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Major spoilers in this question, so beware if you have yet to finish the game!

The question isn't so much about what happens to him since the ending is pretty unambiguous in that respect, but rather, what happened to...

his face. Throughout the game you can see the metal clips around his face, which is even a different colour to the skin on his forehead and neck. At the end, after he dies, the mask comes off and you see his real face, with one eye burned and all horrible. Most intriguing is the massive Vault symbol scar, as it looks more like a strip of metal embedded in his skin rather than a scar. You can see his face here.

Is there any reference as to what happened here? Is some past event mentioned or anything? I don't remember hearing anything about it as I was a bit surprised when I found out about it towards the end.

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I am sure it was mentioned during one of the quests. Something to do with him wanting to retain a youthful appearance. – deutschZuid Oct 29 '12 at 10:48
@JamesJiao don't remember that, any idea where that was? Only info I could find (from wiki) is that he'd had it since before he became head of Hyperion – Alex Oct 29 '12 at 11:09
I have a feeling it will all be revealed in an upcoming DLC. – Jeff Mercado Oct 29 '12 at 14:04
All speculation, but it seems his Grandmother was a Psycho (you pick up her Buzz-Axe in the mission to find his grandma). It'd also explain why he wanted her dead. Psychos are obsessed with the Vault and the symbol, psychos like cutting people up... – Ben Brocka Oct 29 '12 at 16:57
Handsome Jack without mask image – iber Oct 30 '12 at 15:46
up vote 7 down vote accepted

This wiki entry on Handsome Jack point out that:

He was wearing the mask even before he took control of Hyperion

Which implies to me that whatever the explanation for his face, it would have to do with something about his past that is unrelated to current borderlands events.

Following that line of thinking, the article also offers 3 possible hypotheses:

  1. His daughter Angel did that to him by accident before she could control her powers.

  2. He was branded by a Vault Guardian or Bandit during his search for the vault (before he leaves it to the vault hunters)

  3. His grandmother (who is known to be a Psycho) did that to him when he was younger.

I personally like (3) because of the part in the article and the game when you find out that Jack had his grandmother killed because of some sort of trauma that he underwent at her hands.

The complete article is here.

In addition, I found this video which is an interview by Anthony Burch and Paul Hellquist which says that there is an NPC in Sanctuary who talks about what is under Handsome Jack's mask. Although, they do say that those are just the fan theories that were bandied about on the forums.

Hope this helped a little at least.

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1 seems as close as it can be, because he did say one of the reasons he had Angel locked up was because she could not control her powers. Also, sirens are related to eridium which is related to the vaults, and the powers do weird stuff, so it could easily have put a vault symbol on his face. – Shadow Z. Jan 1 '14 at 21:52

If you notice the cutscene before the warrior,You can already see that he is bleeding and stuff.Perhaps his face looks that way because of the earlier fight. It will explain the blood and the 'missing' eye,But It wouldnt explain the vault symbol. Just a possibility.

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He hadn't got it at the start of the pre-sequel(currently playing it). He did mention his abusive grand mother in the pre-sequel and that is after borderlands 2 he says he hooked her(angel) up after an accident I.E. before borderlands 1 because she was hooked up and appeared to be an A.I., so it can't be 3 or 1. So I think it is 2(might be reviled at the end of the pre-sequel).

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Spoiler Alert scroll down to the bottom to find out!

The story all lies in Borderlands The Pre-Sequel.

The game is about hunting a vault. At the end, you have to defeat a boss called "The Sentinal". After you defeat it you will be provided with loot. A lot.... I mean a lot a lot...

Then Jack says

Wow this thing is small, is this what I came for?

he touches the vault relic. He gets levitated and a throne builds. Jack is seated. He sees his future. He sees "The Warrior". He says

I understand now.

as he laughs. Then Lilith the Firehawk punches the vault relic into Jack's face. forming a vault shape permanently on it. He gets angry and says.........................

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on the wiki it says he was branded by his abusive grandmother or by a bandit

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Could you develop your answer a bit more ? – WizLiz Dec 16 '13 at 15:23

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