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The Administrator (Real name: Helen)
"It saddens me that despite my best efforts to instruct and better you, some of you insist on finding new ways to fail."
Voiced by: Ellen McLainThe Voice. Also known as the Announcer, The Administrator is the source of the mysterious disembodied voice that announces vital events during the match, angrily berates the team upon failure and congratulates them upon victory. This disappointed and slightly angry Evil Overlord clearly lets you know in the world of Team Fortress, a tie does not mean everyone wins, but that everyone loses.The Administrator secretly controls both RED and BLU (and, by extension, every country on the planet), supporting each team when necessary. To prevent either team from realizing this, she condemns any friendship between RED and BLU. She has an assistant named Miss Pauling and is also an acquaintance of Saxton Hale, allowing her to influence production of new weapons. The Administrator has an affinity for cigarettes and Punishment Monthly magazine, and occasionally posts on the official Team Fortress 2 blog, usually to berate the players for abusing glitches or exploits to gain unlockable items.
The Administrator provides examples of:
- Art Evolution/Progressively Prettier: Compare her original design with the picture on the far right.
- The Baroness: Of the Rosa Klebb variety.
- Big Bad: Well, she used to be. Gray Mann's abrupt murder of Redmond and Blutarch pretty much stole the title from her. As of "Old Wounds" she seems to compete against the classic team for the title, as Gray states that her motives are much worse than his own.
- Big Good: She starts to take on this role when Gray enters the picture, especially as of Ring of Fired. Whether her ulterior motives are actually noble or not remains a mystery, however.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Some of her Mann vs. Machine responses have her directly stating that the players lost the game."Do not all die at once!"
- Busman's Holiday: She spends her one hour per year of vacation time in the park... making the pigeons fight each other.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Just read the first paragraph of this blog post.
- The Chessmaster/Manipulative Bitch: Helen's plans for the Australium cache she stole are so shocking that their Un Reveal reduces an entire senate hearing to horrified silence◊.
- In "Ring of Fired", it's revealed she stole all of Saxton Hale's Australium just in case Gray Mann won.
- As of "A Cold Day In Hell", Charles Darling has reminded us of the above mystery - the Administrator has amassing the largest collection of Australium outside of Australia itself for years in secret. Why is she doing this?
- "Blood in the Water" gives a fake-out to her motives: it LOOKS like she wants to power yet another Australium life-extender machine, but it's made clear that it won't save her life for more than a few years, enough to settle some "final debts".
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: In a World where a lot of guys dressed up in red fight a lot of guys dressed up in blue, it's telling that she dresses in purple.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Fine with murder and deception, but really hates cheating. It robs you of the feeling of superiority you get from you besting your foes!
- Evil Laugh: "The bomb has almost reached the final terminus! Ah-hahahaha!!!" Well... at least she's happy for once...
- Feels No Pain: Apparently she's suffering from nerve dampening in her old age. Well, OK, that was partly a lie. She's so old that her nerves have decayed to the point that she, by her own admission, doesn't feel anything anymore. Implicitly demonstrated by getting her old Life Extender - which was sunken bone-deep into her arm - torn out and replaced without any anesthetic.
- Freudian Excuse: Possibly, depending on whether those genealogy records can be taken at face value. Helen believes she is constantly Surrounded by Idiots and is paranoid that everyone is out conspiring against her. It was implied by Teufort's genealogy records that she grew up there, and since everyone there has really goofy brain damage we can't exactly blame her.
- Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have: Saxton Hale thinks so, calling her a "chain-smoking seductress".
- I Control My Minions Through Revenge/Fear: Inciting conflict amongst former friends could only distract the Team from thinking about who was calling the shots for so long. Luckily for Helen, in this universe, Even Evil Has Loved Ones, and The Administrator's threats to the people and things most precious to the Team are enough to let the Team know what's in store if they ever make a move against her.
- Identical Granddaughter: Bears a strong resemblance to Zeph Mann's maidservant Elizabeth, down to the Skunk Stripe. Same with the woman that entices Radigan Conagher with the Australium some decades later. With the revelation that the Administrator has been using a Life Extender, these are probably all the same person.
