Although fans still don’t know much about them, the Borderlands 3 Calypso Twins certainly make for a striking pair of villains. Tyreen and her twin brother Troy will be the primary antagonists of Borderlands 3, and the leaders of the Children of the Vault, a new cult which has united the bandits of Pandora and other worlds. So far, the pair seem to be quite an original idea; casting live-streamers as a game’s villains. However, can they stand up to the gold standard of Borderlands’ villains; Handsome Jack?
The Borderlands 3 Calypso Twins, Tyreen and Troy
When Borderlands 2 launched back in 2012, the game’s charismatic villain firmly stole the show, upstaging most every other character in the game. He was so good a villain that Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel documented his rise to power, giving fans plenty more screentime with the burgeoning corporate psychopath. Even after his death in Borderlands 2, Telltale Games found a way to bring him back for Tales From the Borderlands. Handsome Jack is certainly remembered now as one of the best villains in the history of gaming, and as a result, has set a very high bar for the series.
The Calypso Twins don’t need to be fantastic villains for Borderlands 3 to still be a great game, of course. However, the legacy of Handsome Jack is bound to lead fans to draw comparisons. If they fall flat, it could hurt the game’s longer-term success. The decision to feature two main villains, as opposed to one, is certainly a good idea in this case. By giving the villain a counterpart to interact with, it changes the dynamic from Handsome Jack’s mostly solo appearances. Hopefully, this will help them to feel different as antagonists, rather than a rehash of the same thing. After all, any attempt by Gearbox simply to recreate Handsome Jack in a new character wouldn’t be likely to live up to the original.
The Calypso Twins are also the leaders of a very different enemy faction; something which should help them to stand apart in a gameplay sense. While fighting Handsome Jack meant battling through hordes of relentless Hyperion robots, the Children of the Vault is a much more chaotic, bandit faction, full of Psychos and Fanatics. Both visually and in terms of combat, this should distinguish them as a new take on Borderlands’ antagonists.
Who Are Tyreen and Troy Calypso?
At present, fans don’t know a whole lot about the Calypso Twins themselves. Although they’ve appeared in several trailers, Gearbox has generally not showed major voice lines or cutscenes. We know that they are the leaders of the Children of the Vault; a cult which worships Tyreen as a god-queen. Their literal cult of personality is reinforced with ECHOnet broadcasts, no doubt giving Gearbox the chance to parody real-world streaming culture. Troy even dabs during the Borderlands 3 launch trailer!
The other important fact to know about Tyreen is that she is a Siren; one of only a very small number of such individuals. This alone makes her exceptionally powerful and dangerous. However, at present we don’t know much about how she acquired her powers or how she manifests them. “ECHOnet streamer. Cult leader. Siren,” describes the character’s official cosplay guide, one of the only sources of information on the twins; “For Tyreen Calypso, all the fame and fanatics are but means to an end: to reach the Vaults and become the most powerful person in the universe. Armed with fearsome Siren abilities and a magnetic personality, her power and control spread through every speaker and screen. And with all the bandit clans united under her banner, she’s already well on her way to godhood…”
Troy, on the other hand, is a little more of a mystery. His sister seems to take centre-stage most of the time, while Troy is a man of few words. Where Tyreen’s power comes from her Siren abilities, Troy seems to rely more on brawn. He has a huge mechanical arm, for example, and can be seen wielding a massive sword in the launch trailer. However, he isn’t simply Tyreen’s muscle. “Troy’s the man behind the message,” explains his cosplay guide; “While Tyreen may shine in the spotlight and rake in the followers, it’s Troy who carefully crafts her persona and propaganda for maximum effect. Despite being cunning, and cutthroat in his own right, Troy depends upon his twin sister for support and survival; they’re inseparable. And while he may live in his twin’s shadow, he still wields tremendous influence and is a force to be reckoned with.”
Will They Prove as Good as Handsome Jack?
So, can the Borderlands 3 Calypso Twins meet the standard set by Handsome Jack? For now, only time will tell. Well, the latter does have the benefit of having been in three different games. (Not to mention the nostalgia that so many gamers have for the character.) As such, even if the Calypsos do prove to be good villains, they may still be treated critically by fans. After all, it is a very high bar to meet. However, if they can prove popular with fans and provide Borderlands 3 with an excellent pair of villains, they could certainly help Gearbox to cement the franchise’s long-term return.