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Psychos are bandits who have gone insane with a freakish obsession for the Vault. Shirtless, wearing a white mask and dressed in orange pants, these outlaws can be immediately identified by their homicidal cries, psychotic laughter and constant desire to get into close combat.
At some point in Pandora's recent past, a discovery was made at the Headstone Mine and hastily covered up. While it has never been fully revealed what was found there, it is known that a Vault key fragment came into the possession of Sledge, a grossly muscled behemoth of a man who later amassed a small army of bandits at Headstone Mine. The discovery at the mine had a surprising effect on many of the convict workers there. Most went crazy and many were physically mutated as well, growing into huge, muscular parodies of humanity, or stunted to dwarf proportions. Many of the "psychos", as they came to be known, donned face masks portraying the object of their collective fixation: an upside down "V" emblem.
Psychos are typically found among the ranks of the bandits that plague Pandora. They are known to act as the close-range counterparts to their more lucid, gun-waving brethren and will rush their targets while screaming all manner of insane comments.
Psychos run very swiftly, vaulting over low obstacles to get into melee range with their intended victims. They often zigzag in their run to avoid weapons fire. Wielding a "buzz axe", they can inflict very heavy damage if they get close, disabling a target's shield and removing nearly all health in one or two attacks. They typically attack with a double swing pattern, pausing after the second attack.
When hurt, psychos can flinch, letting a Vault Hunter get a short distance away or counterattack in melee. While only armed with a close combat weapon, they are very capable of throwing axes over long distances very accurately, although this attack inflicts little damage. They mostly throw their axes when their target is in an unreachable spot or is a long distance away. Should they sustain significant injury, they are known to throw away their axes, pull out a grenade and rush their target in a frenzied suicide rush. This attack is incredibly strong and can easily deplete shields and most, if not all, of a character's health, leaving the victim vulnerable to further attacks. Once the grenade is pulled out, killing the psycho will not stop the grenade from going off. Psychos sometimes pull out the grenade even if their target is far away from them, destroying themselves even before they get close. This grenade can also hurt and kill other enemies close to it.
The melee attack employed by Psychos forces them to stop running, and can be avoided by moving backward when the animation starts. As a result it is not necessary to run away from Psychos; simply move backward a step or two when they start their attack. It is even possible to move forward and strike first with a melee attack then back away while they are stunned.
Some psychos have adopted a pyromaniac bent and have become known as "Burning Psychos". These psychos will ignite themselves when engaged, rush into close proximity for melee attacks, and deal Incendiary contact damage. They are often encountered wearing shields and are immune to incendiary damage-over-time. Fire-resistant shields are therefore recommended as a last resort when they close in. Burning Psychos are distinguishable by their bird-like outfit, including a skull mask with feathers, and the flames that they have leaping off them. Like other Psychos except the Badass version, they will throw their weapon at targets at range. Unlike normal Psychos or Midget Psychos, they do not make suicide grenade attacks. They make the same sound as normal psychos.
Badass Psychos are much larger than the normal varieties, have a disproportionately enlarged right arm and a severely stunted left arm. They never make the suicide grenade attacks that their smaller brethren do, however they are quite resilient and tough to kill.
A useful strategy when fighting Badass Psychos is to shoot them while backing away. This keeps characters from harm while they whittle down the Badass Psycho from a safe distance. The mutant will stop to melee if he catches up, allowing a brief opportunity for characters to move out of reach. They are sometimes found without a shield and incendiary weapons can work wonders on them, even with their substantial health. Fast firing weapons can often accumulate enough damage at once to cause them to flinch, therefore a fast-firing incendiary weapon is an excellent choice against these close range behemoths.
Badass Psychos can throw their weapon when they are not at close range in Borderlands 2 Badass Psychos are rare to see, but they give a lot of XP.
Occasionally, when the corpse of a Badass Psycho is returned to, the body will have taken on the physical proportions of a normal psycho but will retain the pale skin colour of its original self.
- Hanz - Partner of Franz and bodyguard to Baron Flynt.
