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Game Theory: Handsome Jack, Monster or Misunderstood? (Borderlands 2/The Pre-Sequel!)

Jun 06, 2021
So, you want to be a villain. Listen, child, lesson #237. If you want those heroes to die, let them STAY dead! DON'T be a Handsome Jack, who wants the heroes dead BUT he owns the company that keeps reviving them (oops) That's not cool, son! So, when in doubt, he remembers: DON'T BE A HANDSOME JACK! *TV off *GT Intro Hello, Internet! Welcome to Game Theory, where our only goal in life is to one day have a horse... made of diamonds... and name it Buttstallion! Do I need to say more? Yeah? Well, if you have that reference... or read the title of this video...
game theory handsome jack monster or misunderstood borderlands 2 the pre sequel
Then you obviously know that today's episode is about Borderlands! The

game

that's like Diablo, Fallout, and Old West was thrown into a blender, and then that blender was thrown into space! ...And then it happened that he got shadowed too... Somehow... I don't know... In the

game

, you play as a Vault Hunter, who is basically a lawless mercenary and a treasure hunter. Like, say, if the Goonies kids grew up, they threw them in a blender and then launched them into space, you know? Let's stop with the 'blenders and space' stuff for a minute. And while the first game mainly served to introduce you to the world and all its silly little quirks, aka Claptrap, aka the best video game robot since MICK from Museum Madness (this guy is a BALLAAAAH) *Airhorns* Actually, is the second game where the story comes to life thanks in large part to one man, myth, and

monster

: the villain known as Handsome Jack And Holy Geez!
game theory handsome jack monster or misunderstood borderlands 2 the pre sequel

More Interesting Facts About,

game theory handsome jack monster or misunderstood borderlands 2 the pre sequel...

Although he's a new addition to GVA's weekly meetings - Game Villains Anonymous - he's already made quite an impression, making the short list of one of the best video game villains of all time, and it's pretty obvious why, unlike from other videos. villains of the game, whose actions seem unmotivated or who appear briefly at the beginning only to disappear for the rest of the game. Jack is always with you during your journey in Borderlands. On the radio, he constantly tells you everything from his new pet, the aforementioned Buttstallion: "Buttstallion! Say hello!" Until the moment he gouged a boy's eyes out with a spoon and watched him blindly crash into walls.
game theory handsome jack monster or misunderstood borderlands 2 the pre sequel
This guy is horrible, amoral, but also hilarious and human. Unlike most of the game's other villains, he has a clear personality. I mean, he offers to pay you to kill yourself, and if you do it, he REALLY pays you. But of course, Jack has quieter moments. You kill his girlfriend and shut him up for once. He is stunned, speechless. And he gets REALLY touchy if you mention his wife, I mean, to the level of choking. "I'm STRANGLATING Mr. Morin for mentioning my wife." "Drowned? Mr. Morin?" "No, no, Jimmy, choking is something that happens when you eat too fast, while I'm CRUSHING Mr.
game theory handsome jack monster or misunderstood borderlands 2 the pre sequel
Morin's windpipe with my watch chain, what I'm doing is actually known as strangulation." Uh- Sorry, choke-level delicate. But the question I want to ask today is this: Is Jack REALLY the villain of these games? Borderlands 2 and Borderlands the pre-

