Borderlands 3 secret message hints at the return of the Destroyer

A hidden message has been discovered in the offline screen of the Borderlands Twitch channel that teases some potentially big revelations that might be coming in Borderlands 3. Discovered by YouTuber Joltzdude139, the messages—in Morse code—ask two questions drawn from Borderlands lore that could be very pertinent to long-time lore hunters. 

The code can only be seen in the image that's displayed when the Borderlands Twitch channel is offline, not in the otherwise-identical header art at the top of the page, and it's very faint and easy to overlook. There are two strings of dots and dashes, one on the left side of the Psycho, and one on the right: The message on the left translates to, "Where is the first vault hunter?" while the one on the right is, "Who is the Destroyer?" 

The Destroyer is a massive, vaguely Lovecraft-looking monster with tentacles and one big eye who was imprisoned in the vault by the Eridians (whose entire civilization was wiped out in the process) thousands of years before the events of Borderlands—and was then set free, battled, and presumably killed in the big boss fight at the end of Borderlands. Handsome Jack was able to obtain the destroyed Destroyer's eye in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and turn it into powerful Eye of Helios weapon. But maybe it's not quite so dead after all? 

Naturally, there is speculation afoot on the Borderlands 3 subreddit. One redditor suggests that Tannis could be the first vault hunter, given the depth of her knowledge of Eridians and the vault; another theorizes that a "Visit Prometea" Morse-coded message found in Gearbox's defunct Battleborn, which was originally taken as a misspelling of "Visit Promethea," is actually a deeper reference to a Haflinger foal cloned by Italian scientists in 2003 that was named Prometea—ergo, Tannis is actually a clone, there are many other Tannises out there (one on each planet, maybe) and her ongoing mental breakdown is a result of imperfections in the cloning process. 

That's pretty far out there; more grounded, I think, is the theory that the Destroyer itself is the first vault hunter, who was granted the near-limitless power promised by legend but with a monkey's paw sock to the chops. That idea gains credence from the wording of the question, which asks specifically "Who is the Destroyer," rather than what, implying that it has an identity beyond "generic googly-eyed boss beast."

Or maybe—and this is my own personal theory—it's nothing more than dead-end callbacks to "lore" for some pre-September hype. Call me cynical if you will, but it's working.

Borderlands 3 comes out on September 13. Here's everything else you need to know about it

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.