- Roid Rage Psycho - A gross monstrosity of a man, commanding Sledge's bandits in Sledge's Safe House.
- On Playthrough 2, the name Psycho is changed to Maniac, whilst in Playthrough 2.5, they are called Lunatics.
- When shooting at psychos from positions that the psycho cannot reach, they will toss their buzz axes in a ranged attack that inflicts damage and causes knockback. The attack is very long range and incredibly accurate, posing a problem for anyone trying to take careful aim with a sniper.
- Occasionally, the knockback effect may pull a target forward, possibly pulling them from cover or down from their perch entirely.
- Psychos will leap over or mantle low walls to reach targets quicker.
In Borderlands 2, psychos were expanded into an entire enemy family with variations on attack types, defenses, and battle tactics.
Additionally, several characters have psycho traits, the most notable of these being Krieg, the playable "Psycho" class character, who was based heavily on the psycho of Borderlands. Face McShooty is another allied unit, this time an NPC mission provider, who has a psycho appearance and screaming dialogue. Spycho is a human/spiderant hybrid with an upper body stitched together from one, or possibly several, psychos.
- Psycho - Has cargo pants instead of orange pants and occasionally sports rudimentary armor or tattoos, otherwise they look exactly the same as the Psychos from Borderlands. They also function in exactly the same way, except they do not perform a suicide charge when their health gets low and they will occasionally combat roll their way out of the line of fire. They can appear in fur hats and possess purplish skin as Freezing Psychos, with a mining light and pickaxe as Psycho Miners, or with pirate attire as Pillagers in Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty. Psycho midgets appear as well.
- Suicide Psycho - These psychos are easily identified by their blue mohawks and blood-stained skin. When they spot a Vault Hunter, they will lift a grenade over their heads and make a mad dash towards the nearest one. Once they get close, they detonate the grenade, blowing themselves up and dealing extreme damage to anything nearby. If however, they cannot get close, they will simply throw grenades like a normal enemy. If shot on the grenade carrying hand (the one raised), they will drop the grenade. When this happens, they stop, and simply take out another grenade and continue attacking. If they are killed before they get close, they drop a live grenade which blows up after a few seconds. They also have a midget variety.
- Burning Psycho - Behaves very similar to a regular Psychos, except that they have red skin and wear a flaming skull mask. In addition to swiping with their flaming axes, they can breathe fire at targets as well. Their attacks also have a chance to set things on fire. Also, unlike in the first game, they are not immune to fire damage. They too have a midget variety.
- Slagged Psycho - Psychos that appear similar to regular ones, save that they are Eridium purple and slightly more emaciated looking. They can inflict Slag with each melee swipe and have the ability to vomit Slag goop on their targets as well. Despite their frail appearance, they are actually tougher than the standard psycho.
- Midget Boner - Smash Head's midget allies. They are only found in The Fridge in Normal Mode, but also appear sparingly in Lynchwood in True Vault Hunter Mode.
- Armored Maniac - Psychos that wear pieces of old Crimson Lance armor, and as such are substantially tougher and stronger than regular psychos. Because of their armor, they are classified as armored foes and take almost no damage from elemental attacks, save corrosive attacks. They appear during True Vault Hunter Mode, and Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode.
- Gravedigger - Psychos that attack with a shovel and throw corrosive Skulls. They only appear during True Vault Hunter Mode.
- Badass Psycho - Very large, surprisingly fast psychos that can inflict heavy damage. Otherwise act the same as regular psychos.
- Chubby Midget - Much slower than regular psychos, but to compensate they have more health and deal substantially more damage. They also drop a ton of loot when killed and have a chance to drop some very rare loot.
- Loot Midget Psycho - A Psycho Midget that hides in large containers.
- Assassin Reeth - The third of the assassins fought during Assassinate the Assassins.
- Dubert, Hubert, and Lubert - Three midgets chained to Bad Maw's shield.
- Flesh-Stick - A psycho 'guest' for a tea party.