- In Love with Your Carnage: See Evil Laugh. Also, she has several, uh, excited unused responses for players going on kill streaks in Arena mode, which you may still hear on servers with stat-tracking mods installed.
"Kill him, slaughter him like a dog!""Dominate him! Crush his bones to powder!""Kill him again, and again and AGAIN!"
- During the WAR! update, whenever a Soldier killed a Demoman or vice versa, she enjoyed it maybe a bit too much:
- Iron Lady: She runs a conspiracy that controls every government on the planet, and is just as ruthless and sour as parasitic mold on a lemon tree.
- Large Ham Announcer: But of course.
- Especially noticeable in her screeches of "AUSTRALIUM" in Special Delivery mode.
- The Man Behind the Man: Or, in this case, The Woman Behind the Manns.
- Mission Control (Is Off Its Meds): Type 1, for both opposing teams.
- Mysterious Employer
- Older Than They Look: Played straight for a while, but then averted when her Life Extender has been shown to be failing in "Blood in the Water"; she's now exactly as wrinkled, decrepit and generally unhealthy-looking as you'd expect from someone who's burnt through at least one Life Extender machine.
- Pet the Dog: Say what you will about her, but she certainly rewards excellent performance. Get a A+ credit rating in Mann Vs. Machine, and she'll give the team a bonus. Considering cash is absolutely vital in this mode, especially in Mann Up Mode, it's quite generous of her, and she's hardly reluctant about giving it out, either.
Administrator: I apologize. You've done well and I'm... proud of you.
- In "Blood in the Water", she shows a surprising amount of empathy at one point, admitting to Miss Pauling that she is proud of her and apologizing for snapping at her moments beforehand.
Administrator: Your family has already given me more time than any of us deserves, Mister Conagher.
- In the same comic, she gives a veiled thank you to the Engineer and his family for giving her more time than she believes she deserves. So she is at least capable of showing gratitude to others when they've done her favors.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Tank! Kill it!"
- Purple Is Powerful: She controls both teams, which are colored red and blue. Yep.
- Really 700 Years Old: Most likely the oldest living character in the series, easily somewhere over 150. It helps that she has a Life Extender far superior to the ones the Manns use.
- Skunk Stripe
- Villainous Cheekbones
- The Voice: Whose tones range from arch triumph to poisonous contempt, depending on how badly you're failing her.
- Voice Of Dramatic: She can make an announcement of Poopy Joe being launched into space sound proud and significant.
- What Is This Thing You Call Friendship: She has to ask Miss Pauling what friends do together, and she won't stand for it developing across the RED/BLU lines.
- With Us or Against Us: A variation of this during the WAR! update, to the Soldier and Demoman:"It's me or him, and I pay your salary. Make your choice!"
- Workaholic: Apparently, her vacation time is one hour per year.
- This obviously explains Pauling's limited vacation time as well. One must have to wonder how much Pauling had to haggle for the other 23 hours.
- You Have Failed Me: Plenty of times, usually when your team loses, and hilariously parodied in the WAR! update when she classifies friendship as a personal failure.
- You Owe Me: During Mann vs. Machine:"The robots are here! Protect Mann. Co! You owe me, Hale."
"You know, forgetting for a minute that we don't condone friendship, it's sort of... almost... uh... reprehensible. Totally and completely reprehensible."
Voiced by: Ashly Burch in "Expiration Date," and all subsequent appearances.The Administrator's young and perky assistant, taking care a variety of odd jobs ranging from secretarial duties to carrying out hits and disposing of bodies. Despite having a much more merciful attitude, she still gets her jobs done efficiently.
Miss Pauling provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Has hints of this. While she's no mercenary herself, she's not afraid to do clean-work with her guns and was ready to storm RED base by herself and a shotgun to find RED's intelligence. She's also fine with digging shallow graves.
