10 things we learned from the Borderlands 'Mask of Mayhem' trailer

Gearbox is hyping up Borderlands big time. Before a reveal at PAX East on Thursday, the company dropped a teaser trailer stating "Mayhem is coming," which you can watch above. It's a cool video, depicting characters from across the Borderlands series etched into marble-like statues. What does this trailer actually tell us about the game Gearbox is revealing tomorrow? Nothing directly, but there are definitely clues hidden throughout.

Here's what diehard Borderlands fans have picked apart, and what we've learned from watching and rewatching the trailer.

Tiny Tina looks grown up 

There are tons of Borderlands characters in statue form in this trailer, from mainstays like Claptrap to supporting characters like Sir Hammerlock. One of the most notable is Tiny Tina, who's doing a high-five with playable characters Brick and Mordecai. She looks fully grown now. That sure makes it seem likely she appears in the new game, as this depiction of her isn't a throwback to her Borderlands 2 appearance. 

Tales from the Borderlands' Rhys and Vaughn are here 

We really liked Tales from the Borderlands, and it's pretty cool to see characters from that Telltale game have some significance here! There's a shot of a bare-chested, bearded man who could definitely be an older Vaughn. Rhys is unmistakable, though, standing on top of an Atlas logo. He's in the same frame as Borderlands 2 playable characters Maya and Zero. 

It sure looks like there are two villains

Previous leaks have referred to the Calypso Twins, and this sure looks like them. The trailer opens on a shot of these two characters holding an upside-down vault symbol, and they're being worshipped by a legion of psychos. We then get a closer look at them, and they have some pretty mean studded collars and edgy haircuts. If that's not enough evidence, there's also a shot of one of the pair beknighting a bandit. I'll go out on a limb and guess that these two have united all the baddies of Pandora into a powerful new army. 

Mechanic Ellie is playing with a spaceship 

A great spot from Mentalmars. A popular Borderlands 3 theory is that this game will take us off Pandora and to multiple planets, and Ellie playing with a spaceship sure would be a good clue. 

New playable Vault Hunters include a cool robot 

Borderlands 2 kept the original game's Vault Hunters around as story characters and introduced us to four new playable characters, and it sure looks like this new game is following a similar path. We see all those original heroes scattered throughout the video, but early in the trailer it focuses in on four unknowns clustered tightly together. These are our new heroes.

Leaks may have also given us their names. Zane (eyepatch guy), Flak (robot), Amara (Siren), Moze (Soldier). You can read more leaked details about their classes here

Claptrap is still here (I'm sorry)

But it does look like someone shot him. Maybe they got his voice box. One can only dream. 

Handsome Jack's mask probably means something 

Handsome Jack's mask makes a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo early in the video as the camera pans up and out of the cathedral-esque hall where the villains are being worshipped by bandits. It's positioned over the doorway like a crest. And the title of the trailer is "Mask of Mayhem." Are you thinking what I'm thinking? 

It looks like there's a new sci-fi wheel car 

This is pretty clearly a new vehicle type that you've probably seen in some sci-fi movie or other before. It's a big wheel that'll spin to move the contraption while the inner wheel remains level. 

Lilith is back, but she might have gone rogue? 

It's too early to say Lilith's gone bad, but our colleagues at GamesRadar have done some shrewd analysis here. Lilith is depicted with wings in this trailer, just like the woman at the beginning of the trailer who seems like a villain. Then again, perhaps Lilith is leading the opposition against them: the epilogue to Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, set shortly after Borderlands 2, could be interpreted as setting Lilith up to command the Vault Hunters. 

There's a hidden Borderlands 2 SHIFT code, in case you have the itch to play Borderlands right now

Courtesy of Metalmars, if you spot these codes spread throughout the trailer and add them together, they become a SHIFT code for Borderlands 2 that unlocks a skin for Salvador and 5 golden keys.

Here it is: C35TB – WS6ST – TXBRK – TTTJT – JJH6H

Morse code and braille hide even more secret messages 

Apparently we could scrutinize this video all day, huh? As fans have been picking apart, there are bits of braille and morse code hiding cryptic messages.

Braille: "Follow and obey."

Morse code: "Count the Sirens."

If one of the new villains is a siren (the wings seem to be a dead giveaway), and we also have Lilith, Maya, and new playable character Amara, that's four of the six Sirens allowed to exist in the universe at any one time. Are there two more out there, and if so, are they important to the plot? That sure seems to be the implication.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).