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Meet Team Fortress 2

By Shamus
on Saturday May 23, 2009
Filed under:


In honor of the big update for Team Fortress 2, and the fact that TF2 is free to play this weekend, I thought I’d post these intro movies for the TF2 classes.

I’m a medic by nature and habit, so I’m a bit sad Valve never made a movie for the medic.

Let’s see, we have:

  1. Scottish demo man.
  2. Bronx (or Brooklyn, I can’t actually tell the difference) scout dude.
  3. Russian heavy weapons guy.
  4. German Medic guy.
  5. Indistinct pyro man.
  6. Frenchman spy.
  7. American soldier dude.
  8. Aussie sniper guy.
  9. Texan Engineer.

You’ll note that none of the characters are: A) Female or B) British. This seems like a major oversight. They need to add that. Maybe a Mary Poppins-style “governess” class, to rap perpetually AFK players on the knuckles, make the foul-mouthed brats wash their mouths out with soap, and pwn the naughty enemy team with her umbrella. (Which doubles as a transport device.) They could sexy her up by having her show a bit of ankle.

My unhealthy Poppins fetish aside, I’m having trouble picturing what new class they could introduce to the game or what role that character could play that wouldn’t simply overlap with existing classes. It’s a pretty well-rounded game.

EDIT: Put the Engineer on the list. Sort of daft, seeing as how I’m a [software] engineer.

Comments (72)

1 2

  1. There is a British character – the Scottish demo man. Great Britain is more than just England.

  2. Pinky says:

    Maybe the Pyro is British.

  3. Volatar says:

    Well, maybe they could add the Engeneer. It would be like, a builder, and make turrets and teleporters and…

    Oh, wait…


    Anyways, does this mean you will be playing TF2 this weekend? I so totally would love to get in on that. I started playing again last night with a couple friends of mine.

  4. K says:

    Is there no Texan Engineer in your version? Fancy that!

    The classes are *old*. Team Fortress was a Quake 1 (I think) mod, which then was made into a full game called Team Fortress Classic by Valve, which they gave away free as a mod to Half Life 1. It had the exact same classes, many with very little difference. Adding a class would be heresy ;)

    Also, many assume the pyro to be female.

  5. JoeFF85 says:

    The Pyro is female. Her locker on one of the maps has a pink purse in it. While many fans take this as a “flamer” joke a ValvE employee referred to the Pyro with a female pronoun in a press release or interview or somewhere.

    So: Pyro is female.

    Also: when they were making the game they considered having a male and female version for EVERY character but were learning the less on of distinct color + distinct silhouette = identifiability that they have utilized in Left 4 Dead. So they decided to just stick with one model for each character, and they had already made the male ones.

  6. Zerotime says:

    I *did* notice that Valve chose not to represent 197 countries in their choice of classes. Shameful.

  7. Shamus says:

    I actually played the original Quake 1 version of TF, and didn’t really care for it. I didn’t give it another look until this iteration, where it seems to have been perfected and polished to a mirror shine.

    And yes, I’ll be playing this weekend.

  8. Shamus says:

    Zero: Yes. Because suggesting a British ACCENT character is the same thing as demanding 197 characters.

    The music is very… I dunno. 60’s- ish? Makes me think “Bond”, which makes me thing “Brit”, which makes me think having one would be nice.

    What’s with all the nitpicking this morning?

  9. JoeFF85 says:

    No idea.

    Normally I don’t play multilayer games, because I consider myself to be HORRIBLE at them, but TF2 for only 9.99US$ is freaking hard to pass up. I love when ValvE has sales on Steam.

  10. Gregory Weir says:

    The Announcer is British, isn’t she?

  11. JoeFF85 says:

    No, Ellen McLain is from Nashville. I thought she sounded like she might be from the UK, so I checked IMDB.

  12. Freaky Dug says:

    The Scout is from Boston and the Spy is probably only pretending to be French, sometimes. He says things in various other European languages, and hey, it’s the spy, he’s a master of disguise. He’s not going to show anyone his real identity.

    Also, it’s not that they aren’t going to make a Meet the Medic, they just haven’t got to him yet.

  13. Zerotime says:

    Shamus: I was being sarcastic! :(

  14. Mark says:

    They will make a Medic short eventually, and a Pyro one. They’ve been really good about long-term support for this game – hell, just two days ago they released a major content patch, and they’ve got many more to go.