- Adjusting Your Glasses: By the bridge in "Expiration Date". Between her and Medic, this seems to be Valve's go-to pose for their heroic nerds.
- Adorkable: Just listen to her voice lines here. She makes awkward, adorable jokes to try to get the each of the merc's attention.
- Affably Evil: She can be sweet, polite, and considerate even when disposing of bodies of victims, and even towards an intended victim, like she is towards the Scout (probably) at the end of "Expiration Date".
- Ascended Extra: Sort-of. Before "Expiration Date" she had only cameos in the game's online videos, but now she's the first non-playable character to get a main character role in said videos.
- Beleaguered Assistant/Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: To every member of the team, including the Administrator. In the Australian Christmas/Smissmas update, she desperately tries to stop the Spy from involving a child in a shopping mall massacre. The Spy outright ignores her, though thanks to him, the child singlehandedly takes out the Humanoid Abomination Old Nick with an icicle to the neck.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She basically threatened Saxton Hale that if he's not going to listen to her, he's going with her to an early shallow grave. All without breaking her Beleaguered Assistant/Perky Female Minion appearance.
- Big Damn Heroes: During "Unhappy Returns" where she saves the Soldier, Demoman, Scout, and Spy from getting hanged.
- Biker Babe: As shown in "Expiration Date", she has a scooter, and is pretty good with it. She apparently once asked Engie for advice on it, as it was making a "chk-chk-chk" noise.
- Blood Knight: A more subdued example, but "Expiration Date" showed that she found battling a bread-derived abomination for her life to be exciting.
- Break the Cutie: As her objectives go way downhill to the point of hopelessness, she begins to lose her composure. She even cries while she's imprisoned alongside the mercs in "Old Wounds."
- Busman's Holiday: She's forced by law in the Tough Break update to go on vacation, but she still gives the Mercs contracts when she's not hanging out with them.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Murder is apparently just another day in the office for Pauling. "Expiration Date" has her disposing of witnesses from the Mercs' latest shenanigans... while at the same time having a video chat with said Mercs. Her possible plans for a date with Scout involve burying said witnesses' bodies, and at the same time implies she intends to kill him too.
- Cannot Tell a Joke: One of her Gun Mettle lines.Miss Pauling: It's Miss Pauling. THE Miss Pauling. ...that's- I- I'm not actually famous. That was a joke I've been researching. (Beat) Could you write your amusement, on a scale of 1 to 100?
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Pretty much the basic of her job. By "Expiration Date" she had become mission control, cleanup crew and backup member for the merc group in case of emergency.
- Cleanup Crew: Most of her job involves cleaning up evidence and killing witnesses.
- Closer to Earth/Team Mom/Unfazed Everyman: Relatively Closer to Earth, that is. Especially evident in "Ring of Fired":Soldier: Miss Pauling, Pyro cut off my hand!Miss Pauling: Pyro, don't cut off Soldier's hands.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Since she does work for the Administrator, it's only fitting that she also wears purple.
- Consulting Mr Puppet: When talking to Heavy about a job, she includes Sasha as if she were a real person.
- Consummate Professional: Takes her work very seriously, to the point of having nonchalant chat with Sniper (the team's Consummate Professional) about the most efficient body disposal techniques while doing their jobs.
- Crossdresser/Girls With Mustaches: Her policeman uniform in "Ring of Fired" consists of a baggy policeman's uniform and a mismatched mustache. It ends up fooling Merasmus (but not Soldier, who sees through her disguise immediately).
- Did You Just Threaten Cthulhu: Emotional punch-out anyway. In The Contract comic, she tried to negotiate with Saxton Hale who neither paid attention to her nor listened. That is, until she told Hale to his face that her job is Cleanup Crew, and if she fails, she will be cleaned up. And he's going down with her. Hale then listened. All while keeping her smiling, Beleaguered Assistant / Perky Female Minion appearance up.
- Do Wrong, Right: After talking the Sniper out of killing her and the Demoman, she critiques the shallow graves he left, as giving himself too much work, when he should have cut up their corpses to speed up the decomposition rate.Ten minutes with a saw will save you thirty with a shovel.
