Back in November, Borderlands 3 co-writer Danny Homan took some time out of his busy schedule to share the story of how Typhon DeLeon—the legendary explorer whose ECHO logs you can find scattered across the galaxy in Borderlands 3—became such a pivotal character in Borderlands lore. He also offered to answer questions about the first Vault Hunter, selected from those submitted via a thread on the Gearbox forums. Those questions and their answers are below, but before you read on please note that some of them contain major spoilers for Borderlands 3's main story. With that said, let's learn some little-known facts about the first Vault Hunter!
What was Typhon's childhood like (aside from turd farmer family)?
Well, Typhon lived on Pandora before Atlas arrived. Those early settling days were incredibly dangerous, but at least Typhon and his family didn't have to worry about corporations or bandits! During his childhood, he helped his family defend and protect the homestead, roamed the Pandoran wastes exploring Eridian ruins, and killed nightmarish monsters—you know, kid stuff.
How does someone farm turds on Pandora?
First, some background! The origin of the turd farmer thing was courtesy of co-writer Sam Winkler, who threw out a series of insults during a recording session. The "turd farmer" one stuck!
After we finished a draft of the main game, we started working on ways to hint from the beginning at Typhon being the Calypso Twins' father. At the same time, one of our goals was to make the first Vault Hunter from the MOST humble of humble origins. The idea was that the player would learn about Typhon first, and then hear Troy's insult WAY later in the game—just one example of us building the connective tissue between Typhon, Tyreen, and Troy. That's how Typhon's family became turd farmers.
Bit of additional background on turds: I was hiking in the mountains once, heading towards a remote cabin when I came across a few hikers. When I asked them if I was nearing the cabin, they laughed and said yes, but that there was a crazy guy there who had been gathering horse crap all day and burning it in a wood-burning stove for warmth. When we started thinking about what Pandora was like BEFORE the corporations came, I thought back to this story.
To bring it all back around, how does one farm turds on Pandora? Well, 'turd farmer' is a misnomer. It's probably more 'turd collector' or 'turd gatherer.' Turds of giant Pandoran monsters as a source of fuel was the idea. Use what the land gives ya!
What would Typhon's skill tree look like?
Good one! Tagging in Dante Silva, another writer on Borderlands 3, for this!
Action Skill: Chutzpahcolypse
Typhon gains greatly increased Fire Rate and equips a second gun. While Chutzpahcolypse is active, firing a shot causes Typhon to continuously fire in all directions, dealing Splash Damage around him, until the magazines of both equipped guns are empty. Killing an enemy greatly increases Reload Speed and Weapon Swap Speed. Swapping weapons swaps both of Typhon's equipped guns.
Passive: Ya Got Guts, Kid
When Typhon receives a Second Wind by killing an enemy, he is temporarily Immune to all damage, and is healed for a portion of all damage dealt. This ability is on a cooldown.
Passive: You Should See the Other Guy
While Typhon's shield is broken, each time he takes damage, he gains a stack of You Should See the Other Guy. Each stack of You Should See the Other Guy increases his melee damage. All stacks are consumed after his shield begins recharging, or when he damages an enemy with a melee attack.
Action Skill: Action Hero
Typhon equips his Laser Whip in his left hand, which has a limited Battery. He can either tap the alternate fire button to perform a quick attack with the Laser Whip or hold it down to Bind an enemy. Performing attacks with the whip drains Battery. Bound enemies have greatly reduced Movement Speed.
Whenever Typhon deals Gun Damage, he gains a stack of Oversharing. For every stack of Oversharing, his Melee Lunge Distance is increased. All stacks are consumed when he damages an enemy with a melee attack.
Passive: Whip Smarts
When Typhon performs a Bind attack with his Laser Whip, the enemy is Pulled toward him. For each rank of Whip Smarts, Typhon's Bind attack can target another enemy simultaneously.
VERCUVIAN BACK HAM
Action Skill: Back Ham
Typhon activates the power of his Back Ham. Damage to his back is greatly reduced. Holding the alternate fire button allows him to Snack on the Back Ham. While Snacking, Typhon's Movement Speed is reduced, he constantly regenerates health, and he cannot fall below 1 health. Damage that would cause him to fall below 1 health ends Back Ham immediately.
