Rhys is an ambitious man, and once dreamt of becoming the next Handsome Jack, trying his best to fill in his shoes. 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 for arranging a lucrative (though controversial) Eridium mining deal. While his old ECHO eye gave him access to all the information from the Hyperion database, it's unknown what features his current ECHO eye has, though it would presumably be accessing the Atlas database.
Tales from the Borderlands
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While heading to his boss' office to earn his promotion, Rhys finds out that Vasquez has taken over the position by force, demoting Rhys to "assistant vice janitor". Having overheard Vasquez talking about purchasing a Vault Key, he then heads to Pandora with Vaughn to purchase the key using Hyperion's funds. It isn't long before he and Vaughn accidentally stir up trouble with the local bandits led by Rudiger and after requesting a Loader Bot to defuse the situation, the two of them enter the World of Curiosities, an antique shop owned by Shade. There, they find the body of Nakayama, taking his ID chip before meeting up with the dealer, August, and his girlfriend Sasha. Unbeknownst to Rhys, Vaughn and August, the key was a forgery made by Fiona, Sasha and their adoptive mentor Felix. As soon as they discover this, the deal is then crashed by the bandit leader Bossanova and Zer0. Bossanova escapes with the money, while Rhys and Vaughn take shelter within Felix's van and makes an alliance with him, Fiona and Sasha, leaving behind a vengeful August.
Rhys attempts to track the money using the ID drive he retrieved from Professor Nakayama's corpse in the antique shop. After plugging the drive into himself, Rhys collapses and blacks out. While he is unconscious, the rest of the group finds Bossanova's base, an abandoned Atlas warehouse. After Rhys wakes up, the group proceeds to infiltrate the facility. While Felix stays behind in the van as the getaway driver, Rhys and Sasha are separated from Vaughn and Fiona, who get recruited into a bandit death race. Rhys and Sasha find a lift leading to the arena, but while trying to get it moving, Rhys' systems begin to malfunction, and he accidentally releases skags from nearby cages. While Rhys is attempting to make the lift work, a mysterious voice begins to taunt him. As Rhys manages to activate the lift, Zer0 arrives and helps them escape. The three of them arrive at the center of the arena, where Bossanova is hosting the death race. Rhys struggles to stay alive, but the briefcase is tossed around the racing arena, where Fiona and Vaughn are participating. Felix eventually recovers the case, but then announces his betrayal to Fiona. He attempts to open the case, not knowing there is a bomb linked to Vaughn's bio signature inside. The bomb explodes, destroying all the money inside and depending on player choice, either killing Felix or causing him to flee. As the group tries to figure out what to do next, Loader bot returns and causes Rhys to accidentally find an underground room containing Atlas prototype tech, including a strange item displaying a map of a Vault. At this point, the voice inside Rhys' head gets clearer, and as he turns around, he finds a hologram of Handsome Jack greeting him.
After retaking Watershed Base, the Vault Hunters and Lorelei contact Rhys. He is excited when he hears that the Crimson Raiders sent Vault Hunters to Promethea, but is distraught upon hearing that they didn't bring any more troops with them. However, he quickly recomposes himself and tells the Vault Hunters that if Maliwan is helping the Calypsos go after the Vaults, then that information would be stored in Maliwan's Gigamind. He tells the Vault Hunters to go meet up with his top agent, who is already planning a strike on the Gigamind to steal Maliwan's data.
The Vault Hunters bring the Gigamind back to Rhys, but make him promise to help them get to the Vault. Reluctantly, Rhys agrees, and downloads the information on Maliwan's troops, battle plans, and movements. He tells the Vault Hunters that Maliwan is after Vault Key pieces, and have sent troops to Athenas to steal one.
Rhys calls the Vault Hunters back to Promethea after they collect the Key piece on Athenas. He needs help shutting down Maliwan's laser, which is being powered by the second Key piece. He has the Vault Hunters meet him at his ship, but before they can travel to Maliwan's base, Katagawa destroys the ship. Rhys gives the Vault Hunters an Atlas Viper Drive to hack a Maliwan shuttle instead. Once the Vault Hunters reach the base, Rhys helps walk them through the process of reaching the laser. He hacks a Death Sphere and uses it to gain access to the control room.
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. Evidence starts suggesting that Zer0 betrayed Atlas, but Rhys refuses to believe it until he starts getting attacked by Zer0 in a Maliwan suit. As Maliwan Zer0 is about to kill Rhys, the real Zer0 shows up to save his friend. Maliwan Zer0 is revealed to be Katagawa in disguise, and the Vault Hunters have to kill him.
After Katagawa is defeated, Rhys asks the Vault Hunters what they think of his mustache, then gives them the Key piece.
Episodes (Tales from the Borderlands)
Rhys, due to his cybernetics, is an excellent hacker. With some modifications by AI Jack, he can hack many different programs.
Tales from the Borderlands
- "Hi, you've reached Rhys Strongfork, CEO and wartime general of Atlas corporation. Quick question: who the hell is this and how did you get on my secure line?!"
- "Oh this? This is my siege mustache. The troops love it."
- "Vault Hunter- Crimson- yes! How many troops did you bring? Twenty thousand? Fifty thousand?"