- The Dragon: While she's definitely a nice girl, she's also capable of casual cold blooded murder.
- Even Evil Has Standards/Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Miss Pauling will respect the letter of the law, when doing otherwise would result in bad publicity for her company. In what may be a more genuine example of morals and ethics, she seems truly terrified at the prospect of the BLU Team putting a little boy in danger.
- A few of her in-game lines imply she thinks Medic's a little too crazy, even by her company's standards.
- Graceful Ladies Like Purple
- Green Eyes: In "Expiration Date", making her the first white character in the game to have an eye color other than blue.
- Gun Nut: When she sees a rare, beautiful gun, she gets doe-eyed◊. She also lists "looking at gun catalogs" as a way to spend time with friends.
- Hartman Hips
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Spends a lot of time around Demoman, Soldier, and Heavy, all of whom are much taller and bulkier than she is.
- I Control My Minions Through Authority: She tries, bless her heart. She tries so hard.
- Incompatible Orientation: With Scout, which he presumably doesn't realize.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Downs a glass of wine when she learns that Bill-Bel blew up most of his Australium cache by painting failed rockets with it.
- Limited Wardrobe: Depending on the Artist, although her outfit is always purple. Michael Avon Oeming always gave her a different outfit whenever she appeared (and is so far the only artist to draw her in pants). Heather "Makani" Campbell usually draws her in a purple dress with short sleeves, and a darker purple belt with black Mary Janes, and her SFM model portrays her in a purple shirt with white collar, black skirt, and black flats, and a barrette holding her bangs back.
- Lipstick Lesbian: Word of Gay confirms this. It's hard to acknowledge it non-awkwardly in canon, though, since there aren't many other female characters that she interacts with.
- Meganekko: Scout admits this is part of the reason why he crushes on her.
- Manipulative Bitch: Miss Pauling will lie, turn friend against friend, and put a bullet through her fellow employee's brains, all while maintaining a pleasant demeanor and a (relatively) cool head.
- After "Ring of Fired", she apparently had become very attached to the RED Team, to the point of trusting her secrets and her life to the mercs.
- Mission Control: Comic-only example, but during the Administrator's absence, she seems to be the one coordinating the mercenaries' battle plans in between missions.
- Miss Exposition/The Watson: Serves as the former to the Admin and the Team while also being slightly out of touch with how things are run on the field.
- Morality Pet: This blog post suggests she's this to her boss, at least a little. "Shadow Boxers" also suggests she's this to a couple members of the Team.
- Motor Mouth: When she gets really excited at the end of "Expiration Date".Miss Pauling: That... was so... much... fun!Scout: You're not mad?Miss Paulling: I was furious! Oh my god, you set off the briefcase alarm! And you were having a prom for...some reason. But then there was a monsterandweshotitandIbuiltabombandIthinkmylegsbrokencanwedothisagain!?
- Must Have Lots of Free Time: Inverted, she apparently only has one day off per year. She hangs out with the mercs during her time on instead.
- Nerds Are Sexy: In "Expiration Date", Scout specifically cites her ability to read and her slightly crooked glasses as things he finds attractive about her.
- The Nicknamer: In her in-game lines, she picks up the mercs' habit of nicknaming them "Demo," "Engie," "Big Guy," and "Doc". In fact, she notes that calling Demoman by his full title actually sounds kind of weird.
- Noodle Incident: When calling in Heavy for a favor, she mentions him paying her back for something that isn't specified.
- Not So Above It All: Downplayed example. While having good reason to be skeptical of the Soldier's methods to infiltrate Gray Mann Co. for espionage, she readily goes through with it herself when she realizes that it does in fact work (at least until the Mecha Engineer was created).
- Played pretty damn straight in "Expiration Date" when she gets exceptionally hyper after helping RED fight off a large bread monster.
- No Sympathy: In one line in the Tough Break update, she yells at a lady to shut up while a tiger is mauling said lady to death.
