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|“||I'm racking my brain trying to think of a name for that diamond pony I bought. I was going to call it "Piss-For-Brains" in honor of you, but that just feels immature. Maybe Butt-Stallion, nah that's even worse.||„|
|~ Handsome Jack|
|“||Vault hunters: I need your help. The power inside the next vault could bring peace to Pandora. Only badasses like you could brave the horrors of Pandora and find it... Which is why you’ve gotta die! See, I can’t just have some psychopathic murderers getting to the Vault before I do. Don’t get me wrong, it’s cute that you all think you’re the heroes of this little adventure, but you’re not. You’re bandits. You’re the bad guys. And I...am the goddamn hero!||„|
|~ Handsome Jack introducing himself.|
Handsome Jack is the main antagonist of the Borderlands franchise.
He serves as the unseen overarching antagonist of Borderlands, the main antagonist of Borderlands 2, the deuteragonist of Borderlands: the Pre-Sequel and the posthumous overarching antagonist of Tales from the Borderlands and Borderlands 3.
Jack is the CEO of the Hyperion corporation and self-proclaimed hero of Pandora, as well as the arch-nemesis of the Crimson Raiders, who seeks to restore peace to the lawless planet. In actuality, he's a power-hungry dictator who regularly abuses and kills his own employees for his amusement. His ultimate goal is to open the Vault of the Warrior and use it to wipe everything he deems evil.
Handsome Jack's history is a complex one. His father passed away while he was very young, causing his mother to give custody of Jack to his grandmother. While being raised by his grandmother, he was subjected to (at the least) physical abuse.
This abuse would most likely become one of the main contributors to the decline of his mental state as he became older. When he became older, he found a job as a computer engineer for the Hyperion Corporation and would eventually get married and have a daughter, Angel. Angel would later awaken to her powers as a Siren—one of six extant women with extraordinary alien powers—as a young child, powers which enabled her to talk to and control machines. This, unfortunately, did not escape the notice of Pandora's bandit population, and Angel was kidnapped by a bandit named Grogmouth. In her desperation, Angel used her powers to take control of one of Grogmouth's turrets, killing her bandit captor—but also her mother in the process.
Horrified at what Angel could do, but also acutely aware of the potential of her powers, Jack then forcibly placed Angel in a chair linked to Hyperion's entire communications network. With his daughter in place, he orchestrated the events of Borderlands, using Angel as a proxy to relay instructions to the original vault hunters. He also used this as an opportunity to rise up the corporate ladder by orchestrating bets to his superiors and using Angel and the original vault hunters (whom were unaware of this at the time).
After the vault is opened and the Destroyer was defeated, he managed to persuade his superiors to build the Helios space station in order to keep watch on Pandora. However, this was a ploy to equip the Destroyer's eye into a laser weapon dubbed "The Eye of Helios".
During this time, Jack also hired six vault hunters to help him with finding a vault on Elpis, Pandora's moon. However, the rogue Lost Legion Dahl detachment led Colonel Zarpedon attacks and seizes the space station before directing its orbital laser at Elpis in order to prevent the vault on the planet from opening.
Jack has his vault hunters assist him in retaking the station as well as calling in assistance from Roland and Lilith; two vault hunters who opened the vault on Pandora. During this time, he killed those who were assisting the Lost Legion or suspected of doing so. After fighting through the Lost Legion, Jack and his vault hunters manages to defeat Zarpedon. Before being killed by Jack, Zarpedon explains that the vault on Elpis has been opened.
With Helios back under Hyperion control, Jack then decides to use the Eye of Helios to attack the Lost Legion forces on Elpis. Following the instructions of his then lover at the time, Moxxi, Jack activates the laser weapon; only for it to destroy itself. Moxxi, Roland and Lilith betrayed Jack in order to prevent him from getting too powerful. Jack then orders the vault hunters he hired to go after the vault on Elpis. After his group succeeds in seizing the vault, Jack arrives to claim the treasure, which was information on another vault on Pandora known as "The Vault of The Warrior". While taking in this information, Lilith arrives and destroys the artifact, scarring Jack's face in the process.
After donning a mask and killing Harold Tassiter, Jack becomes Handsome Jack; president and CEO of the Hyperion Corporation. Handsome Jack then began operations on Pandora to carry out his vengeance. He then stole the vault key from Patricia Tannis, and used the rare mineral arose after the Vault was opened (eridium), to use as fuel to increase Angel's power in order to charge the vault key. This would eventually make Angel dependent on the substance for her own survival. He then tries to find other vault hunters in order to lure them into his sphere of influence, showing a need for them. After luring them in, he then tries to kill them. This however would eventually be the beginning of the end for Handsome Jack as vault hunters don't die so easily.
After a group of vault hunters survive Jack's trap, they manage to join up with the resistance created by the original vault hunters and with the help of Angel, manages to kill her, so that she could become free of Jack's control. Handsome Jack, enraged at the loss of his siren daughter, kills Roland and kidnaps Lilith (who is also a siren) to replace his daughter in charging the vault key. This would culminate into a showdown between Handsome Jack and the vault hunters. After battling the vault hunters for some time, the vault key becomes fully charged, allowing Jack to summon the Warrior. However, the Warrior manages to be defeated, and in a fit of disbelief, berates the vault hunters how Pandora would be much better off removing the "bandits" from the planet. Defeated, Handsome Jack is killed by the vault hunters.
In Borderlands 2, Handsome Jack's acts range from merely being petty, such as taunting the Vault Hunters and even naming his own stead "Butt Stallion" as an insult for them, into utterly sadistic, such as cold-bloodedly murdering Bloodwing and using his own daughter to charge the vault key. He is also very vengeful, as he did not hesitate to kill Roland and kidnap Lilith, another siren, to replace his daughter who died from being disconnected from the eridium that helped to keep her alive. He also rescinded the bounty place on the vault hunters sent to stop him, so that he could kill them himself. He revels in whatever evil he does and is not afraid to rub it in his enemies' face.
