So it’s Australia Day; for some a day where drunk idiots don flag-capes and start fights, others a day to mourn the terrible atrocities on which the day is the anniversary, and the rest stay out of it and use the day off to have a nice BBQ and listen to Triple J’s Hottest 100 Countdown. Regardless of where you fit into those three groups, for all of them it is the day to acknowledge the culture of Australia, be that inebriated bigotry, crushing shame or the want to chill the fuck out.
But really it’s the best day to talk about the most Australian things in the most Australian video game ever made: 2014’s Borderlands The Pre-Sequel.
Developed by the now defunct 2K Australia team, the last AAA studio in the whole country, The Pre-Sequel took players to the moon of Pandora and told the story of Handsome Jack’s decent into villain prior to Gearbox’s Borderlands 2. The Australian angle came during production when members of the Canberra-based team recorded their own voices as place-holder dialogue to show Gearbox what they were planning for the game, doing their best to mimic American accents so as to keep it fitting with the originals. Their efforts did not have the desired effect, as Gearbox’s response was that they loved the idea of making Pandora’s moon Australia and wanted the team to roll with it.
And roll with it they did. The Pre-Sequel is littered with Australian cultural references, from exaggerated accents, mad politicians and some horrendous puns. While there are many crackers, I’ve gone ahead and narrowed them down to the top four, so grab a slab, throw on an akubra and let’s get this party started.
When adventuring out across the moon, players may stumble across a small body of water adjacent to a small camp site. Further along there is a man carrying a huge knapsack named “The Swagman”, but he certainly doesn’t seem too jolly given a pack of pterodactyl-like creatures are attempting to chew off his face. If you haven’t gotten the reference by now then I can’t help you.
The Swagman is a tough enemy, boasting a decent amount of health and also having all those other creatures around him to deal with. But killing him is worth it because, as his name suggests, he is carrying a lot of swag to loot.
Not Down Under, but…
Not only did 2K Australia have the balls to make a Down Under joke in the game, they had the nerve to make it twice. The most prominent point is when players need to meet in Mad Moxxi’s bar in the capital city of Concordia. The bar’s name? “Moxxi’s Up Over Bar”.
If seeing that face-palm of a pun every time you return to the capital wasn’t enough for you, the game also works it into the achievements list. Upon discovering all the locations in the areas Serenity’s Waste, Triton Flats and Stanton’s Liver, you are presented with the achievement “I Come From The Land Up Over”.
…well played Pre-Sequel, now that song is going to be stuck in my head for the rest of the week.
Slapping Ol’ Tones
You can’t make a game taking the piss out of Australia without paying tribute/mocking our captain’s calling ex-prime minister and resident champion onion eater Tony Abbott. Yes, The Pre-Sequel grants us a chance to relieve some stress when it comes to the dumb things uttered by our then supreme ruling gaffe machine, as players encounter a raving lunatic named Abbot who won’t stop spouting his nonsense until you give him a good slap around the face.
He also professes to the fact he is a dumbass. Here’s a clip of the quest itself, skip to around the 3:15 mark for rantings of the madman.
‘On ya, Tones.
The Bogan Shotgun
What could possibly top shooting a folk song character in the face, a cringe-worthy pun and smacking Tony “It’s not everyone’s place to come to Australia” Abbott around the head? Surely we’ve hit peak ‘Straya?!
My friends, I present to you “Boganella”, the bogan shotgun.
Boganella is obtained upon completing the “Another Pickle” quest line and as well as packing a punch damage-wise, it also brings the bogan attitude with it in spades. Upon shooting, killing an enemy, reloading or swapping weapons, Boganella will shout some swear word filled phrase showing its distaste for its victims and its owner. It occasionally expresses some appreciation for the player’s companionship, but rest assured that it is still filled with passionate vulgarity.
It really has to be seen to be believed, so here’s a clip. Word to the wise: even though the swears are bleeped, this video is still not safe for kids or grandma (unless you have a really cool grandma).
From personal experience with the game, dual wielding Boganellas is the best time you can have, trust me.
…That sounded less filthy in my head…