- One Name Only
- Only Sane Woman: Undoubtedly the crown queen of the trope out of everyone in Team Fortress. While she fears the Administrator and is unamused by the wackiness of the mercenaries, she manages to keep calm and composed in all but the most dire of circumstances.note "Ring of Fired" has shown that she's even grown used to the mercs, which is quite impressive.
- By "Expiration Date", she is pretty much become one of the guys, showing that she has a close relationship or as close those of the team have with one another, acting as a hitman in case of an emergency (stolen briefcase scenario) and finding their shenanigans extremely enjoyable.
- Perky Female Minion/Silk Hiding Steel: Despite breaking friendships and killing several people, she still comes across as this. Push her too far, though, and that mask of sweetness will slip.◊
- Plucky Office Girl: Despite being the boss's secretary and ground control for the Mercs, Miss Pauling receives little respect from the Administrator and the Team; her efforts to avoid bad situations have either been ignored or backfired spectacularly.
- Punch Clock Villain: Despite probably being the sweetest and most "normal" character in the TF2 universe, she's more than willing to casually get her hands dirty with a revolver and a bag of quicklime.
- The Reliable One: Miss Pauling's efforts to clean up the Mercs' messes and give them good publicity are pretty much the only reason they haven't been arrested and executed.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: She's seen using all sorts of handguns, including a Hand Cannon, a silenced pistol and a Derringer.
- Skewed Priorities: While downplayed considerably when compared to the Mercs, it's still there."This isn't just a fight for Mann Co., or Saxton Hale. It's a fight for your jobs."
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: Not even Miss Pauling can escape the slapstick. In the Old Wounds comic, she gets punched in the nose by Zhanna in order to knock the Classic Demo to the ground, who is sequentially strangled on by the Spy's leg-chains.
- In some of her lines in the Tough Break update, she suffers such indignities as getting a molar punched out in a boxing class, getting undigested hot dogs teleported into her colon, getting bitten by raccoons, and getting zapped by an electrified piano courtesy of the Spy.
- Straight Woman: Given the sheer audacity of pretty much every other relevant character in the Team Fortress universe, she winds up being this by default. This being the universe it is, the token straight man is a lesbian.
- Spear Counterpart: Saxton Hale acknowledges that his own assistant, Mr. Bidwell, is basically a male Pauling.
- Suddenly Voiced: Finally appears as a major character in an official video, complete with a voice and her own model.
- It continues in the Gun Mettle update; she hosts the "Contracts" mode. She'll talks to you when you start the contract, while you do it, and when you finish it.
- She gets still more lines in the Tough Break update, after being forced to go on vacation while still giving the Mercs contracts.
- Workaholic: Enforced. She only gets one day off per year.
- The Tough Break update has her legally forced by the New Mexico Department of Labor to go on vacation. Several voice lines suggest she'd rather be working. Either way, she still gives the Mercs contracts
- Yes-Man: Miss Pauling usually obeys the Administrator, though there are a few hints that Miss Pauling is afraid of what will happen if things don't go The Administrator's way.
"Half the time even I don't know why I'm hitting something!"Testosterone Poisoning personified. Saxton Hale is the rugged Australian CEO of Mann Co., star of the Saxton Hale's Thrilling Tales comic series and an all-around man among men whose favorite pastimes include fighting, drinking and battling with rare and ferocious animals. Identifying features include his exceptional moustache, trademark shirtlessness, rippling muscles, crocodile-tooth lined hat and a patch of chest hair shaped like Australia. Saxton is the latest Hale to take up the reins of Mann Co. since Zepheniah Mann left its ownership to loyal aide and tracker Barnabus Hale in his last will and testament. His boisterous presence is felt in all areas of the company, from the slogan ("We sell products and get in fights") to the customer forms, which include tickboxes for informing product-thieving rivals that he is coming to pummel them to death with his bare hands. His inspiring image also features on numerous Mann Co. catalogs and promotional materials. He is known (and feared) for his belief in handling customer service issues personally, with his official policy being: "If you aren't 100% satisfied with our product line, you can take it up with me!".
