Borderlands 3: What Happened to Axton and Salvador After BL2
Borderlands 3 had many returning characters, but the absence of Axton and Salvador raises questions about their whereabouts in the third game.
Borderlands 3 saw the return of several Vault Hunters from previous installments in Gearbox’s smart-mouthed shooter series. Maya the Siren has a big role in the third game, while the series even saw an entire DLC dedicated to the mind of Krieg the Psycho with Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck. Others including Handsome Jack’s doppelganger and Gaige the Mechromancer appear in DLCs that preceded that.
There are a few fan-favorite characters the players don’t know the fates of, however. Axton the Commando class character and Salvador the Gunzerker class from Borderlands 2 have made no appearances since BL2, raising questions about their whereabouts during the time of Borderlands 3.
Axton was the Commando in Borderlands 2. A former sergeant in the Dahl military, he’s got the classic gruff voice and gritted teeth of a movie GI. Axton went AWOL after his wife and commanding officer Sarah divorced him, and act which simultaneously discharged him from the military and would have led to his death by firing squad if he hadn’t fled, leading to his role as a Vault Hunter in BL2. Axton doesn’t appear in person in Borderlands 3, but he does make an appearance of a kind.
The Commando appears to have taken advantage of his new-found fame and single status by becoming a risque model. One of the Iron Bear skins players can get for Moze, the Gunner class character in Borderlands 3, shows Axton posing in a pin-up pose with his military equipment. There’s also a film titled “Going Commando” which features Axton, as well as several adult magazines with his face on them found across the game. After losing his wife and calling his Sabre Turret his “girlfriend” for the duration of Borderlands 2, it seems Axton has finally found a way to combine his love of army gear and his inability to hold down a relationship into the perfect career.
Salvador’s fate is less clear, but the Gunzerker had the most crimes on his record of the Vault Hunters in Borderlands 2. Not only did he begin his story only narrowly avoiding execution by the people of his own hometown, but throughout the second game, Salvador was wanted for a comically long list of crimes including arson, destruction of property, manslaughter, cannibalism, and profanity. His bounty is only lower than Gaige’s of all the Hunters in Borderlands 2, which comes in at an unbeatable 820 billion dollars.
Nonetheless, it makes sense that Salvador of all the characters from Borderlands would go into hiding after his crack at Handsome Jack. Borderlands 3 even makes reference to Salvador still being on the run in the Guns, Love, and Tentacles DLC. Players who visit The Lodge on Xylourgous can kind a wanted posted for their old Gunzerker companion on the wall, apparently for missing payments on his ridiculously huge bar tab.
It’s unclear if these two characters are still technically a part of the Crimson Raiders, and if so the new leader established at the end of Borderlands 3 could bring them back out of the woodwork. Borderlands 3 has also released a new story DLC every three months since it’s release back in September 2019. Perhaps there’s room for these characters in the new game mode DLC, whatever Arms Race ends up being. With Borderlands‘ love of Easter eggs and in-jokes in, it’s hard to tell what references to Axton and Salvador hint and their return and which are merely references for players to enjoy.
Borderlands 3 is out now for PC, PS4, Stadia, and Xbox One. PS5 and Xbox Series X versions are in development.
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