- Geary - A weak, diminutive psycho found in the Eridium Blight in the northwest of the map. Always drops a head skin and is part of a special loot mission in True Vault Hunter Mode.
- Incinerator Clayton - The Burning Psycho leader of the Children of the Firehawk.
- McNally - A psycho fought during The Bane.
- Mad Dog - A psycho with dynamite who must be fought during Breaking the Bank.
- Savage Lee - A psycho who lives in the wilderness of Three Horns with multiple bullymongs.
- Shorty - A frozen midget in Swallowed Whole.
- Ahh, another victim!
- Another walking meat puppet!
- Come closer, I can almost smell you.
- Another slave! To feed me.
- Blood! Blood! BLOOD!
- I wonder what your face, would look like on mine. (reference to Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
- I'll take pleasure in guttin' you... boy. (reference to the movie The Rock)
- I'm gonna eat you when I'm done!
- I'm gonna rip off your arm and beat your baby with it!
- I'm gonna skin ya, put on your face, and say Hi to your momma!
- I'm gonna squeeze you 'til you bleed blood
- It's time, ahahahaha, for another pound of flesh!
- It's time for my pound of flesh! Hahahahahaha! (reference to the play The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare)
- It's time to paint this body with blood!
- Just three more steps, and I got me dinner.
- Keep walkin', keeeep walkin'.
- Look boys! Its some fresh meat!
- MORE! More meat for me!
- No, don't run away, I need your face! (Another reference of Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
- Strip the flesh, salt the wound! (maniacal laughter)
- Time to play! Time to play! (reference to the movie "Child's Play")
- Time to pound... some meat puppies! (actual word is "puppet" not "puppies")
- Why don't you come over here, I got a little present for you!
- Yeah that's right..Closer! Closer!
- Yes, Yes, YES! It's dinner time!
- You remind me of my mother... I ate my mother. (reference to movie The Dark Knight)
- I can still taste her lovely sweat-box, she fed me such tears of ecstasy.
- Liar! I ripped out her bumpy tummy and her hot screams were for me!
- NO! Mommy bled for us both! She bled for us both!
- Another story to sing to the cages at home!
- Bring me a bucket, and I'll show you a bucket!
- Come to me, my pasty cake!
- Flavor me fancy, but you really put the pants in panting!
- I can't wait to take your picture!
- I love you!
- I'm gonna beat you to life!
- I need another head for my merry-go-round - YOURS IS PERFECT!
- I wonder if I plant you in the ground, if you'll grow taller?
- I made finger pizza just for you!
- I made you a salad, outta worms!
- I'm... gonna choke and stroke your lifeless body!
- I'm gonna floss my teeth... with your face!
- I'm gonna make hammocks, from your eye lids!
- I plucked a hair from the head of a dying baby! Let me give it to you!
- It's inside me! IT'S INSIDE ME!
- It's time for the meat puppet!
- It's time for THREE pounds of flesh!
- Lick and scream, and pee! I'm COMING to make you teeth!!!
- Let's agree to disagree!
- Look into my eyes when I stare at you!
- Look at me when I'm charging at you!
- Mommy dearest was the clearest until she lost her bearing, now she's rusted, and is busted, and out of sight and hearing!
- O, that this too too solid flesh would melt, Thaw and resolve itself into a dew! Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd His canon against self-slaughter! O God! God! How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable, Seem to me all the uses of this world! Fie on't, ah fie, 'tis an unweeded garden, That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature Possess it merely. That it should come to this! But two months dead, nay not so much, not two, So excellent a king, that was, to this Hyperion to a satyr, so loving to my mother That he might not beteem the wings of heaven Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth, Must I remember? Why, she would hang on him, As if the increase of appetite had grown By what it fed on; and yet within a month - Let me think not on't; frailty, thy name is woman - A little month, or ere these shoes were old With which she followed my poor father's body Like Niobe, all tears, why she, even she - O God, a beast that wants discourse of reason Would have mourned longer - married with my uncle, My father's brother, but no more like my father Than I to Hercules. Within a month, Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears Had left the flushing in her gall'd eyes, She married. O, most wicked speed, to post With such dexterity to incestuous sheets! It is not, nor it cannot come to good. But break my heart, for I must hold my tongue. (Too Solid Flesh soliloquy from Hamlet)
- The meat puppies, they come to the slaughter, like children to an ice cream truck!