Saxton Hale provides examples of:
- Arms Dealer
- Ascended Extra: He started off as a small image in an update page, and later became one of the major storyline characters. As of the Mann Vs. Machine update, he's now the new boss of the former RED and BLU teams (though he's not paying them).
- Awesome Aussie: The MOST awesome.
- Badass Boast: I have PERSONALLY MANSLAUGHTERED 1,593 physicians in various forms of unarmed and/or unwilling combat (from a letter in which he hears about a Who Would Win contest between him and Dr. McNinja).
- Badass Mustache
- Blood Knight: Whether against a dastardly villain, a monstrous beast, an army of robots, or a bunch of hippies protesting his products, Hale lives for a fight.
- Ends up being his downfall in "Ring of Fired". His policy of handing over the company to any other CEO that could beat him in bare-knuckled combat allowed Gray Mann to take Mann Co., by making his preteen daughter CEO of his own company, whom Saxton couldn't bring himself to beat up.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Very much so. The boast above is just one of many. The bruiser part comes from his ridiculous feats (jumping out of an airplane without a parachute before using a passing bald eagle to slow his landing before somersaulting through a window and landing in his office seat). His passcode to his premium weapons cache is him punching a pad with 2,751 pounds of force per square inch!
- Carpet of Virility: In the shape of Australia, no less.
- Generation Xerox: Grandson of Barnabus Hale. Barnabus even got into random fights with animals just like Saxton does. As shown in the Loose Canon comic:
- Barnabus Hale: Skip me for now, mayor! I like this cougar's pepper sauce!
- Explosive Instrumentation: As shown here, his company's stuff seems to just randomly catch fire, or melt. He claims it to be intentional, because they're products for men. The comic this fact first appeared in was later declared to be non-canon, but the gag itself shows up again in the one year Manniversary catalogue.
- Everyone Has Standards: He has very violent policies in place as CEO, such as accepting a takeover only if the rival CEO personally beats him in combat. But he falters with he finds the head of Gray Gravel is a little girl, since he can't bring himself to beat her up.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: The only way of fighting he accepts.
- Great White Hunter: The greatest. And only hunting via bloody, lengthy, unarmed combat will suffice.
- Honest John's Dealership: He takes pride in selling shoddy products that catch on fire.
- I Control My Minions Through Money: The promise of a steady paycheck and a steady stream of carnage is what compels the mercs to stay after the gravel wars end.
- Implacable Man: In the game mod that makes him playable, he's one of these.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Despite being the one of the most muscular men in the world, Mags accuses him of gaining weight since he gained ownership of Mann Co.
- Land Down Under: And proud of it!
- Large Ham
- Meaningful Name: His last name, Hale, probably comes from the Saxon term haelaeh, which refers to qualities of heroism such as courage or strength.
- Megaton Punch: According to the Gun Mettle Update comic, his average punch clocks in at 2,751 PSI. For comparison, the hardest punch on record is 1850 PSI.
- Naked People Are Funny: There are little other possible reasons for appearing on the cover of "Ring of Fired" seen from behind wearing only his shoes and socks. Good thing he has them back by the next issue.
- Nice Hat
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: His actions (or inaction) during "Ring of Fired" render the entirety of the mercenaries' efforts at fighting the robots completely meaningless.
- Remember When You Blew Up The Moon?: The Apple employees are quick to apply a certain incident in which the moon gets blown up to Saxton Hale after it gets announced on a newscast.
- Real Men Eat Meat: As demonstrated in the WAR! comic and his desk doubles as a griddle in Ring Of Fired.
- Sell Out: The main reason his relationship with Mags became estranged. 15 years before the "Mann Co. No More" storyline, Saxton was an animal fighting adventurer full time with Mags and promised her that he would never take a job at Mann Co. However, he did leave her when he inherited Mann Co. from his father and while he still spends a lot, if not most, of his time adventuring, he still didn't have enough time for Mags.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: He and anyone associated with Mann Co were "nowhere near the launch site [of the rocket piloted by Poopy Joe], and have nothing whatsoever to do with the tragic explosion that occurred moments later."