sequel

I mean, certainly make it seem that way, and you just heard me list some of the MANY horrible things that he certainly makes clear that he has done throughout his life. But it's time I really met the man behind the mask Phew! Ugh, is that really what his face looks like!? Ugh, it's VERY horribly misinterpreted, it's clearly what he was going to say...
Let's look at the facts and, warning, there will be a lot of spoilers ahead! When we first meet Handsome Jack in Borderlands 2, he is a billionaire who successfully murdered his way to the top position of the powerful Hyperion Corporation and then declared himself dictator of the planet Pandora. The first thing we see him do is try to murder you and your little cell-shaded vault-hunting friends. Not to mention, he also enslaved his own daughter Angel, and his goal is to open a vault containing The Warrior, a sentient superweapon capable of leveling up. planets Well, he's obviously not a good guy, why would he ever think that he could be the hero of the story?
Well, it's because he told me so himself, he starts the game with this line: "You are the bandits, you are the bad guys and I'm the damn hero." And then he repeats it at the end of the game: "You're a bandit and I'm the damn hero!" And sure, he could just be saying these things, but it prompted me to dig a little deeper and I was SHOCKED by what I found. Before his true face was mysteriously ruined, before he became a megalomaniac seeking to conquer planets, we know that Jack spent some time living in the care of his grandmother.
In Borderlands 2's 'We're Going to Grandma's House' quest, Jack contacts you in a panic and explains that he needs someone to "check on his grandma's safety for him." You arrive at the house and, unfortunately, the grandmother is dead at the hands of some bandits. He kills the bandits and, over the radio, you start to hear Jack laughing, he confesses that he hired those brutes to kill Grandma. Because? Well, obviously the fact that he's a lunatic must be part of it, right? But, he looks a little closer... On Grandma's bed, you find a weapon, 'Grandma's Axe'. Pretty gnarly weapon for a 70-year-old grandma to wield to protect herself from, right?
Well, think again! 'Grandma's Buzzing Axe' wasn't just for her protection. Read the description and you'll see what it was, he quotes: 'A disciplinary weapon used by Handsome Jack's grandmother.' As painful as it seems. Seems like a classic case of child abuse to me. According to a 2005 study of serial killers, 36% had suffered physical abuse as children. And 50% had suffered psychological abuse. And it goes beyond serial killers: There is evidence linking childhood abuse to other delays in brain development. According to studies by everyone from the National Academy of Sciences to WorkplaceBullying.org, physical abuse at the hands of a parental figure can leave victims prone to a host of psychological problems.
Everything from PTSD to depression to what Handsome Jack REALLY has, borderline personality disorder. And I'm not saying Jack has borderline personality disorder just because the game is called Borderlands. It's a REALLY cool coincidence though. No. I say this because his behaviors compare to the symptoms listed in the DSM-5, the reference resource for all of his self-diagnosis needs. To have borderline personality disorder, a patient needs a repeating pattern of five from the following list of nine symptoms. Spoiler alert, Jack is seven! Let's look at them one at a time One: A pattern of intense and stormy relationships with family and loved ones Ha!
Eh yes. See also: grandmother Or her daughter whom he enslaved. Two: suicidal thoughts. Eh, maybe not so much, skip that Three: Chronic feelings of emptiness and boredom Duh! He bought a HORSE MADE OF DIAMONDS AND CALLED IT HORSE. Do I need to say more? Four: Intense and very changeable moods Absolutely! For example, watch him go from zero to strangulation just by mentioning his wife. "I'm STRANGLATING Mr. Morin for raising my wife." Number five: Intense and inappropriate anger or problems controlling anger. See also; point four "I'm STRANGLED" Six: Having paranoid thoughts related to stress. Ehhh, not really, that's the other one we can skip.
Seven: Impulsive and often dangerous behaviors. Such as excessive spending, unsafe sex, substance abuse, recklessness, and binge eating. Uhh, Buttstallion with her reliving this thing and eating stinky pretzels. "*Chewing* Hey! How... Oh, these pretzels stink." So to that one she would say: Check-a-roonie! Eight: Extreme reactions to abandonment, whether real or perceived. Oh yeah, his hatred of all Vault Hunters definitely relates to this, but we'll get there in a minute. And finally, number nine: Self-image or distorted and unstable sense of self. Uhh, hello, have you SEEN his face? He has a fake face on top of his real one.
Uhh, yeah, I'd say we've got this covered. So someone call Dick Van Dyke because this killer has been diagnosed. Mid-90s humor, ladies and gentlemen! Man, I still can't get over the fact that the main character of Borderlands has borderline personality disorder. Next thing you know, I'll start talking about how Pandora's Desert is a symbol of his psychological torment... It's not. However, what I will start to talk about is that we are still a long way from excusing his crimes, and Buzz Lightyears is a long way from naming him 'The Hero' of the story. But you know, these scripts are usually three and a half pages long, and we're only at the end of page two right now, so...
There's time. Because here's the thing: so far, all the evidence has been taken from Borderlands 2, but last year, Gearbox and 2K released 'Borderlands The Pre-Sequel', a game where you play through the origin story of Handsome Jack, back to a simpler time. , when Handsome Jack was simply: Jackā€”cute enough for a one-night stand, but definitely not attractive enough to be a boyfriend. And guess what? Once again we are faced with a game where someone starts by calling Jack a hero, and this time, it's not just him talking about himself! "One day I got a job offer from a low-level Hyperion programmer." "And what did you find?" "A hero." Maybe there's something to this whole hero thing after all.
The game takes place BEFORE Borderlands 2 in Pre-Sequel style like Five Nights At Freddy's 3. Oh, I just wanted to see your reaction to that. Five Nights at Freddy's 3 is CLEARLY not a prequel, I just wanted to see people GO CRAZY in the comments that that could be included in the final

theory

. TROLLIN' The main plot of the game has you teaming up with Jack (Pre-mask) to stop a giant space laser from blowing up the moon Elpis, saving millions of lives in the process. You heard correctly, Jack's goal in this game is to SAVE lives. It's a mantra he also repeats throughout the game!
Wanting to save the day, apologizing for people getting shot, admitting he doesn't like killing! Near the beginning of the game, he even goes so far as to let someone who betrayed him live! Only for that mercy to be betrayed AGAIN when the guy tries to shoot Jack in the back! The gun jams and Jack kills the guy, but seriously, does this sound like the behavior of the black-hearted villain we supposedly see in Borderlands 2? NO. So what is the difference? What has changed? Well, for one thing, betrayal. We already mentioned that Jack was abused as a child by his grandmother, a family member, someone you would inherently expect to trust.
But the pre-