- They told me to bring a pail lunch... you look pale enough to me!!
- This is prison and we're the guys in the shower!
- Wear your face like a condom!
- What does it all mean!?
- Will you marrow me?
- You smell like my little girl!
- You're a feast of eyes and piss in all this bliss!
- Organic or bust!
- My mommy's gonna be so mad!
- You're gonna be my new meat bicycle!
- My mom looked at me that way, too!
- Mom always said to be thorough...
- Here it comes, big boy!
- Why will no one play with me?!
- I'm the one who knocks!
- Foreskin hats for my puppets!
- Another slave (laughter) to feed me!
- (laughter) For France!
- You can't kill me! I'm already dead tomorrow!
- I've got the neeeed to seeeed!
- STOP LOOKING AT ME!
- WHY ARE YOU YELLING?!
- NO NEED TO SHOUT!
- Another walking meat puppet!
- I can see Uranus from here! Hahahahaha!
- Get ready for bad touch!
- A flower? For meeee?
- Drop-kick your babies!
- I AM IMMORTAL!
- I like my victims like I like my coffee... in the butt!
- Unforgivable! UNFORGIVABLE!
- You sat in my swing! NOW I'M GOING TO EAT YOU!!
- It's meat puppet master theatre!
- I can hear with my teeth!
- French me, mommy!
- I wanna play! Just play with me!
- (laughter) It's time! (laughter) for a good old fashioned slap and crap!
- Garters for guts!
- Guts for garters!
- I'll never stop, until they flop!
- The sweet songs of sausage stumps will fill my days!
- Your dirty sausage dog won't touch me!
- Just a drop! On my tongue!
- Slurp it! Drink it! Eat it! (sniff) Smell it!
- I'll feed your skin snacks to my cockatiel!
- Slap the Pancakes!!
- Start the clock! I'm going to count every minute I get with you...
- Eyes like grapes. Delicious!
- Karate chop!
Taking critical damage
- Oh God, oh God!
- The worst!
- Oh, sweet Marcus!
- Pleasure in pain!
- Pluto's not a planet!
- No! GOOOOD... No! GOOOOD!
- No, more diapers!
- Sugar meals!
- Gimme my hit points back!
- I'm sorry, mommy... I'm sorry!
- Gotta get my hands...around....your throat
- I just...need....a new toe from you
- I need a powerful woman! Right now!
- Hit me!
- Mommy! Where are you?!
- Ohh, spankings!
- I'm ready for prom! Heheheh...
- This is not organic!
- Even... more endorphins!
- Feels good, man!
Vault Hunter retreating
- Come back soon!
- Don't run away! I need your face!
- Pussy! Pussypussypussypussypussy pussy!
- Where's the kitty?
- Wait! Come back! I won't eat you! Really!
- Hahahaha! Ruuuun!
- I see you!
- You can hide, but you can't run! Pussy!
- Goliath - Helmet shot off
- I think he's gonna play xylophone with my spinal cord!
- Bang-bang leads to smash-smash!
- Every time you shoot its head, another puppet loses its skin!
- Unleash her!
- Unleash the orgasm!
- Goliath - Raged
- Another playmate!
- Time for playtime!
- Got my friend back!
- Time for a sleepover!
- Goliath - Skill level
- Too much friendship!
- Mom says I can't see you!
- Bad friend! Such a bad friend!
- Nomad - Killed
- I'm free!
- Mommy's not home! I can find another animal to skin!
- Bye-bye, mommy...
- I can eat all the kittens now!
- No more mommy!
- All the cookies for me! All of them!
- Come back, mommy!
- Free of her! Free!
- I can't wait to cuddle with his corpse!
