friends along the way.
SPOILER WARNING: Leave now if you want to experience this yourself. The full dialogue can also be found on my website.
Episode #1 - Resuce Toby!!
Toby was ambushed while on Bliss, captured and separated from his Berg by an evil seal named “Thaddeus Wishingbone”. This guy wants to become the “Emperor of Solus” using Toby’s Berg as a weapon.
Toby has apparently been with his Berg for so long that he actually feels exposed without it (poor little guy). It is worth mentioning that Thaddeus also makes a point of Reyna’s command glove, which we will learn more about in later episodes.
The use of Thrall as cheap mercenaries is also a notable shift since previously they have always been a slave race of the Jennerit and since they no longer have that, they’ve obviously had to seek employment elsewhere. You may note these guys also look a little different to your typical Thrall as they are sporting different colors.
Thaddeus also has a pet goldfish named Whiskers who he seems to mistake for a catfish?
Apparently Toby took precautionary measures to make sure only he could fully control his Berg, which has restricted what Thaddeus can do with it (for now). This hasn’t stopped Thaddeus from trying to duplicate it en-mass and if you manage to break the glass cover over the cog-pit of the final boss “Patent No. 2546-D”, you will see there is a large C battery where Toby normally sits.
At the end of the first episode, you find Toby locked up inside a containment field. Unlike the previous Operation, which was replaying the same memory over and over again, in Toby’s Friendship Raid each playthrough is the next ship in a fleet of 10 ships that you are actually clearing out and jumping over to the next one on escape pods (at freakishly high speeds that you probably shouldn’t even think about). While the characters don’t actually come in as NPCs that help you in later playthroughs (which I think would have been really interesting if they did ), you won’t ever reach the end of a run and see Toby locked up again, which is kind of cool as it adds to the continuity.
Episode #2 - Thaddeus and the Shower of Murder
Thaddeus has now assumed a fake identity referring to himself as “Truffles LeReaux” and if you look closely at his comms icon, he will actually be wearing a different disguise to try and hide the fact he is the same guy (albeit very poorly), this guy is clearly used to assuming multiple identities.
Toby also has a shouting problem, which has caused Reyna discomfort on several occasions.
Thaddeus reveals he was in a college Ska Band called “Shower of Murder” and their title track was “Purple Biscuit Dagger”. The blogosphere he mentions is probably the Battleborn equivalent of blogging websites or perhaps Reddit?
He also has shown an interest in the Rogues and suggests that if they joined up with him they could easily make Ekkunar their home instead of living in the Detrius Ring (which is literally Solus’ trash dump).
Episode #3 - Pendles to the Rescue!?
So Pendles was hired by Thaddeus under the fake name of “Milky Grontawnamuss” to kill Reyna and Toby, fortunately Pendles likes to be paid in advance before he kills anybody (that or he’s actually a tad bit more loyal to the Rogues than he makes out). Pendles indicates he has been keeping track of who/what he has killed in the past and so far Finici Aviants have never made that list.
We also learn that Thaddeus is a leopard seal, which like to eat penguins.
There’s also a joke made about how the ships all look identical despite being slightly different. I have had a look around myself and aside from the boss’s name which comes in 10 different variants the name of the ship (as seen in the starting area behind where all the Jennerit ships are docked) also changes as well. I don’t know the correct order, but here are all the ship names I know of:
- Pinniped’s Lament (Episode #1)
- The Spotted Calypso
- The Hushed Puppy
- Cry Me A Whisker
- Mr Crontonamus’s Fish Canoe
- Slippery Skipper (Episode #5)
- The Krill of Victory
- Oh Blubber Where Art Thou?
- From Tusk Till Dawn
Since Pendles didn’t take Thaddeus up on his offer, Thaddeus has now decided to look for another assassin and Pendles recommends Jake Varg. Despite Thaddeus offering to pay him double credits, Pendles still opts to kill him and take his credits. Important note, don’t seek help from Pendles when he’s onboard your ship trying to kill you and admit to having even more money in your backpocket Then again, once Pendles has made up his mind to kill you, even offering him triple credits isn’t going to be enough to change his mind!
Despite Thaddeus hiring on Jake Varg, we never see him show up (probably cos DLC budgets…and because he owes Pendles credits!!), and Pendles leaves to go try and dig up more information about Thaddeus by “reach[ing] out to a few old contacts I haven’t killed yet”.
Episode #4 - ISIC? ISIC. ISIC!? ISIC.
So in an unexpected development. ISIC shows up and reveals he’s known about Thaddeus’ plan to take over Solus for a while now. Turns out that when the Magna Carta went offline, he met Thaddeus; who was an LLC patent clerk at the time and they became pen pals. At some point, Thaddeus stopped replying and that really ticked ISIC off!
Thaddeus (currently “Pizza Masterson Jr.”) tries to pretend he doesn’t know who ISIC is (sounds familiar hey Kleese?) and ISIC reveals that Thaddeus has had at least 27 other known alias indicating that he’s been trying to track him down for a while
The apparent reason Thaddeus cut off contact after a year with ISIC was because he hacked into his work station and read all of his private emails including a mention of a pool party which he was never invited (I feel your pain buddy ).
Turns out the reason why Thaddeus came in contact with ISIC in the first place was to get access to secure LLC databases. Not only has he been on the run from a lot of people (including his own family apparently), but there’s a lot more going on with this guy.