  15. Neil Polenske says:

    Yeah, as Dug said, the Scout’s a Southy punk (am I spelling that right, I’m from California :P). Thought he was a Bronx brat at first too, but then again, all them east coast cities are pretty interchangable aint they…

  16. Volatar says:

    We are nitpicking in a loving way Shamus :)

    Man, this would be a perfect weekend to have a TwentySided TF2 server wouldn’t it ;)

  17. droid says:

    You would expect the spy to be a master of assuming any accent that would be required. They could have BLU spy be brittish and RED be french, but both by the same voice actor.

    Edic: And of course by brittish, I really meant english.

  18. Jazmeister says:

    The Announcer is British. Her voice actor is not. Infact, all of the voice actors are american; they were told to sound “unconvincing”. The scout is from Boston. And you can never tell a spy from their accent. And yeah, the British/English thing is important because there is no British accent. And you missed out the ‘u’ in honour. And you smell. And you’re imagining the nitpicks.


    PS: I should also mention that “meet the sniper” is still the classiest. Meet the Spy is only marginally more endearing because I have the GIANT HORN for the spy.

  19. Derek K. says:

    When the Spy vs Sniper update was first released, there was a line in the flavor text that read something like:

    “Uh oh! Warn the Pyro! Won’t she be surprised.”

    It was removed several hours later and replaced with “Won’t the Pyro be surprised.”

    Conspiracy deepens.

    Anyone that doesn’t play TF2: I don’t like Multiplayer FPSes either. Hell, I don’t own any Halo games, because they didn’t do it for me.

    I play TF2 at least an hour a night, if not four or five. It is a spectacular game, one I am comfortable calling the best multiplayer FPS of all time. My *wife* plays it more than me. A WOMAN! IMAGINE!

    But find a good server. Dunno if Shamus has one, if not, I’d recommend one that has the word “old” in the title – Old is code for “likes to have fun and thinks calling people gay dickwads is not the pinnacle of communication.” My personal favorite is the Old Timer’s Clan, but any group I’ve tried that references older games seems to be good, even if you’re young.

    Course, if you’re playing because you want to push your skills to the limit against other hardcore players, that might not be your bag.

  20. Jonathan says:

    I take it a 20-sided TF server never got set up? Darn.

  21. A different Dan says:

    We can get over the idea of there being a unified “British” accent any time now…

  22. Vladius says:

    Yeah, you might want to tone it down with the “Mary Poppins fetish” stuff.

    Not that this can’t include um… females.

  23. Jericho says:

    I suspect the Sandvich is British, and the Pyro is female.

  24. Rutskarn says:

    Shamus: Actually, if you follow the rumors and conspiracy mill, Valve has been dealing with the question of “Is the Pyro female?” in a very Valve-esque fashion.

    They’ll repeatedly state it as ambiguous, or make hints one way or the other, or use female pronouns (and then sometimes change them to gender-neutral ones). It’s kind of hilarious. Also: one of the new Spy audio clips for Pyro Domination is, “Good god! You fight like a woman!”

    I actually like the idea of the Pyro being female.

  25. John Callaghan says:

    I always twitch a little when people from the US use “British” to mean “English”. I suspect it’s a similar situation when people from the UK call Canadians “Americans” and New Zealanders “Australians”…

    Just an observation: I’m not complaining. I always enjoy reading your site and only seem to stop lurking when the British/English thing is mentioned. Weird.

  26. Document says:

    If they don’t want to have a mix of male and female models, they could still add a female-models option that affects all the players together. Then you’d still only need to distinguish nine silhouettes; just a different nine. Not expecting it, of course, and it’d be weird to have different players in the same game see everyone differently, so I don’t know.

  27. Yar Kramer says:

    My personal theory is that the Pyro has a purse because he is a flamer. *brick’d*

    My main criticism of the way Valve is currently giving the unlocks is … it’s based on how much you already play the game. “We’re rewarding people who play TF2 lot!” they say, whilst saying absolutely nothing about people who just got started, or people like me who don’t play multiplayer games a whole lot but want to try out The Cool New Stuff. That feels to me like excluding a group of players (“people who don’t play multiplayer games a whole lot”), when they could have done things to appeal to a lot more players by, say, making the odds the same for everyone across the board.

    I dunno, Shamus, why don’t you point your superior game-analyzing skills at it. Is it as much of a problem as I’m feeling?

  28. Jenx says:

    Actually, I always thought that the Spy was supposed to be Italian, not French.
    (I mean I know he is, but I just always got the impression he was Italian. Must have been the suit)

  29. Sauron says:

    So, Shamus, which flavor of a British accent would you like?

    Bond, you say? Which Bond?

    Connery? The Demoman already has a Scottish accent!

    (I may not _be_ British, but dammit I should be.)

  30. Patrick J McGraw says:

    I had not watched Disney’s Mary Poppins film since I was a wee lad until recently. As a child, I had failed to notice the smokin’ hotness that is Julie Andrews.