sequel

shows that she is only the first. NO ONE stays loyal to Jack. The Mayoriff, the guy we already mentioned, worked for Jack before the events of the game, but when Jack arrives and needs his help, the guy betrays him, and when he confronts him, he betrays him again by trying to shoot him in the back. . Then there's Roland. , Lilith and Jack's ex-girlfriend, Moxxi. Throughout the game, they work alongside you in your quest to save the moon, but during the ending, they betray Jack and try to kill him in an explosion. Jack, betrayed by family, co-workers, friends and even a romantic partner.
And throughout the game, you see that it wears him down psychologically. During one of the final boss fights, when your character expresses that they could just keep going without finishing the fight, Jack says, "he lets your enemies live and they'll shoot." You back!' What started as a guy looking out for his team in their shared quest to save millions of lives has begun to fall apart, becoming an unloved man, betrayed time and time again to the point that he can no longer trust them. nobody. And the ultimate betrayal occurs at the end of the game when Lilith, again someone she once considered part of the team, hits a relic in the middle and sends a wealth of knowledge into Jack's brain.
The relic explodes, stopping the transfer of knowledge and leaving a permanent mark on his face. The final betrayal. And this makes 'Handsome Jack' born from this new quest for revenge. As your character in the game says: "And that's when the hero who saved us on Helios died." But did he really do it? This brings us back to his motivations throughout Borderlands 2: Jack's stated goal is to bring peace to the planet Pandora. At the end of the game, as he lies dying, he talks about the wasted opportunity, how summoning the World-Slaying Warrior was his attempt to restore order, eliminate the dangerous creatures and lawless bandits that plague this land, and honestly...
No. It's like that. wrong, Pandora is a dangerous wasteland of warring factions, surrounded by an unforgiving desert and horribly deadly creatures, maybe Jack is right, maybe it DOES need order instead of being a survival-of-the-fittest system. every-man-save-the-earthquake-weapons festival. And honestly, what are the alternatives here? Chaos? Murder? Disorder? That's how it has been until now. Are we, as a player, truly the heroes of this story? Or are we just actively fighting for the progress of this planet? I mean, theVault Hunters are basically grave robbers, stealing treasure from hidden hiding places. Is Jack right when he says we're not the heroes?
I mean, think about it, if the Vault Hunters are really the heroes of the story, then that means that Lilith and Moxxi, who you'll team up with throughout the game, are the good guys. But look what they do, by betraying Jack they not only tried to blow him up, but also the character you play, that he is innocent of all these crimes! You would be a victim of war! Then, at the end of the pre-sequel, after confessing your entire history and renouncing your affiliation with Jack, Lilith tells the firing squad that she should shoot you anyway!
Even though all of her partners tell her otherwise. Is this really the protagonist? At the beginning of Borderlands 2, Jack says that he needs the Vault Hunters dead because he's afraid that a group of psychopathic and greedy killers will have access to these super weapons! And he's kind of right about that. As Lilith and Moxxi prove to be, they are greedy, profit-seeking people who are willing to backstab others, as Jack knows from personal experience. If these

monster

s held prisoner in the Vaults fall into the wrong hands, it will mean massive death for the planet. For the universe.
But Jack? Well, as we see at the end of the pre-sequel, he has already built the technology capable of harnessing these creatures. Controlling his powers. If these things must exist in the universe, it makes sense that Jack would be the one overseeing them. Not greedy bandits! He's just doing his part and honestly, that's pretty heroic. And you know what makes him even MORE heroic and what makes me say that his motives are pure? Remember that relic Lilith hit to mark Jack's face? Well, he shows Jack the future. As you slowly scroll through the passing images, you'll see Jack witness moments of cutscenes that appear at the END of Borderlands 2.
The Next Game. As he puts it, he really "sees it all." And part of that is obviously seeing his own death at that moment. He had just seen his future and knew that his death was imminent. But he was so determined that peace would come to Pandora that he pursued his goal anyway. How's that Dark Knight date going? 'Either you die a hero or you live long enough to become a villain'? Jack is the embodiment of that mentality. A man with the noble goal of bringing order to a lawless planet, it's a shame they didn't want what he was providing them.
It's a phrase we use a lot in game

theory

, but 'History is written by the victors.' In this case, it's people like Lilith and Moxxi, who thought Jack was the villain. But by playing Borderlands 2 and the pre-sequel, we are in a unique position, we can see his actions, his rise and his fall, and judge for ourselves objectively about this man. And the way I see it, Jack was just a

misunderstood

hero who needed some love. Jack, wherever you are, Buttstallion greets you. But hey, that's just a theory... A game theory! Thanks for watching! Welcome back to the SUPER AMAZING FINAL CARD TOURNAMENT, where last time 60% of you said you preferred your games Indie, versus 40% who prefer triple-A.
That said, it was in an episode about Indie games, so... SUPER CONCLUSIVE RESULTS Oh! And in other news, 96% of people who clicked the Subscribe button were happy with their decision! The other 4% must have been... Bots... or something... I don't know... This week I want to see how well we did! So, you've just heard the evidence, now it's your turn to judge! Handsome Jack: dazzling villain with a diamond horse or mistreated and

misunderstood

hero? Click on one to choose, but regardless of which option you choose, I think there's one thing we can all agree on... This guy is hilarious!
Then go to the channel page and... Watch more things. Now, if you'll excuse me, there's something that's been... plaguing me for the past two weeks... Something I need to take care of...

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