Tales From The Borderlands

The ending to the first season of Tales From The Borderlands was a bittersweet wrap up for the rag-tag gang of vault hunters looking to strike it rich on the hostile and violent planet of Pandora. Well, that ending wasn't what was originally planned for the game.

In fact, according to Harrison Pink, the original season designer for Tales From The Borderlands, the ending was going to be a lot darker and a lot more implosive, as noted in the post on Campo Santo, where he explains...

In my original ending, you had to kill Vaughn before he kills you. Obviously, there would be an emotional lead-up to that, it wouldn't be just a weird flip. But that was one of the things you had to do, kill your best friend.

For those of you who played the original season, you'll know that Vaughn's character arc certainly didn't end up the way that Harrison mentions in the interview, where he details that, originally, the story was going to be based around something similar to the classic film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre starring Humphrey Bogart. The idea was that a bunch of the vault hunters would find the treasure on Pandora very early on, like, as soon as Episode 3.

From there, the idea was that there would be an escalating series of events that would grow the paranoia of the vault hunters. Episodes 4 and 5 would then focus on how players could choose to make the two main leads, Rhys and Fiona, more or less greedy or more or less evil. The ending of the game would deal with the fallout from Vaughn, who had originally been idealized as this super greedy guy who would eventually choose the money over his friendship with Rhys.

The showdown would see players having to either kill Vaughn or end up getting killed by Vaughn, a rather stark departure from how things played out in the original Tales From The Borderlands.

The character definitely played a part in the events that unfolded over the course of the five episodes, but he was definitely more of a comic relief when he wasn't slowly becoming a bit of a psycho bandit himself.

The rest of the interview, or oral history, talks a lot about how it came across as seemingly out of left field that a game like Borderlands would turn into a property that might be ripe for the story-picking from a company like Telltale Games.

It did seem odd at first, given that Borderlands 1 and Borderlands 2 really helped redefine the shooter-looter sub-genre, departing greatly from the common modern-military shooters that were dominating the market at the time, such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Battlefield. Telltale turning the looter-shooter series into a character-driven story about these oddball characters in search of loot on Pandora actually managed to pay off.

But, that ending involving Vaughn... is that a yay or a nay? Did Telltale do it right by not having it devolve into an in-fighting fallout between the vault hunters? Or should it have gone the darker and more violent route with the characters?

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