In an unexpected turn of events, ISIC has decided to befriend Toby who I assume he sees as another poor sap who’s been betrayed by Thaddeus. Toby is not totally onboard with this!
Episode #5 - Beating the Bullies
Reyna makes the quite obvious observation that Toby was bullied a lot as a kid. Thaddeus (currently “Flisky Dumpholder”) actually doesn’t take this new braver/meaner Toby too well.
Interestingly Toby also makes a comment about the fact that Reyna must have been bullied too because “no one wears that much leather if they haven’t been bullied at some point in their life”.
Episode #6 - Phoebe Here To Inspect Your Evil Plan
So we knew that Thaddeus (currently “Snutchel Crundledumpster”) was previously an LLC patent clerk but who would have expected Phoebe to show up during a Rogue mission? Phoebe is basically like that boss that takes apart everything you do and tells you how bad your are doing your job. I’m not going to delve too much into this one, because really, Phoebe just dishes it out here and you’d be better off to read it in her own words (she even says “whaddup” for crying out loud!!).
Episode #7 - Nega-Toby
So Thaddeus gave up on insulting and has opted to build an evil, more confident version of Toby, Nega-Toby! Just stop and look at this guy for a moment!
Ahem…so moving on, Nega-Toby appears to know all of Toby’s deep dark embarrassing secrets; including the time when he got caught “peeing on dry land” at Miss Bonaparte’s Preparatory Academy.
Toby also previously had a love interest named “Emma McGuire” whom he called up, and got so nervous he said “Hi Toby, it’s Emma!”. (poor guy ) He has more recently had a crush on Reyna (too bad that spot is already filled with Ghalt ).
It’s also indicated here that Toby is insecure because he has failed to save his friends in the past. If you think about it, he’s basically built Berg as a shield to protect himself both physically and emotionally and so that he can protect his friends.
Episode #8 - Who Is Thaddeus Whisingbone?
Phoebe, Pendles and ISIC are back after going off to find out what they can about Thaddeus (currently called “Dr. Garrius Winglehopper”) and why he is on the run and has assumed so many different aliases.
Phoebe tells us that the “The Bureau of Intergalactic Patent Enforcement for the Ongoing Protection of Intellectual Property” fired him on suspicion of patent theft.
ISIC has discovered that Thaddeus has made a few purchases under the name “Hazel Orion” to which Thaddeus reveals he used ISIC’s secure LLC database access to steal a fleet of vulnerable production ships (10 to be exact).
Pendles makes the final link, which is that Hazel Orion is actually the Lorrian, the famous black market kingpin who operated out of the Detrius Ring and has had dealings with most of the Rogues. This is the same guy that supplied Toby with the parts for his Berg!
Thaddeus had previously hired Pendles to kill anyone and everyone who had suspected him of being the Lorrian (Pendles feels somewhat used by this knowledge, but not totally upset since he still got paid for it).
Thaddeus had also used ISIC’s secure LLC database access to steal a specific LLC patent that can “bypass any defense technology manufactured by the LLC”, which he needed to fully unlock Toby’s mechsuit.
But the biggest revelation of all was that he also helped Reyna get to where she is by creating her command gauntlet, and after the events of The Heliophage, he came to collect wanting her ship (Fortune’s Favor) and a fleet to go with it, which she refused. This is likely why he ended up stealing a fleet of LLC production ships.
Episode #9 - The Valkyrie
So Reyna wasn’t the person everyone thought she was! Everyone saw her as a leader and in order to keep up the charade, she sought help from the Lorrian and kept it secret. Toby is quite upset by this development (meanwhile, everyone else is sitting on the sidelines eating popcorn).
Thaddeus (currently “Bangle Janglejeans”) goes on how he sees himself as the true hero of Solus blah blah, super full of himself.
By the end of the run, Toby is able to see Reyna’s faults and chooses to forgive her and the pair make up, now much closer than before.
So can somebody kill this damn leopard seal already??
Episode #10 - The Lorrian
ISIC has killed the hyperspace drives, Phoebe has blocked all frequencies and Pendles is just killing anybody who tries to escape (unless they pay him well enough). All that’s left now is to kill that damn leopard seal!!
Thaddeus (finally referring to himself as “The Lorrian”) has completely unlocked Toby’s Berg and has built an army of them (which you would have seen in each playthrough) ready to start conquering Solus. He pretty much just monologues throughout this entire run, because you know, bad guy.
Toby is now ISIC’s “best and only friend” (oh dear), Phoebe believes Toby has the potential to come work for the LLC (and that’s saying something when one of the Guilded Enclave board members says it) and Pendles jokes about maybe killing Toby’s next time (hahaha…oh you!!).
I actually read the script before I got to actually play the mission and I was honestly chomping at the bit! I think the story was much stronger than it was for the last Operation as it had a lot of surprise twists and turns I didn’t expect. It’s just a shame that of lot of it kind of gets lost while playing, particularly how you can get the episodes out of order if you play with someone who is further along than you. I still reckon there should be an option to set what episode you start from so you can experience certain episodes again as I’ve noticed while running the last few characters through the Attikus DLC that I was getting the same 2-3 episodes over and over again.
On behalf of all those that have played it (and hopefully many more), I would like to thank @Jythri and the other writers at Gearbox for giving us this fun little tale and I highly recommend everyone should check it out themselves and try to experience some of the dialogue first hand.
I look forward to the next Operation, “Oscar Mike vs Battleschool” and what that will bring to the table.