Passive: Slammin' Ham
While Slammin' Ham is active, Typhon's Slam Attack can be performed from reduced height. Additionally, his Slam Radius and Slam Damage increase the higher he Slams from.
Melee Override: Hamarang
Whenever Typhon receives damage to his back, he gains a stack of Hamarang. Performing a melee attack consumes all Hamarang stacks. When Typhon performs a melee attack, he throws his Back Ham, which homes in on the targeted enemy before returning to Typhon, dealing additional damage for each stack of Hamarang consumed.
What happened to the first Vault after Typhon found it?
Atlas plundered it for tech and closed it off.
How was Typhon able to open the Vault without killing the Vault Monster on Promethea?
Actually, Typhon didn't open the Vault on Promethea that players go to during Borderlands 3. The Vault he opened was a different one that players haven't seen.
After Typhon opened that Vault, he was hired by Atlas to continue searching for other Vaults. The more Typhon worked with Atlas, the more disenchanted he became with the corporation and how it failed to use its newfound wealth and power to help the people of Promethea.
You get a glimpse of Typhon actively attempting to throw Atlas off the scent in one of his ECHO logs when he references not being able to find other Vaults on Promethea.
After I found that first Vault, Atlas sent me into every nook and cranny on Promethea, but the truth is, I never found another one. Pretty soon, Atlas started accusing me of holding out on them. But Typhon's honor, there ain't no more Vaults on Promethea. Good thing, too. You release a monster in a city, you better have another one to fight it! Saw that in an old documentary from before the expansion. What a flick!
Is there an ECHO log that tells the audience about Calypso being the twin's mother's surname?
No, it's just one of those inferred details. Tannis makes the connection, however, and there's dialogue where she remembers crossing paths with a Leda Calypso when she worked for Dahl long ago.
When did Typhon realize what Troy and Tyreen were doing after Nekrotafeyo? What did he go through in learning about their deeds?
It's hard to imagine what Typhon went through all those many long years alone (well, he had his bots Sparrow and Grouse). Think about it. You try to raise your kids on your own, but they're literally the most unique and special kids in the galaxy. You know what the corporations would do if they found out, so you try to keep them hidden, keep them safe. You tell them stories to pass the time, to teach them about a galaxy they will probably never know. Then they leave and go on to use that knowledge to commit unspeakable acts.
This isn't the first time that Typhon has had to consider the galactic ramifications of his choices. By finding the Vault on Promethea, he ushered in a new age of exploration—one marked by corporations ruthlessly searching for the power of the Vaults.
Why didn't Typhon try and stop his children himself?
When Tyreen and Troy abandon their father on Nekrotafeyo, they leave him with almost nothing. Typhon's stranded, with no way to communicate with the outside world—that is, until Maliwan arrives. That's the moment where Typhon steals a modern-day ECHO device and first learns of what his children have been doing since they left.
At that point, Typhon throws all of his energy into locating his children. He's told them the stories of Pandora's Destroyer, but he understands that if they succeed in charging Elpis and opening Pandora, he's in the best possible position to stop that. Right next to the machine. The failsafe. There's also a bit of that classic parental conflict in Typhon; no parent wants to believe that their children are monsters. That revelation is something most people can't accept. In the end, Typhon knows that Tyreen will return.
Was Typhon actually onto something when he speculated about Eden-6 sucking spaceships in, seeing how they are in fact part of Graveward's body?
Definitely. Typhon's superpower is a sixth sense. He might not be the smartest or strongest adventurer, but he goes with his gut. He's very intuitive and trusts his instincts.
How did Tannis take learning about the death of one of her heroes?
In the game, one of her contextual voiceovers says, "DeLeon is gone… you must stop Tyreen. That is all that matters now." In typical Tannis fashion, she rarely reveals her emotions—choosing instead to keep them hidden internally. But that doesn't mean she isn't mourning. In the moment, Tannis knows that there's something greater at stake—the fate of Pandora, and the galaxy at large.
Are there any other Borderlands 3 characters that you'd like to know more about? Let us know in the official Borderlands 3 Forums and maybe we'll feature them in an upcoming article.