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Borderlands 2 Takes Tiny Tina to New Heights

If you thought Borderlands 2 couldn't hit you with the feels through all the fart jokes and the wacky humor, well, you just haven't played enough yet.
This article is over 10 years old and may contain outdated information

“Counting down. Ten! Nine! –I got bored, we’re doing it NOW!”

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Ever since she exploded (literally) onto the scene in the early hours of Gearbox’s Borderlands 2, Tiny Tina was an instantly memorable NPC – as well-known for her lazy eye as for her wacky rap songs. (“Climb the pipe to the train, or you’ll go insane. Wut wut. That’s a rap song I wrote.”) She does not utter a single dull line in the entire game, to such an extent that her character, and Andy Burch, her creator, were accused of racism.

Thankfully both he and Gearbox stood by the now iconic character, because, as he so well puts it, “I’m just not convinced that a character using lingo like badonkadonk/crunk is inherently racist. If I’m wrong I would like to know why.”

He also did say at the same time that if she really managed to offend people, he’d change her. With the prospect of the “Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon’s Keep” DLC looming, this came as a troubling thought to those of us who had absolutely no problem with her crazy, and who were genuinely excited for more Tina. 

And I wasn’t disappointed.  

Borderlands 2 is a testament to the ideal that nothing is sacred; not dignity, not modesty… and, like George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones counterpoint, not even beloved characters. 

For all that Borderlands 2 received a great deal of flack about flat, uninteresting playable characters compared to the ones that came before, Gearbox also managed to inject a very real sense of emotional impact in certain pivotal scenes in the game.

Without spoiling the storyline for those who haven’t yet played (how dare you), there are moments amidst all the over-the-top guns, Moxxie’s breasts overflowing out of her jacket, and juvenile humor that actually manage to hit home and leave you feeling… empty. 

Mordecai’s very real cry of anguish hit me and hit me hard. 

“Dragon’s Keep” does that to you too.

While your characters are ostensibly caving in the faces of Hyperion agents, the original Borderlands cast and Tina settle in for a game of Bunkers & Badasses, the Pandora incarnation of D&D.

Throughout the tale of thrilling heroics within a magical world in the hands of a crazy kid, you battle with pixies and tree monsters, raise the dead at the behest of another dead guy, and stick Ellie in Leia’s metal bikini. It’s glorious.

But it’s also sad.

Because also running through the same magical world, you listen to Tina’s utter inability to accept that someone she loves is gone and is never coming back.

And that’s pretty real too. 

“I KNOW!”

The scene in which she actually faces her demons is a little too much to feel truly heartfelt, but it is sweet, and I love that for a game taking criticism for one-dimensional characters, Borderlands 2 could pull Tina out of the Gearbox and make her amazing. 

I don’t just play for the fart jokes and Moxxie’s innuendos, you know. And if you’ve been avoiding Borderlands 2 for just those reasons, well, I invite you to take another look. There’s more there than you’d think.


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Author
Image of Stephanie Tang
Stephanie Tang
Avid PC gamer, long-time console lover. I enjoy shooting things in the face and am dangerously addicted to pretty. I'm also a cat.