Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford might have been pretty subtle during a recent tech demo featuring what appears to be the first glimpses of Borderlands 3, but a recent update to the developer’s current flagship game, Battleborn, has given yet another clue that the latest entry to the blockbuster franchise might be just around the corner. As it turns out, a recent update to Battleborn featured a message that all but teases the plot of Borderlands 3.
The cryptic message, discovered by Borderlands fans and posted in online forums such as Reddit, came in the form of side missions in the latest content update for Battleborn. During the side missions, Battleborn players were led to Varseli Portal anomalies, which emitted a series of beeps. Interestingly, the pattern of the beeps coming from the portals turned out to be a message in Morse code. Even more interesting, however, was the content being transmitted from the messages itself.
“VISIT PROMETEA, CHILDREN OF THE VAULT. WE ARE NOT ON PANDORA ANYMORE. TANNIS IS NOT WHAT SHE SEEMS. DO NOT OPEN THE VAULTS.”
Unsurprisingly, the content of the coded message in the Battleborn update attracted the interest of numerous fans, especially since three points in the message — Prometea, Pandora, and Tannis — were clear references to the Borderlands franchise. According to a Game Rant report, Pandora is the planet that the first two Borderlands games were set on. Thus, considering the content of the decoded message, it appears that the next game in the blockbuster franchise would feature the players’ departure from the familiar planet.
— Borderlands (@Borderlands) February 28, 2017
While very little is known about Prometea, Borderlands fans believe that it would most likely be the planet where most of the upcoming game would be set. Considering the tech demo that was recently shown, however, there is a pretty good chance that the new planet would feature a number of similarities to Pandora. After all, while Pitchford was quick to issue a disclaimer about the contents of the recently revealed tech demo, Borderlands fans are convinced that the brief teaser includes content from the upcoming game.
Apart from Pandora and Prometea, another interesting reference found in the coded message from Battleborn‘s Varseli Portal anomalies was the name of Tannis, a recurring character in the franchise. Patricia Tannis, while a non-playable character, played a fairly prominent role in the original Borderlands game. The character appeared in Borderlands 2 as well, though she only provided players with side missions in the sequel.
Considering the content of the decoded message, it appears that Tannis would once more be central to the storyline of Borderlands 3. Being the leading expert on Eridians and the Vaults, numerous fans of the franchise are speculating that the character might have gone mad at some point over the course of the franchise’s games.
— Yuri no meiro ♡ (@rocioholz) January 26, 2017
Tannis has always been quite odd since the character was introduced in the original Borderlands title. Over the course of the games, players would know Tannis to be one of the strangest people on Pandora. She appears to be extremely inept at interacting with people and shows difficulty in empathizing with others. Though seemingly moral, Tannis has also displayed a fairly amoral tendency to be more curious than aghast at the concept of experiments done on humans.
With the content of the decoded message in mind, it appears that there is more to Tannis than meets the eye. This particular idea has been embraced well by the Borderlands community, as it would give the upcoming game a notable twist. Speculations about the character are abounding, with some fans stating that Tannis might have experienced something about the Eridians and the Vaults that ultimately made her go over the edge. Others, on the other hand, stated that she might have been evil all along, and that she has been pulling everyone’s strings since the first Borderlands game. Regardless of the current player theories about Tannis’ role in Borderlands 3, it seems certain that the character would be pivotal in the plot of the upcoming game.
The reveal date of Borderlands 3 remains unknown at this point, though speculations are high that an announcement for the highly anticipated title would be released soon. With a tech demo featuring what appears to be game-ready footage being revealed and a coded message referencing the plot of the upcoming title being discovered in Battleborn, there is a pretty good chance that Gearbox might be going for a pre-E3 reveal. The consoles that the upcoming game would be released to have not been confirmed by the developer, though rumors are high that Borderlands 3 would be released for the PS4, PS 4 Pro, Xbox One S, Xbox Scorpio, and PC platforms.