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Rhys Strongfork is the current CEO of the Atlas corporation and a former middle manager at Hyperion. He is one of the two main protagonists of Tales from the Borderlands, a major character in Borderlands 3, and appears in New Tales from the Borderlands.


Rhys is an ambitious man who once dreamt of becoming the next Handsome Jack. During his stay in the Hyperion corporation, he got along with two co-workers, Vaughn and Yvette, but maintained a rivalry with Vasquez.

Rhys' most notable features are his ECHO eye implant, which allows him to scan objects and reveal information about them, and his mechanical right arm, which has a built-in interface. Rhys got his cyberware to help him get ahead in the data-mining department. It was paid for by his quarterly bonus, which he received by arranging a lucrative (though controversial) Eridium mining deal.


Tales from the Borderlands

Main article: Tales from the Borderlands episodes

After loading Nakayama's ID chip into Rhys's implant, which contained Handsome Jack AI, the AI accompanies him throughout the game and either gives advice or mocks Rhys. When the AI attempted to kill Rhys, he ripped out his own cybernetics and could choose to either destroy the AI or leave it in an endless, eternal void.

At the end of the fifth episode, after defeating the Traveler, Rhys and Fiona enter the Vault of the Traveler together, and disappear in a flash of bright light.

Borderlands 3

Rhys eventually managed to rebuild the Atlas corporation and settled himself on Promethea before the events of Borderlands 3. ECHO recordings from Marcus Kincaid in the Meridian Outskirts reveal that sometime after the events of Tales from the Borderlands, Rhys approached Marcus, seeking a partnership with him as he was confident that he could rebuild Atlas. Marcus disagreed and later ate his words when Rhys successfully re-forged Atlas and creating his own tech. This led to Marcus agreeing to a rocky but sustainable partnership.

Katagawa Jr., in an attempt to secure a partnership of his own with Rhys, invaded Promethea, putting the entire Atlas corporation at risk. The Vault Hunters responded to Lorelei's distress call and helped Atlas retake Watershed Base to get in contact with Rhys, who appears as a hologram. He was initially excited as reinforcements arrived, but quickly became frustrated when he realized that the Vault Hunters were his only support. However, he quickly recomposes himself and tells them that if Maliwan is supported by the Calypsos and are after the Vaults, then that information would be stored in Maliwan's Gigamind. He instructs the Vault Hunters to meet his top agent, Zer0, who is already planning a strike on the Gigamind to steal Maliwan's data. Zer0 helps the Vault Hunters to clear the way and defeat Gigamind.

Although Rhys was happy to obtain the data, he was not concerned with finding the Vault initially, which prompted threats from the Vault Hunters. Desperate to save Atlas, he agrees to their terms and tells the Vault Hunters that Maliwan is after the pieces, having also invaded Athenas.

Rhys calls the Vault Hunters back to Promethea after they collect the Key piece on Athenas, as Skywell-27's laser is threatening Atlas and is demolishing locations on Promethea. He has the Vault Hunters meet him at his ship, but before they can travel to Maliwan's base, Katagawa destroys the ship with the laser. Rhys gives the Vault Hunters an Atlas Viper Drive to hack a Maliwan shuttle instead. Once the Vault Hunters reach the base, Rhys remotely walks them through it. He hacks a Death Sphere and uses it to gain access to the control room while the Vault Hunters protect it. Enraged by Katagawa destroying some of his favorite structures, Rhys retaliates by destroying Katagawa's yacht Zanara with the laser. The second key fragment was reclaimed by the Vault Hunters after destroying the Katagawa Ball.

Rhys invites the Vault Hunters to Atlas HQ to give them the third Vault Key piece. However, as soon as they arrive, the Atlas defenses are sabotaged and Maliwan forces start invading. Rhys frantically tries to find Zer0 to help fight off Maliwan and instructs the Vault Hunters on how to help get the defenses back online. Katagawa attempts to convince him that Zer0 betrayed Atlas, but Rhys refuses to believe it until he is attacked by a Maliwan-decorated Zer0. However, the real Zer0 appears, knocks off the imposter's helmet (revealing him to be Katagawa Jr.), and rescues Rhys.

After Katagawa is defeated, Rhys asks the Vault Hunters what they think of his mustache (of which the Vault Hunters can respond positively or negatively, triggering different dialogue from him), then gives them the Key piece. Rhys is last seen via a hologram on Sanctuary III, where he informs the Vault Hunters of the location of Promethea's Vault and makes ECHO contact with them shortly after sending Atlas reinforcements to get past a barrier. He also offers reinforcements during the assault on the Cathedral of the Twin Gods.

New Tales from the Borderlands

Rhys is still CEO of Atlas one year after the events of Borderlands 3. He sets the plot of New Tales in motion by firing Anu after her invention of a device that teleports objects to an unknown destination fails to impress him enough to make up for her release of jabbers intended for animal testing.

After the invasion of Atlas's orbiting headquarters and the planet Promethea by Tediore, Rhys contacts Anu and asks for her help recovering his looted vault key.

Rhys appears again in the best ending as a client of the player characters' new corporate consulting service, expressing appreciation for their work, but rating them only 8/10 for their failure to contact him during the game's events.



Rhys, due to his cybernetics, is an excellent hacker. In Tales from the Borderlands, some modifications by the Handsome Jack AI allow him to hack many different programs. Likewise, in Borderlands 3, Rhys successfully hacks multiple Maliwan targets with his Viper Drive in Space-Laser Tag while assisting the Vault Hunters in shutting down the laser.


Main article: Rhys/Quotes


  • Rhys' colorful striped sock is a nod to his original voice actor Troy Baker's love for colorful striped socks.[1]
  • Rhys' shoe size is 13 as stated by scanning Fiona in Episode 2 "Atlas Mugged".
  • Rhys' ex-girlfriend is named Stacey.
  • Rhys has a crush on Sasha. This is evident in a dialogue option in The Vault of the Traveler and a portrait of her can be seen on his desk in Atlas HQ.
  • Rhys had posters of Handsome Jack on his wall when he was a Hyperion employee.
  • Chocolate dill pickle is his favorite frogurt flavor, based on his Viper Drive password hint and answer.


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