In Episode 2 (Atlas Mugged) of Telltale Games’ Tales from the Borderlands, the action starts to heat up. While the first couple episodes are filled with choices, it’s not immediately clear what difference they’ll make. Rhys and Fiona are now teamed up and looking through the hidden base housing clues to the Gortys Project.
While Fiona and the others are removing the eyeball from General Pollux with a spork in order to activate the retinal scanner, Rhys is hallucinating and seeing an image of his former boss, Handsome Jack. Upon activating the scanner, they learn General Pollux wasn’t dead – he was in suspended animation.
Handsome Jack – A ghost in the machine, Handsome Jack is a hallucination/hologram only Rhys can see because he injected himself with data in episode 1. Handsome Jack is a bit of a jerk, and, after driving Rhys crazy for a bit tries to grab him by his neck. It’s only then that Jack starts to understand the position he’s in. He accompanies Rhys through the episode, providing jabs the whole time.
Rakk Hive – Not long after discovering the General’s message, Hyperion’s death star starts shooting moonshots toward the bandit base. They escape in Felix’s van, only to end up in a worse situation, being chased by a Rakk Hive and several creepy bird things. While Rhys drives and dodges the moonshots, Fiona, Sasha, and Vaughn shoot the bird things.
Rhys eventually hits turbo and charges directly at the Rakk Hive, forcing it to take a moonshot for them. Soon after, Rhys and Vaughn fall out the truck and are abandoned in the middle of the desert, where they order supplies from Yvette, but instead are met by a car filled with Vasquez. Digging their own graves at gunpoint, Rhys finds out Vaughn sold him out to Vasquez.
The men eventually escape Vasquez and are picked up by Loader Bot, despite me telling him to self-destruct in episode 1. The player is given a chance to forgive Vaughn, which he will remember.
Scooter – Meanwhile Fiona and Sasha bring Felix’s van into Scooter’s garage to get it fixed up. After some negotiating, it turns out Scooter is actually a really nice guy who helps the women, even hiding them when several bounty hunters show up with a wanted poster for Fiona. While Scooter fixes the van, Fiona and Sasha check out Felix’s house and find some hidden items, including homemade grenades and an elemental upgrade to Fiona’s gun.
As they talk, two assassins show up and try to kill them, and the player must decide how to handle the situation.
Kroger – One of two assassins sent to kill Fiona and Sasha.
Finch – The second assassin sent to kill Fiona and Sasha.
Athena – While the two assassins chase Fiona and Sasha through the town, Athena shows up and turns out to be a badass assassin. Trying to kill them and explaining to the other assassins that they’re her marks, Athena chases the duo by stalking rooftops and throwing a weaponized shield at them.
At the last minute, they’re able to avoid being killed by ducking into Scooter’s garage, where they run into Springs. If Rhys and Vaughn choose to come to Hollow Point, Loader Bot fights Athena off.
After leaving the garage, Fiona has an opportunity to rub Athena’s lies in her face by taking her shield, which she will DEFINITELY remember.
Springs – The girlfriend of Athena, Springs is under the impression her girlfriend gave up bounty hunting, and the player can decide whether or not to rat her out. Athena protests, and you’re given several chances to change your mind before heading out to Old Haven.
In Old Haven, the crew is held up by August and Vasquez, who force them to use their pieces of the Gortys key to obtain an orb for them. When Loader Bot is ordered to kill Vasquez, he uses his universal remote to shut it down.
Rhys (escorted by Vasquez) and Fiona (escorted by August) are taken down separate hallways. August learns Sasha was never really into him while Handsome Jack recognizes Vasquez and starts mocking him. When they put their piece of the puzzle in, a shield is activated, leaving them cut off from the others.
A metal ball appears, and when Rhys reaches out to grab it, it falls, and he barely saves it in time. As he’s hanging over the edge holding the sphere, the alarm system announces the Gortys device has been compromised, and security bots show up everywhere.
The drones hold everyone hostage, and August decides to point his gun at Sasha’s head. Fiona grabs the Gortys device and holds up a grenade. Vasquez puts a gun to Vaughn’s head, and Handsome Jack tries to talk Rhys into stopping her.
Regardless of what option the player chooses, the episode ends, and these are the important choices available.
Major Choices as Fiona
When defending the back of the van, you can tell Sasha to help you or Rhys, who’s driving.
Scooter has a few customization brands he can do on the van. Or you can just have it repaired.
When rifling through the safe, you can determine whether or not to peak at Sasha’s gift from Felix.
You can choose which element to shoot Finch with.
It’s up to you whether you rat out Athena or take her shield. She’ll remember either way.
Major Choices as Rhys
Whether or not you tell Vaughn about the Handsome Jack hallucinations is a choice. You can continue playing it off.
You don’t have to dig your own grave and can hack either Vasquez’s car or gun.
When Loader Bot rescues you from Vasquez, you can order him to take you to Hollow Point or Old Haven.
After your discussion with Vaughn over betrayal, you can decide whether or not to brofist him.
Fiona holds up a flash grenade and Jack wants to hack into the bots. Who you trust is up to you.
Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. His work has appeared on Hardcore Droid, High Times, Huffington Post, Fast Company, and BBC.