The Borderlands franchise has spawned a lot of memorable characters over the years. One of its spinoff series, Tales from the Borderlands, introduced an unforgettable cast of likable personalities. Their death-defying and humorous escapades immediately endeared them to fans across the board. Some, like Vaughn, would even make a return in Borderlands 3.
Vaughn plays the role of Rhys’ often cowardly, but loyal sidekick as they scheme to rip off their tyrannical boss. He definitely serves as one of the game’s primary sources of comedic relief. Tales from the Borderlands has so much dialogue and so many choices that it’s easy to miss little details throughout a single playthrough.
10 Desires A Reaver’s Edge Rifle
In Tales from the Borderlands, Rhys and Vaughn are mid-level employees working for Hyperion. The competition is cutthroat, but the two friends are optimistic due to a seemingly imminent promotion on Rhys’s part, from which Vaughn would also benefit. Both men excitedly discuss the purchase of future possessions with their newfound wealth.
Hearing Vaughn’s wish can be easy to miss. It requires Rhys to stay silent during their conversation about what they plan to buy with the money. Vaughn will exclaim his eagerness to purchase a “Reaver’s Edge,” a rare firearm produced by Dahl. Players are able to wield that particular rifle in the first Borderlands game if they complete the “Two Wrongs Make A Right” mission.
9 Can Receive An Upgrade To His Specs
Vaughn is always seen wearing glasses. They are not, however, typical spectacles. He wears HYPERION ECHO-SPEX, which aids him in his accounting duties at Hyperion. The glasses serve a similar function to Rhys’s ECHO-EYE implant. If Fiona saves up enough cash, Vaughn can actually upgrade his glasses at the beginning of the “Catch a Ride” episode.
Fiona can optionally purchase the Apollo Visioneers for Vaughn at the cost of $400. Besides its sleeker design, the product description states it also comes with a bonus reading light. Vaughn will be ecstatic about the purchase as he raves about the anti-glare lenses and night vision capabilities.
8 To Forgive Or Not Forgive?
Tales from the Borderlands clearly establishes Rhys and Vaughn as best friends. However, their relationship is jeopardized when it’s revealed that Vaughn agreed to sell out his friend to Vasquez. Vaughn will state that it was just a ruse to get their homicidal boss off of their backs. It’s up to the player, as Rhys, to decide whether or not to forgive Vaughn for his apparent betrayal.
Refusing Vaughn’s apology in the form of a “bro fist” will have an interesting, albeit minor, impact on future dialogue. If Rhys had set Loader Bot to self-destruct in the first episode, he will offer an apology to the robot in “Catch a Ride.” Loader Bot will reply, “Are we forgiving people now? Vaughn will be disappointed.” It’s a little detail few players may have realized was in the game.
7 Scanning Him Reveals His Personal Interests
Rhys, in the form of his ECHO-EYE, has the ability to scan various objects and individuals. Doing so often elicits a rather humorous summary of the person by detailing certain facts about their life. Vaughn and other characters can be scanned on several occasions throughout all five episodes of Tales from the Borderlands.
His favorite color, for instance, is said to be goldenrod, and it’s revealed that he recently purchased a set of Val-U-Pak colored markers. Vaughn’s favorite book is listed as “Mind the GAAP: Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and You!” Scanning him also confirms that he is 27 years old during the events of the game.
6 Deciding Who To Trust Affects His Paralysis
The ending to the second episode, “Atlas Mugged,” has a big impact on Vaughn. Rhys has to make a decision whether to trust Fiona or Handsome Jack in order to escape a deadly situation. Vaughn escapes unharmed if Jack is trusted. Conversely, if Fiona is chosen, Vaughn is hit with a tranquilizer that renders him unable to move or speak.
This decision actually carries quite a bit of weight to it. Although humorous, Vaughn’s paralysis actually eliminates a lot of subsequent interactions involving him for the rest of the next episode. Players can really miss out on some great content between Rhys and Vaughn based on the decision concerning who to trust.
5 Reviving Him Is A Pulp Fiction Reference
Vaughn is ultimately paralyzed if Rhys chooses to side with Fiona in “Atlas Mugged.” Due to his injury, Vaughn plays a very small role in the plot until he is revived in the following episode. To do so, Fiona must plunge a syringe directly into Vaughn’s heart in order to reverse his condition.
The whole scene is a clever reference to the film Pulp Fiction. In the movie, Vincent Vega performs a similar procedure on Mia, who is suffering from a drug overdose. Vic stabs Mia in the chest with a syringe filled with adrenaline. Vaughn and Mia both react in much the same way by abruptly springing back to life.
4 Has Known Rhys Since Childhood
Rhys and Vaughn are already well-established bros. Bits and pieces about their past can be gleaned through their conversations with each other. It turns out that both of these hapless Hyperion employees have known one another for quite a while.
During one of their heart-to-hearts on Pandora, Rhys and Vaughn (assuming he’s not paralyzed) will discuss their lives growing up. They were both nerds who were never particularly popular at parties. It’s clear from this exchange that Vaughn has always looked up to Rhys and that the two of them have relied on each other for some time.
3 Possesses Even More Bro Interactions
Tales from the Borderlands has its fair share of funny scenes and interactions. One of the more memorable ones involves Vaughn, Rhys, and Loader Bot all giving each other “bro fists.” The whole exchange is then subsequently mocked by Fiona, much to Rhys’s chagrin.
There’s actually a second scene that can play out between Rhys and Vaughn of which many players may not be aware. In “Escape Plan Bravo,” the duo can share a very similar moment while captives of Vallory’s gang. Although tied up, Rhys has the option of extending a “bro knee” to Vaughn, who is only too happy to oblige.
2 Eventually Became A Bandit Leader
Vaughn embodies the stereotypical nerdy accountant in Tales from the Borderlands. Throughout the events of that game he undergoes a dramatic transformation. He takes to life on Pandora surprisingly well and eventually starts a community composed of the surviving residents of Helios. Vaughn can be encountered again in Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary.
By the time Borderlands 3 takes place, Vaughn is having a tough go of it. Living the bandit life isn’t going well for him. His most recent gang has just betrayed him and left him for dead. Nevertheless, with the player’s help, Vaughn’s fortunes can take a turn for the better.
1 He References King Arthur
Tales from the Borderlands is a very dialogue-heavy game. Interspersed amidst all the talking are neat little tidbits of information that can be easy to miss. One such reference is uttered by Vaughn relatively early in “Zer0 Sum.” While Rhys and Vaughn are discussing their future riches after the sale of the Vault key he will say, “They’re gonna make us the once and future kings of that place.”
The term “Once and Future King” is a title normally attributed to King Arthur. More specifically, it refers to T.H. White’s seminal work, The Once and Future King. First published in 1958, it’s a popular retelling of Arthur’s life starting from his birth until his eventual death in battle against his illegitimate son, Mordred.