Tales from the Borderlands is a point-and-click adventure set in the Borderlands universe. Like other Telltale Games P&C adventures Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, and Monkey Island, it’s more of a movie than anything, but is still made interesting by the mix of comedy, drama, action, and gruesome deaths.
Here are the characters:
Rhys – One of the main characters of the story, Rhys is one of two player-controlled characters in the game. A cyborged-out corporate man, Rhys is a smartass who doesn’t really belong in Corporate America.
After being demoted to janitor by his arch-rival-turned-boss at Hyperion, Rhys decides to stick it to him by stealing $10 million and a company car and heading to Prosperity Junction to recover the vault key himself.
Vaughn – Rhys’ best friend is Vaughn. Intelligent and useful, but quite timid, Vaughn is the morality for Rhys along with comic relief. When Rhys decides to rip off his boss, Vaughn joins him on the adventure.
Nervous and out of his element, Vaughn barely avoids being killed multiple times but does have a strong heart. During the death race, he keeps Fiona alive and remains loyal to Rhys.
Yvette – Rhys’ other best friend and coworker is Yvette, who stays behind, but still communicates with Rhys and Vaughn, offering helpful words and robots when necessary.
Able to send help the first time, Yvette is soon caught up by the corporation and has to cut off all communications to avoid getting in trouble.
Vasquez – Rhys’ new boss at Hyperion is a cocky a-hole determined to rule the world. After demoting Rhys to janitor, Rhys decides to rip off Vasquez. However Vasquez still has a lot of corporate power and makes life harder.
When he finds out Rhys stole his deal, he calls to threaten him and give him an opportunity to sell out his friend Vaughn. The player can choose whether or not to stay loyal to his friend.
Fiona – A con artist, Fiona is the other character controlled by players. Initially trying to rip off some corporate idiots, Fiona soon finds herself caught up in a tale of betrayal, greed, and corruption.
When Fiona is double-crossed by her mentor Felix, she doesn’t know who to trust anymore, which was kind of his point.
Sasha – Fiona’s kid sister and partner in crime is Sasha. Initially seen as a bartender working with August, it doesn’t take long before Sasha’s true allegiance is shown.
She’s fiercely loyal to her sister and loves trying new weapons. The player can choose whether or not to build Sasha’s trust through various choices in the episode.
Felix – The old grifter who raised Fiona into a life of crime, Felix also masterminded the current con of episode one in which they attempt to pass off a counterfeit vault key for $10 million.
He constantly reminds Fiona not to trust anyone and drives his point home by turning on her to take the money himself. Whether or not he escapes is determined by the player.
Tector – A bouncer at August’s bar, Tector is all muscle. He only has a brief cameo in Episode 1, but him being named means he’ll be making more appearances in later episodes. He may end up being integral to the story later on.
Shade – If you’ve ever seen House of 1000 Corpses, Shade is basically the scary clown guy. Though he’s clearly modeled off Hunter S Thompson, Shade is a nutjob, and despite setting up the meeting for Rhys, he doesn’t play a pivotal role in episode 1.
Fiona has the option to either allow him to tag along and make a new friend or tell him to leave, where he ends up being shot and killed.
Zer0 – A mysterious ninja assassin (called a vault hunter), Zer0 is on a mission for Mad Moxxi about the Gortys Project. When a gang boss interrupts the deal between August and Rhys, everyone finds themselves working together against the bandits, with Zer0 being the clear MVP.
Rhys has a man crush on Zer0, who appears to enjoy the affection.
Bossanova – A musician, motorcyclist, and murderer, Bossanova is the Mad Max-style leader of a gang of bandits. He drops in on the Vault Key deal and steals the briefcase full of money. Rhys, Vaughn, Fiona, and Sasha are forced to break into a deathrace/destruction derby to get it back.
Zer0 kills Bossanova to end the death race in episode 1 by putting a sword through his speaker chestplate.
Loader Bot – Though only making a brief cameo, Loader Bot’s appearance in Tales from the Borderlands Episode 1 is epic. Dropping in to massacre a crowd of bandits before being overwhelmed, Loader Bot is the Boba Fett of Borderlands.
Minor choices exist in the game that don’t make much of a difference (such as the first one when Rhys asks his bounty hunter a question. It doesn’t matter which question you choose, you’ll still get kicked), but others can change the story.
The above screenshot shows a basic breakdown of the major decisions in Tales from the Borderlands episode 1. Many are marked after the decision with a notification that the character will remember your decisions.
Here are some of the minor decisions:
Major Decisions As Fiona:
August will remember how you stop him from touching the vault key.
Shade’s life depends on whether or not you let him accompany you in the vent.
Felix’s life depends on whether or not you warn him about the briefcase.
You can shoot either August or Felix, or save the bullet.
You can pick up money in a variety of places and purchase one of three different masks for the death race.
Major Decisions As Rhys:
Vaughn will remember how gracious you are in the beginning.
You can pick Loader Bot’s weapons and order him to self-destruct or evacuate.
You can trust Sasha to use your shock stick.
You can stick with Vaughn or sell him out to Vasquez.
I’ll post info about Episode 2 when I’m done with it.
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 Fast Company, Hardcore Droid, High Times, Huffington Post, The Street, and Cannabis Now.