  31. Factoid says:

    Shamus will be happy to know that Valve has promised that “meet the X” videos will eventually be produced for all of the classes.

    I also like the medic, but I feel like the update for that class was the weakest of all the ones released so far. It didn’t fix any of the major problems with the class, like making snipers less vulnerable to spies with the new shield, or create any interesting tradeoffs such as the Sandvich which makes the heavy momentarily vulnerable

  32. Cuthalion says:

    To Americans, there are three countries in the UK: Britain, Scotland, and Ireland. Wales is part of Scotland, because I can’t tell the difference in their accents. England is a synonym for Britain. And the UK is the place where all the bands with British accents come from.

    Yeah, I know that’s not the way it works, but it’s less about geography and politics and more about accents.

    Edit: Oh, and Northern Ireland is a place where people shoot eachother. We’re not terribly informed on the history of that.

  33. mixmastermind says:

    I suspect the Spy is French, simply due to the fact that he has a French accent, and speaks French at various points.

    I suppose he could be trying very hard to make people think he’s French, but if you’re going to do that, then why pick France?

    Also, Factoid, giving up Invulnerability in favor of 100% crit chance is quite the trade.

  34. Volatar says:

    Cuthalion: Yes that is so true!

    I had a fight in the library with my English teacher once. I had done my project on the UK. According to her, the UK was not a country, it was a region. I could choose either England, Scotland, Wales, or Ireland.

    I won that argument.

  35. Spider Dave says:

    I always assumed the Pyro was a man, based on his/her voice. I guess it could be a woman though, now that I think of it.

    Aaaaand I’m dropping the obligatory hint for a 20sidedTF2 server.

  36. Yar Kramer says:

    I dunno, Spider Dave, when you think about it, the Pyro’s voice could actually be considered rather gender-neutral.

  37. Scourge says:

    The link with the genderswap was already posted, pity. its the first thing that came to my mind too.

    Here is an alternate link: http://t03nemesis.deviantart.com/art/Team-Fortress-Fan-Girls-111649757

    It definitely would be fun though if the game would provide a genderswap too.

    I also like the ‘Meet the spy’ video the best so far.

    “What? Are you president of his fanclub?”
    “No.. that would be your mother.”
    “I.. uh.. ahh!”
    “Thats right, and now he is here to **** us! Now listen up boy or Pornography of your Mother is the least of your worries.”

  38. JoeFF85 says:

    I continue to hold out against the desire to just spend the damn money and buy TF2. I mean I could install it for FREE right now, and I’m not! What is WRONG with me?

    I found the interview where the Pyro is referred to as female by Robin Wright, Team Fortress 2 Lead Developer: http://www.csnation.net/articles.php/interview_244/1/

    Pyro is referred to as a female in the second question. First question’s answer reveals that they only had one set of models (as opposed to two per class) due to memory constraints.

    Continue to convince me I need this game! I cannot justify monetary expenditure to myself, but I have a weak will!

  39. Volatar says:

    Stop fighting it long enough to download for free weekend Joe.

    You only need to try it once and then…

  40. Rutskarn says:

    Shamus: looks like the alltalk command is:


    Also, I hate almost all of the genderswap teams. It’s like, hey, what would Pinup TF2 Barbie look like?

    What I want to see is a female team that look sensible–like Valve would make them.

  41. MadTinkerer says:

    If the Pyro turns out to be a cockney lass, I will be overjoyed.

    Yar Kramer: according to their latest blog post, Valve are working on a system to let people trade items. Then, unless there’s no one in your friends list who plays TF2, that should address that potential problem.

    Or, y’know, just play TF2 more. It’s a lot easier than the previous system of “heal your teammates while they pull stunts to get your Medic items”. I have hours more time logged as Medic than any other class and I still don’t have the alternate bonesaw.

  42. JoeFF85 says:

    Yeah I bit the bullet and bought it. They gave me a “gift pass” as well, so I guess not only did I only pay 9.99 for the game I payed 9.99 for two copies of the game?

    This is how online game management and delivery systems should work. Free Weekend + Half Price Sale + Free Second Copy So’s You Can Get A Friend To Play As Well = A Deal You Can’t Pass Up.

    The Free Gift Copy is how I got L4D. One of my buddies got to it before I did and gifted it to me before I could purchase it myself.

    Err… anybody know anybody who needs a copy of TF2? Alla my peeps got it. I’m last one on the bandwagon.

    Now I just gotta find some non fucktards to play with. And some skill at FPSs.