- Buzzard - Destroyed
- Ooohh, a shooting star!
- It's like a microwave meal!
- Free lunch!
- Hot delivery!
- Fire in the sky!
- Meteor shower!
- Rainin' man...
- FALL FOREVER!
- Marshmallow cockpit!
- Ally killed - other
- Weakness leads to deathness! Hahahaha!
- That was... my pasty cake!
- God... dammit! I had it all set up! All set up!
- Second helpings! Sloppy globs! And melting meat in my mouth!
- Did I get some on my shoe?!'
- You killed my twin! Now I will eat you!'
- He was the only one that knew! But I'll show you, too! Hahahahaha!
- No one touch that pile! It's mine!
- I feel like we grew apart since he died!
- He was going to FEEL ME!
- You understood... YOU UNDERSTOOD!
Vault Hunter killed
- But you'll miss tea time!
- High-five! Oh, you're dead. Sorry.
- If only my mom could see me now...
- Don't hate me! I hate me!
- Don't hate me, mommy!
- I'm a bad baby!
- I'M VERY LOUD!
- It's a cupcake. I swear it's a cupcake!
- Boom time!
- Cookies and screams, all topped with cream!
Suicide - when about to blow
- Pushing daisies!
- Purple nurple!
Vault Hunter skills
- I can see foreverrrr!
- I'm home!
- Is that... Mr. Skaggles? Mr. Skaggles! MR. SKAGGLES! DON'T GO MR. SKAGGLES!
- Oh, mom... (thumb sucking sounds)
- Is it time-out again? But... buh-but... MOMMY!!
- I'm inside... I'M INSIDE ME!
- Just a lost Psycho in a fish bowl, singing with another head...
- No, you have a time out...!
- Never gonna give you up... (Reference to the song Never gonna give you up by Rick Astley)
- End... quotes... death... gurgle...
- Bury me upside down! (Reference to a similar quote by Bob Knight)
- I miss... Mr. Skaggles... He's... licking at my face...
- I've changed... I'VE CHANGED!
- It's so... dark and... cold... no, mommy...!
- I didn't do it!
- This isn't the last thing I'll say!
- My words... will ring in your ears for miles!
- I regret nothing!
- I regret everything!
- I can't die hungry... just one... step... closer...
- You'll remember me!
- My whole life... was a joke...
- But the cakes we were going to bake...!
- Carrot juice...
- Bury me with Teddy...
- My blood... it's salty.
Psycho Midget quotes
- Ahhh! You die!
- I'ma kill you!
- I'ma make you die!
- Midget take you out! Any day!
- Who wants ice cream cake?! It's mint chocolate chip!
- You're my new best friend! Now you DIE! Then I'm alone! Why would I do that?!
- You can't stop the Midge-Midge!
- Taking damage
- No no don't do that!
- Ally's demise
- Why you kill him?! He my friend!
- Vault Hunter Skills
- AAAAAAHH! Scary robot man!
- No! Midgey hate robots! AAAAAHH!
- Never, robot! Never! No assimilate Midge-Midge!
- Wooooo! He magician!
- Midge-Midge hire you for birthday!
- Magic man!
- (whimpers) I die...
- Midge-Midge no more...
- Midge-Midge no final words...
- At least life lived well...
- Is this what heaven's like?
- So cold... so cold... so cold...
- He like midget too... Waahh...
- Ahh! Ahh... I see light... and stars...
- Ohhh, Midge-Midge no more, cry cry...
- OH GOD! OH GOD!!! (Killed by fire damage)
- The standard psycho face mask bears the Vault symbol seen in many places throughout the game.
- A psycho is featured on the cover of Borderlands and Borderlands 2, blowing his own brains out with a finger pistol.
- Roland is shown holding a psycho mask on his "Wanted" poster.
- When a Psycho says "Time to pound some meat puppets!", the subtitles will say "puppies" instead of puppets.
- Tiny Tina carries a psycho mask on her hair.
- The Psycho will occasionally reference a line from Hamlet.