Borderlands’ Lost Opportunity

As a pre-birthday treat, I spent aaaaaall day today playing Borderlands with Josh. As I mentioned before, I am finding Borderlands an absolutely delightful co-op experience and am having a great time. But man, they blew it for me today.

A tale follows of a missed opportunity. There are spoilers, but apparently they aren’t that big a deal.

So one of the very first quest-givers you meet in the game is TK, a one-legged blind man who lives alone on a little ranch just outside of the first town. He’s a quirky guy and you go out on a lot of quests for him, dealing with bandits and such, eventually even retrieving his prosthetic leg from the Scag who bit it off some years ago. Of course, it’s nothing more than a stick and a boot by this point, but seeing that TK reattaches it to his stump brought a smile to my face.

Much later on in the game, you get a quest to go back and check in on TK to see how he’s doing. I was excited by this, because I liked the character a lot and was hoping he’d have new quests for us, now that we were grown-ups compared to when we first met him.

When we pulled up to his ranch, I saw that his porch chair was empty, and I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. TK never left his porch, nor did he ever leave the door to his ranch house open as it was now. When we entered the house, there was TK. He was hanging by his artificial leg from the ceiling fan, slowly rotating over a pool of blood.

I was like:

. . .

NOOOOOO!!! I was heartbroken! I swear I haven’t had an emotional response to a video game this strong since they killed off Aeris in Final Fantasy VII. Josh and I were OUTRAGED. We thirsted for vengeance! A few bandits ambushed us, the culprits no doubt, and we mowed them down in fury.

Then we hopped back in our car and rushed back to New Haven (not Connecticut, the town in the game) to turn in the check-on-TK quest. We were anxious to get the next stage in the quest, which would surely be to hunt down the mastermind behind TK’s murder and DESTROY him.

Anxiously we rushed up to Scooter and turned in the quest. What we got was:

“Aw, TK’s dead? That’s too bad. We’ll drink to him tonight!”

And that was it.

I was stunned. Really? That’s it? THAT’S ALL YOU HAVE TO SAY??? Now I was outraged for a new reason.

WTF, Gearbox, you had such an amazing golden opportunity to act on an emotional investment in your game! You had it right there, in the PALM OF YOUR HAND! It would have been so easy to capitalize on that. SO EASY. And that’s it? Nothing?? REALLY????


I’m making up for the lack by pretending that every boss we set out to kill now was part of an elaborate scheme on TK’s death, and that I’m assassinating each person responsible. But really, how dismally disappointing.

It was RIGHT THERE. Why didn’t you do anything with it? WHYYYYY???

Arglebarglebargle! Hrmph.

Don’t worry TK, I’ll remember you. I’ll always remember you! *Sniff*