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How do I beat the end-boss in Borderlands?

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I think this is an unintentional borderline spoiler. (Lame pun intended.) The vault has a semi-mythical, "does it really exist" thing going on until you get fairly far along... Just a thought. –  Jaydles Jul 9 '10 at 17:47
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@jaydles - true, but it's more or less expected that a "big treasure" will have a guardian, so presented as such, it's not really a spoiler. –  Gnoupi Jul 9 '10 at 17:51
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I'd agree that revealing the existence of a boss on a thing of value that were known to exist would not be a spoiler ("The Triforce Boss in Zelda"). In the Borderlands story, there's a mythos around whether the vault exists, or is just a legend. While I'll confess that I'd have guessed that it existed, it could have also turned out to be a twist in which some entity just wanted you to think it did, for their own reasons. Again, it's not a flagrant one, but it kills that mystery. –  Jaydles Jul 9 '10 at 17:57
    
thanks for the change, even I knew there'd be an end boss, so no spoiler now. +1 –  Jaydles Jul 10 '10 at 12:49
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@AlexLarzelere too bad for people who click on links that will obviously contain spoilers? –  kotekzot Mar 28 '12 at 20:24
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5 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I just recently completed the game so it's still fresh in my mind. There are three places you need to hit the end boss. The best way to do that is from behind the arch you came into the map. I've tried to fight from behind the pillars in the middle of the field but died...

Useful weaponry: * Longbow grenades (The only ones you can hit it well with) * Sniper rifles (I think shock did pretty well) * 11001010 cannon or what ever the name was exactly (infinite ammo = very handy towards the end) * Rocket launcher

You can see a pattern here: distance distance distance.

Alright. The first thing you have to target are the glowing purple orbs in the tentacles. As long as the tentacles are around they shoot missiles at you in periodic intervals. And let me tell you those hurt! Only weapon suitable for this is the sniper.

Second thing is the tongue. The boss has a vertical mouth. Once you've destroyed the tentacles this thing starts opening on occasion and a tongue shoots out trying to hit you. You have to hit that. Best way to do it is the sniper gun. If you manage to time it right you can use the 11010101 or RPG.

When you have destroyed the tongue the eye part begins. Occasionally the eye opens and shoots a bright beam at you. When it does that the eye becomes an easy target. You can hit the eye in between attacks too but it requires rather good aim. From time to time the tentacles will grow back again and you'll have to shoot them off a few more times so it's important that you save enough sniper bullets for that and use the slower ranged weapons for the eye.

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I found that a glorious havoc machine gun with good accuracy works as well as a sniper for the larger targets, and a cobra 3 shot burst works well against the tentacles. –  vidicon Mar 26 '12 at 18:38
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Aim for the mouth. You can even shoot the mouth when it's not open, as long as you aim in. Break a tentacle by shooting the glowing, violet cyst, but you should save these to fuel any on-kill skills that you may have or to get a Second Wind when you're fighting for your life.
The Destroyer is not weak to elements, but only weak to critical hits.

Comparison: Shooting at the mouth

Shooting at the eye

As you can see, I run out of shotgun shells and can't even kill the Destroyer if I shoot it in the eye, but this is not the case with the mouth. And in contrast to Kempeth's answer, I don't keep my distance; I try to get as close as possible to minimize the amount of projectiles missing.

What about safety? The Destroyer continually attacks and its attacks include firing missiles that rain down from above and that stick to what they hit, exploding a bit after landing. You're either agile in the open or edging, trying to find a covered angle in which you'll be safe to plink away until you have to move from the spike missiles.
Besides, ignoring the money loss, the bright side is that you have indefinite respawns, and if you die, you'll respawn in front of the Destroyer. You can fast travel out from the Vault, but if you leave and come back, the Destroyer will be back at full health. So, you may want to worry more about using ammo fruitfully.

Borderlands speed-runner (Speed Demos Archive) Youkai gives advice too:

He says that breaking the tongue opens the mouth. Then he throws in his explosive bouncing betties which deal enough damage for the Destroyer to go through the stages of "clawing out" the portal, during which the Destroyer does not attack.

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I found that you can kill it simply by shooting the tentacles anchoring it on each side. It takes a lot of ammo, and a Scorpio won't target them, but you can safely hide behind a pillar and whittle down the boss.

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How does this add anything to what was already said? –  Jeffrey Lin Oct 22 '12 at 20:50
    
The worse part is that Caelan is saying to shoot NOT the critical weak points. –  NiteCyper May 1 '13 at 18:03
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Whenever tentacles show up, shoot them on the orbs. When they're not around, hide behind the pillar and shoot him in the eye. Use one of the super-powerful scoped pistols until you run out of ammo, then switch to a scoped rifle. Accuracy is important since hits to places other than the eye and the tentacle orbs don't count. Be patient — it takes a while.

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At the start of the fight "The Destroyer" has some purple tentacles that throw explosive spikes. Destroy these tentacles as soon as you can by shooting the glowing orbs near the base of each tentacle. For the rest of the fight it's best just to use a pillar for cover and shoot it in the eye. It takes a long time but he's basically a bullet sponge.

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