I was never planning on writing an article about antagonists in the Borderlands series. I mentioned two of them in some detail over in our review, which you can view here, but never expected a follow-up piece. That is until I stumbled upon some opinions that stated the Calypso twins were the biggest letdown of Borderlands 3 or that they didn’t fit the in-game world. One of which was another article that tried to commiserate a piece of fiction on a far away planet with real-world consequences. So, figured I’d throw my opinion out into the wild on Tyreen and Troy Calypso and why they’re a near perfect fit for the Borderlands zaniness. In the obvious of obvious statements our newest villain duo doesn’t hold a figurative candle to Handsome Jack. He was a borderline god-tier enemy and would be hard to top no matter what the developers did. Spoilers by the way!
Speaking of HJ we enjoyed him due to his character following a simple villain trait. He believed himself as the hero of Borderlands 2’s story and that what he was doing was right and necessary. The Calypso twins on the other hand went another route. Just being mean, evil, and all-around bad people. Which is fine when done right and gives the player an easy opponent to side against. This shouldn’t automatically disqualify a villain from being effective. My first playthrough of Borderlands 3 I loathed Tyreen and Troy in a good way. They were unbearably narcissistic monsters with god-complexes who hurt the Vault Hunters and the Crimson Raiders on par with Handsome Jack. Sometimes even more so. While they were just being terrible, they had an almost satire level of parody regarding streamers in today’s world. The pair had an army of fans at their backs, who were expected to die if they were simply looked at by the twins, and an unbelievable amount of influence due to their livestreams and broadcasts around the galaxy.
However, it’s their actions that separate them entirely from Handsome Jack. Even with the murder of Roland on his hands. This Borderlands 3 psychotic duo performed some heartbreaking and infuriating acts on our heroes, past and present. Early in the game we discover that Tyreen is a siren who can absorb the life force of anything she touches. At the same time, it’s revealed, to Lillith’s surprise, Troy is a siren as well. That shock is taken advantage of as the god queen drains Lillith of her siren powers completely. Now keep in mind this all happened in a cutscene right after the player traveled to the area where it all goes down. I can’t tell you how many times I was telling myself things like: I’ll be there soon, where is my vault hunter?!, is Lillith going to die?!, come on I traveled to this area let me fight! Luckily, our heroine survived, but paved the way for how big of a threat the enemies were. They also rubbed salt in the wound by trolling Lillith’s lack of siren powers through gifs and videos on their network.
Next Maya, the playable siren from the second game, accompanies the player to a vault in order to assist against the monster within or even the Calypso’s if they show up. Once they’re victorious against the giant menace, it’s revealed that one of Maya’s protégé’s snuck along for the ride after being told to wait back at base. These two hash out their argument while the player enters the vault which, of course, turns out to be a mistake. The Calypso’s crash the heated argument with Ava being used as a hostage. Maya then responds by taking Troy hostage with her phaselock powers and instructs her trainee to be released. Unfortunately, no one expected what would happen next. Turns out Troy can drain the power of any siren and he discovers this by placing a hand on Maya’s arm which is around his neck. Only this time he doesn’t let go where Tyreen did earlier. Maya barely has enough time to say some parting words to Ava as she disintegrates to dust. I took one look at my Borderlands 2 poster with the past vault hunters and quickly found myself saddened there was another one figuratively crossed out. Yes, the two monsters created a loop of Maya’s passing and plastered it on social media.
To prevent something like this happening again, everyone’s favorite anti-social scientist tagged along with the player to the next vault. Tannis was able to take away the reason for the Calypso’s appearing and everything seemed ok. That is until Troy used his newfound Maya powers to phaselock Tannis away, kidnapping her. From there it was a mad dash to try to get her back since it was very likely she would be maimed, killed, or worse. We got her back and all, but her pleas to be saved and rambling about how she didn’t want to die only ramped up the tension. Lastly, let’s not forget Tyreen indirectly killing her father, who later becomes a pivotal character late game, but he flat-out called her a monster. If a father’s opinion on his daughter just being evil doesn’t hammer home the point to this article huh?
Just because some newer antagonists are not as good as villain’s past or you try to juxtapose real life with a fictional, bandit filled, lawless, chaotic galaxy where everything is a violent tussle, doesn’t mean what’s on offer isn’t good. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to simply smash in the Calypso’s faces due to their actions and antics. And if that doesn’t determine how well implemented bad guys are than I don’t know what is. For those who’ve played Borderlands 3 what’s your take. Are the Calypso’s noteworthy villains or just low-grade social media stars?
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