There are many major questions that Borderlands 3 leaves unanswered. For instance, fans have pondered The Watcher’s Warning for years, while others are still confused as to where Fiona went after Tales From The Borderlands. Other Borderlands 3 mysteries are tied to characters that did not appear in the most recent game, with Athena and Gortys being prime examples. However, the biggest mystery surrounding the game, and arguably the series as a whole, is tied to Zer0 and FL4K.
While it is unclear if the next Borderlands game will finally explore the mystery surrounding these two characters, Borderlands 3 fans will have surely taken note of the interesting similarities between the two. While the third Borderlands game provides more questions than answers, the mere existence of FL4K does seem to confirm what exactly Zer0 is. While this is only one piece of the puzzle, the mystery is worth catching up on before the Borderlands series expands further.
The Mystery Around Zer0’s Origins In Borderlands 2
When Zer0 debuted as one of Borderlands 2’s playable Vault Hunters, many people quickly took interest in him due to just how mysterious he is. Not only was his codename interesting, but his character design and personality trait of only speaking in haiku got players invested in the mystery of who – or what – Zer0 is. Before long, fans quickly realized that Zer0 is not human, pointing to a few specific aspects of the character as evidence.
Hardcore fans will surely know that the sword-wielding Borderlands Assassin only has four digits on each hand, something that sets him apart from the human characters in the franchise. Even more intriguing is the fact that Zer0 does not hold his breathe when sniping or gasp for air after running long distances. These two details, combined with the hero’s unnaturally thin frame and cloaking tech, made fans sure that Zer0 was either and alien or a robot. With the release of Borderlands 3, it seems like they got their answer.
How FL4K’s Introduction Deepens The Mystery In Borderlands 3
Borderlands 3 saw the lovable Hunter FL4K joining the fight, with the animal expert very clearly being robotic. Like Zer0, FL4K has a number in their name and an ability that allows them to cloak. Outside of going invisible, FL4K also only has four fingers on each hand, making the connection to Zer0 even clearer. With these details in mind, it seems all but guaranteed that Zer0 is a robot like FL4K – though this is only the start of the mystery.
As of now, Borderlands 3 fans have no idea who built the two characters or why. While both are killing machines, they boast very different personalities and directives – with one taming animals and the other loving poetry. They have different fighting styles as well as different voices, and while they both end up hunting Vaults, it is unclear if this is a coincidence or not. The closest thing to official information on their origins is tied to the multiverse version of FL4K. With the backstory surely being different for the official version of the character, though, the Grand Archivist info can be disregarded.
Things only become more confusing and interesting with 0ne’s brief appearance in Borderlands 2’s final headhunter pack. Further, Katagawa Jr. perfectly replicating Zer0’s technology is another intriguing detail to make note of. With even Zer0 himself caught off guard by this, it will be interesting to see if fans get some extra information on this topic. While it could hint at Maliwan being the maker of Zer0 and FL4K, the company could have just as easily stolen the tech from somewhere else. Regardless, fans want to know who made FL4K and Zer0, who gave them sentience, and what their overall purpose is. As of now, though, it is unclear when (or if) Gearbox will provide clear answers. After all, part of the fun of this long running mystery has been all the theories that it has led to.
Borderlands 3 is available now on PC, PS4 PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.