  43. Veloxyll says:

    What’d be better is if I could actually play my copy of TF2! Get bigger servers Valve!

  44. Volatar says:

    Valve doesn’t run the servers Veloxyll… Players do…

  45. Nalano says:

    We have a British class.

    We just don’t have an English class.

    And considering the spycraft is currently handled by the French class, I fail to see how a Bond surrogate could fit in, tho now that I think of it, Bond was Scottish too.

    That just means that Valve decided to choose the other Scottish stereotype; that is to say, the Violent Glaswegian as compared to Tuxedo and Martini.

  46. Goliath says:

    The Violent Glaswegian being that one that is most prevalent…

    I always admired TF2 for being absolutly dedicated to balance, though some of its fan base grates a bit. That’s more of a problem with the internets than anything else.

    And now, a geography lesson from someone who knows that Welch accents and Scottish accents sound nothing alike.

    Scotland is a provence of Britain (OR the United Kingdom, whichever you prefer to know it by) Just as Wales, England and Northern Ireland are.

    Northern Ireland, by the way, where they have recently agreed on a ceasefire to a conflict that has been raging for a lifetime. If you can say nothing better than “It’s a place where people shoot each other,” then please say nothing. We’re sick of it and want it to get better, and the situation only improves by serious acknowledgement of a problem. It would be like me saying that “911 was some day when some people died, I don’t know.”

    Shamus, I know it seems a small distinction to you, but all of us here, Irish, Northern Irish, Scottish, Welch and English, have our own cultural identity. Using the term British to describe an English accent, when that word describes the entirety of the British Isles, takes away from Scotland’s cultural identity. There’s a British accent in the game, just not an English one. It’s not so nitpicky as you might think.

    Also, Ireland is distinct from Britain. I read over my post and thought “Hang on, I think I just glossed over several centuries of struggle for independance.” Just thought I’d add that addendum.

    • Shamus says:

      Goliath: Sorry if I hurt anyone’s feelings. To be fair, I try not to get get all bent when people say “American” accent when they mean “midwestern” and not Bostonian, Brooklyn, Bonx, Southern, Pittsburgh, Philly, Texan, etc. I know lots of people think of this big space as “America”, and when they do so they usually mean “New York or LA”.

  47. TheRailwayMan says:

    Good man, Goliath, I actually wanted to post about that, though I would have taken a more… ‘forceful’ stance in regards to Northern Ireland. Oh, and the whole Ireland being distinct from Britian thing; still a fairly important thing.

    Anyway, I’m still stuggling to see how they actually make a video about the Pyro or the Medic as brilliant or as funny as the Spy video. Time’ll tell, I suspect.

  48. CrushU says:

    I liked the second female lineup better. (Though the mohawk was a little O.o) I’ve seen several, of course.

    And yeah, Pyro’s widely speculated to be female, the gasmask makes the voice gender-neutral. My favorite is the Meet the Pyro spray (not made by Valve) where the Pyro’s unzipped the outer suit’s top part and shows a hot chick underneath, but still proportioned right. <3 !

  49. Jazmeister says:

    Yeah, but America had a union and it was democratic. England ran out of kings. Plus, “american accents” are no where near as hard to understand as the various British accents :p

    Telling my wife (NJ) she has a new york accent would get me killed. The subtle differences are important everywhere, nobody likes to be lumped in with “China” or “Africa” or “India”.

    Glasgwegian here, not violent, doesn’t drink, loves kittens, etc.

    10th class should be Dr Manhattan, btw.

  50. DiscountNinja says:

    Actually Jazmeister, I believe we had a revolution too, you know?

    It was this big punch up between Charles the First and Oliver Cromwell – it ended up with us beheading a king and the creation of the English Parliment.

    Of course, being the complaining, grouchy lot we are, we quickly worked out that we hated the government and asked for kings back.

    We then got Charles the Second, but he basically didn’t have any powers. We’re a democracy, but we pretend not to be.

    A real historian (or wikipedia) could tell you better, but that is the jist of the matter.

  51. SolkaTruesilver says:

    No movie for the Medic or the Pyro? :(

    The spy movie was hilarious. But to be honest, the spy has terrible french. He really sounds like an englishman trying to speak french, or with a false french accent.

    Which is why I have so much difficulty understanding my english-speaking friends when they actually use french words… arg..

    By the way, saying that it’d be nice to have somebody with an “english accent” would be sooooo weird to non-native english speakers, as.. well, english accent encompass the whole freaking language for us :D

  52. Yar Kramer says:

    They just haven’t gotten around to the Pyro and Medic movies yet.

    Possibly in the former case because they’re still working out precisely what he/she should say, beyond two minutes of incoherent mumbling.