He held the delusions that he was the hero of the story, as he would be hailed as the savior. However, at the end of his life, he can be killed by either the Vault Hunters or Lilith.
Before the events of Pre-Sequel, Jack wears a brown suit jacket with the cuffs rolled back. The jacket also has the Hyperion logo on the back. Under the jacket he wears a yellow shirt that is partially tucked in with the word "Hyperion" written across the chest. He has blue jeans with a yellow stripe going down each leg with a gun holster on his right thigh, as well as a pair of brown/ black boots. On his right hand he has a glove that is missing a piece on the pointer finger, and on the left a watch. For most of the story he has two laser guns attached to each of his wrists. He has a green left eye and a blue right eye, as well as soul patch.
After the events of Pre-Sequel, Jack wears a gray jacket with the sleeves rolled up. Under his jacket he has a brown vest with a white collared shirt underneath it. The collared shirt is unbuttoned and goes down to his knees. Under the vest and collared shirt he wears a partially tucked in yellow shirt, presumably the one from the Pre-Sequel. It appears to have long sleeves that go past his elbows. Over his jacket he wears a hexagonal pocket watch. He now has grey pants, but still has a gun holster on his right thigh. He trades in boots for brown sneakers with a yellow stripe down each side. He still has a watch on his left wrist, but loses both the wrist lasers and glove, now having a tribal tattoo on his right wrist. After the events of the Pre-Sequel, Jack is left with a not-so-handsome scar in the shape of the vault symbol. it is stamped onto his face, going through even his left eye. He covers this up with a mask nearly identical to his former face, sans scar. It has five small metal clamps holding it in place, one on each temple, one in front of each ear, and one on his chin. The mask does not have a soul patch.
Handsome Jack is a ruthless and cruel leader and a self-proclaimed "Hero". He also stole the credit for defeating The Destroyer, despite manipulating the Borderlands Vault Hunters into doing so. He wants to find and activate the Warrior, so he can get rid of all "criminals" on Pandora and rule the land for himself. Yet he does show a humorous side by cracking jokes and seemingly not taking anything seriously.
Underneath this personality, however, is the loving—yet horrifically misguided—heart of a father who genuinely cared about his daughter, independent of her use to him as a tool to further his ends. In spite of all his grandstanding, Jack truly held an extremely personal vendetta against Borderlands 2's Vault Hunters for killing Angel.
In one of Borderlands 3's side missions, it is shown that Jack was a loving husband and father, if somewhat arrogant, before the tragedy that took his wife from him.
- The Meriff
- Colonel Zarpedon
- Harold Tassiter
- Angel (Caused)
- Mr. Moorin
- His grandmother (caused)
- Bloodwing (Caused)
- Wilhelm (Caused)
- Nisha (Caused)
- Helena Pierce
- Every CL4P-TP unit in existence (except for the Fyrestone Claptrap)
- Numerous Pandorans and Hyperion employees (Both directly and caused)
|“||I see our fearless leader Jack is looking for you. Charming fellow, isn’t he? Spouts drivel about bringing "peace" to the frontier, then shoots unarmed men, women and children like it was going out of style. Bah, I’m spouting exposition again, aren’t I? Apologies!||„|
|~ Sir Alistair Hammerlock's thoughts on Handsome Jack.|
|“||No, no, no... I can't die like this... Not when I'm so close... And not at the hands of a filthy bandit! I could have saved this planet! I could have actually restored order! And I wasn't supposed to die by the hands... of a CHILD KILLING PSYCHOPATH!! You're a savage! You're a maniac, you are a bandit, AND I AM THE GODDAMN HERO!! 'The Warrior was practically a god! How- How in the HELL have you killed my Warrior?! 'You idiots! The Warrior could have brought peace to this planet! No more dangerous creatures, no more bandits, Pandora-it would have been a PARADISE!!||„|
|~ Handsome Jack's last words.|
|“||What's that saying? "Don't pick a fight with a man with nothing left to lose?" See, I'm going show you just how much you have to lose... and I got the most powerful Siren on the planet to do it with. Lilith, kill the Vault Hunter. We've got a date to keep with the Warrior.||„|
|~ Handsome Jack after Angel's death.|
|“||Hey, you're right on time - Key's nearly ready! But before I cleanse this planet for good, I am gonna avenge my daughter!||„|
|~ Handsome Jack before the final battle.|
|“||Please don't send me back there! It's not like they say... there's nothing... there's absolutely nothing there... Don't do this. No!!||„|
|~ Handsome Jack's last words in Tales From the Borderlands, before being removed from Rhys' implants and erasing him from existence permanently.|
- Handsome Jack is often considered a "western-game" equivalent of Yuuki Terumi of BlazBlue, as they both enjoy mocking, trash-talking and trolling their enemies and flaunt their superiority and being sadistic in what they do. Unlike Terumi, however, Handsome Jack was more short-lived and isn't as evil as Terumi.
- During the development of the game, the developers originally gave him the name as a temporary place holder, but everyone liked the name that it was decided to become his actual name.
- Handsome Jack is considered to be one of the best video game antagonists of all time.
- Handsome Jack's favorite method of murder seems to be strangulation.
- Handsome Jack's favorite color appears to be yellow, as stated by professor Nakayama.
- Handsome Jack is thought to have heterochromia, which is a genetic difference in both of the eyes' color. He also fashioned his mask with it.
- Handsome Jack - Borderlands Wiki