- "What?! Come on, I can't take this city back with a single digit army!"
- "Perfect, everybody's just piling on. Well, new friend, you showed up at the right time. My top agent is gearing up to strike at Maliwan's strategic Gigamind. If they are after the Vaults, that's where the intel will be. Go meet up with my agent. Rhys, out."
- "Hey, you made it! My ship's right there. State-of-the-art Atlas cloaking, baby. This way!"
- "I'd die before I hand Atlas over to that corporate ass-hat, new plan. We steal a Maliwan shuttle with security protocols. Here, take this."
- "So, uh, the Viper Drive is Atlas state-of-the-art remote hacking. Now we'll use that baby to steal a Maliwan shuttle."
- "Focus. Just-just find yourself a Maliwan shuttle and pop in a Viper Drive! I will do the rest!"
- "I don't care what Katagawa says, this merger will happen over my cold dead body. Which is probably the point."
- "Y'know, last time a Vault opened on Promethea, Atlas rose like a phoenix. And then, uh, died, like a phoenix does. Kinda torn both ways on this one."
- "I grew a mustache to inspire my troops. That's leadership! Right? Right."
- "Just as Atlas was gettin' back to form, Maliwan shows up and invades. I mean, what the hell, man? Why me?"
- "All I ever wanted was a corporation I could call my own. This is my shot, Vault Hunter. You can't throw away your shot!"
- "Hey! It's you! Blankin' on the, uh, the, uh, the, uh,... the name... but I know that winning... gun."
- "So, how's my good buddy Zer0 doing? Atlas would be rubble without him. He is pretty cool."
- "Climbing the corporate ladder is exhausting. Y'know, sometimes I just wanna climb a REAL ladder, you know?"
- "If you see main man Vaughn back on Pandora, tell him main man Rhys said, uh... tell him Rhys said, 'yo.'"
- "People in the corporate world are all 'go go go!' No you, though. It's, um... oddly unsettling."
- "Well, you may not have brought an army of thousands, Vault Hunter, but, uh... I hope you can kill like one!"
- "I used to work for Hyperion Corporation but, uh... well, that story's got a long TALE..."
- "Ah, Athenas, huh? Yeah, been meaning to visit but, uh... haven't had the chance, what with... running a giant corporation and everything. Just haven't found the time."
- "Okay. Time to try out the Viper Drive! So. Pop it into that console."
- "Just gotta get in somewhere you're not wanted? Viper Drive, by Atlas. It's state-of-the-art."
- "Ha-hah! Rhys comes through. High-fives? Anybody? Okay, okay! Hey, uh... let me know when you're there!"
- "Oh, you're here. Awesome. Zer0, let them in. Zer0? You here buddy? Open up the door. Great, now Zer0's missing. I guess I'll buzz you in myself, since the CEO has to do ALL the work around here!"
- "Come up to my office-slash-museum-grade aquarium and I'll get you that tasty Key fragment. Now I just have to find where Zer0 disappeared to."
- "Welcome to Atlas! They built this place from the foundations. The old Atlas was just a pile of glass, sand, and bankruptcy filings when I got here."
- "Get over it Katagawa! You can't hold the city, the Key fragment slipped through your fingers, and now you're losing your grasp on reality."
- "BREACH! All troops to the courtyard. Where the hell is Zer0?!"
- "Shut up Katagawa, Zer0 would never betray me!"
- "No, no, no no no no no. Zer0's loyalty is not in question. Wherever he is, he must have a good reason. YOU just focus on kicking out Maliwan."
- "Eat it, Katagawa! Eat that tasty Atlas tech!"
- "Soldier, don't you dare use your last words to slander Zer0! Say you're being murdered by someone else!"
- "Okay, I've connected to the Viper Drive, it's still working! We can do this! Oh, it wants a password. Did I- did I set a password on this thing?"
- "Yeah, I'm on... it. Just uh, 'best frogurt flavor.' Come on me, that could be anything!"
- "Oh it's beautiful, it's so beautiful, oh wow. I am legitimately crying. Hoo thank you. Tank you, Vault Hunter. Atlas is safe. Now I just uh, have to find Zer0.
- "Your mind games won't work Katagawa. Zer0's on my side. Oh, oh, see. See, he just walked in. I'm looking at him right now. Zer0, man. Man, everyone's just completely lost their- Zer0, what are you doing?! No, no no no no no!"
- "Vault Hunter, Zer0's trying to kill me. He's the traitor. I know, I can hardly believe it myself."
- "Zer0, c-c-come on, man. I thought we were friends!"
- "Like I said, Zer0. I super trusted you the whole time, and it was completely justified!"
- "As for you, Vault Hunter. I owe you everything. You've fought off an all-out corporate assault, saved my company and killed my creepy business stalker. But before I give you this Key fragment, I have one last thing to ask of you: am I pulling off the mustache or what?"
- Rhys' colorful striped sock is a nod to Troy Baker's own love for colorful striped socks.
- Rhys' shoe size is 13 as stated by scanning Fiona in Episode 2 "Atlas Mugged".
- Rhys' ex-girlfriend is named Stacey.
- 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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