  53. Volatar says:

    I personally find my own accent amusing. I had only started to solidify my (urban) Utah accent, and then we suddenly move to North Carolina. I now have an interesting mix between the Western and Southern accents.

    I like being in the middle of things :P

  54. Nathan says:

    As a note to all of you British people out there who don’t like having England and Britain be considered to be the same thing… If you have ever considered American and Yankee to mean the same thing, then you have made the exact same mistake yourself.

    On the subject of various dialects… There are countless dialects in Britain, and it has been forever since I have really looked at them. I know the so-called “Standard English” that defines what many people consider to be “proper” or “formal” English (regardless of dialect or nationality, actually) is rooted in a particular dialect of northern England. Also, “American English” is just as much of a falsehood as “British English”, because there have been three major dialects of American English since well before the American Revolutionary War, and these have spread and become more and more subdivided over several centuries of immigration and national expansion.

    So, basically there are a lot of dialects (and other forms of sociolect) of English all over the world. Getting nitpicky over them doesn’t really help anyone.

  55. SolkaTruesilver says:

    If you want us to stop calling the English “British”, please stop calling the United Staters “Americans”. :D

    As a Canadian, technically, I am an American too. So are Brasilians, Mexicans, Ricans, Cubans, Venezuelans, etc…

    It would be like calling the nationality of the nationals of the United Arab Emirates “the Arabs”. It’s appropriating a denomination that should apply to a much encompassing people.

  56. Nalano says:

    I don’t think Americans are as uptight about their accents as British are. I mean, sure, it’d be hard to run for President sounding like Ed Koch, but it’s not boiled all the way down to township and village of origin.

    Consider what the Soldier class speaks: Military Basic, which can generally be described as a pastiche of midwestern accents with a tinge of southern drawl.

    Only a minority of New Yorkers speak with total accuracy the entirety of the Noo Yawka accent, Ebonics has overtaken Surfer as the accent du jour for suburban whitebois, the Bwooklyn accent’s basically migrated to Staten (F’n) Island, and practically nobody really has a Joisey accent. (That said, I can spot a Lawn Guylanda a mile away…)

    America’s always been, even at its worst, a little more federalist and melting-pot than Britain’s parochialism.

  57. Ryan says:

    Don’t forget the new sets of domination lines for the Sniper and Spy- the Spy has some of the best yet:

    Happy trails, LABORER

  58. Jazmeister says:

    Nalano: Absolutely, I agree. There’s a lot of weird history in the UK, and we’ve had a lot longer to grow to hate eachother and resent being compared to different areas.

    Still though, if I called someone from the south a Yank (a fairly common faux pas used to refer to americans here) they might be upset.

  59. Nalano says:

    We shoulda let them secede. >.>

  60. SolkaTruesilver says:

    @ Nalano

    I have no idea how WW1 and 2 would have fared with a CSA in the big picture. I’d rather not find out…

  61. John Callaghan says:

    (Edited to incorporate Unconvention’s correction.)

    An attempt to correct an error in economic prose can often sound terse and nit-picky. However in this instance it’s not true to say “getting nitpicky … doesn't really help anyone”. It really is a big deal to 60 million people, not a nit-pick; and anything which increases understanding and reduces ignorance can only be a good thing, surely? The stereotypical US resident is culturally insular and indifferent to the rest of the world (“parochial” in fact, Nalano); I assume that *is* just a stereotype, and I know it’s not true of your readership.

    The English *are* British, just as people from the US are Americans. The Scottish and Welsh are *also* British. The terms British and English are not interchangeable. This is the key point that this discussion has sprung from. The Scottish accent *is* a British accent, just to hammer the point into the ground.

    There’s no simple term in English (that I know of) for people specifically from the US, so that’s why most people say “American”. There is in other languages, though. I don’t know why English should be so deprived. Maybe it’s become the worldwide ‘campaign default’?!”

    “Yank” and “Yankee” to us are different things, by the way.

    Whingeing pom? What, me a stereotype? :)

  62. Unconvention says:

    I’m not trying to add to the confusion, but Britain and the UK are also not the same thing.

    You can probably work out the difference yourself from the full and proper name of the UK: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island.

    And that whole Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland (don’t call it ‘Southern Ireland’ to someone from the Republic of Ireland unless you’re really trying to annoy them) conflict… it’s all the fault of the Spanish really.

  63. Jazmeister says:

    /thread, John Callaghan. I couldn’t have put it better myself, apparently :D

    (but my grandparents do call my wife a Yank, when they forget)

  64. Osvaldo Mandias says:

    People speak English in Britain? I thought they speak European.

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