- Testosterone Poisoning: He doesn't provide the trope picture for nothing.
- AN APE WILL DIE ON EVERY PAGE!
- You will believe a shark can cry!
- Unsound Effect: Tends to show up whenever he shows up in a comic (he's way too manly for normal ones).
- PROPERTY DAMAGE!
- BRAVE JUMP!
- Extends to anything that looks like him, as seen/heard when Soldier gives Old Nick a COMPOUND ELEVATED SKULL FRACTURE! with a statue of Hale.
- And in Loose Canon, Barnabas Hale is shown fighting a COUGAR!
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Apparently, one of the reasons is because he worried about getting rabies from clothing items that were bit by animals like racoons.
- Who Wears Short Shorts?: Obviously, only the MANLIEST of men.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Even if it means losing his entire company. He is, however, OK with ordering his employees to fight one on his behalf, although it doesn't work because they Wouldn't Hurt a Child either.
Redmond and Blutarch Mann
Redmond and Blutarch Mann
"I'm no closer to beating him than I was a hundred years ago!"twin brothers who own RED and BLU, respectively, and continually fight for ownership of a worthless parcel of land their father willed to them both. Blutarch decided to take the land by force by hiring nine mercenaries to perform a land grab; unfortunately, his brother thought to do the exact same. Since neither twin could take the land by force, both decided to simply outlive the other twin, hiring Radigan Conagher to build them a life extending machine. Turns out they aren't twins, but triplets, and their brother Gray killed them both in Blood Brothers.
Redmond and Blutarch Mann provide examples of:
- Always Identical Twins: Zig-zagged; Redmond and Blutarch are definitely this trope, but their fraternal brother Gray is decidedly not.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: They were the original owners of RED and BLU before The Announcer.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: As the announcers of the Helltower map, they might remark that "this update makes too much sense".
- Colourful Theme Naming: Redmond and Blutarch.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Blutarch dies once a day or so, his life extending machine bringing him back to life every time. The same apparently happens to Redmond.Blutarch's assistant: Give him a moment, dear. He's just dead.
- Everyone Has Standards: Even a colossal dimwit like Redmond knows digging straight through an Indian burial ground is a stupid idea.
- Evil Sounds Deep / Evil Sounds Raspy: Blutarch's voice is deep, Redmond's voice is raspy.
- Flanderization: When the game was first released, gravel pits were just some of the monetarily-worthless warzones that RED and BLU waged their Forever War on. Later the Mann family is shown to put the lion's share of their wealth in gravel-based investments, believing it to be a fuel source. Then as of 2013, Redmond and Blutarch use the word "gravel" in place of both "God" and "fuck/hell" in their dialogue.
- Gender Bender/Mr. Seahorse: Though never enacted, they were planning to build a machine to allow one of them to become pregnant. The plan itself is still not off the table, even when they're dead.
- Identical Twin ID Tag: Their suits are red and blue. However, a closer look (especially at their character models) reveals very subtle differences in jawline and aging between the two.
- Inadequate Inheritor: Both of 'em. Zepheniah is so disgusted by his sons' petty bickering and buffoonish idiocy that he wills each of them exactly half of his empire of gravel pits with the ultimately justified expectation that the two of them will just waste their time fighting with each other for the whole deal, blind to the fact that they're utterly worthless (the gravel pits, or Redmond and Blutarch? Yes.) He leaves his personal estate to his maid Elizabeth and his extremely valuable munitions company to Barnabas Hale instead.
- Killed Off for Real: After a century of cheating death with their immortality machines, they are stabbed at the end of "Blood Brothers" by their brother, Gray.
- Back from the Dead: They're ghosts now.
- Large Ham: Oh, they're hammy in the comics when they want to be, but this goes straight up to high levels of ham in Helltower, thanks to Nolan North's voice.
- Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: They're the announcers in the Helltower map. And 90% of what they say is just bickering at each other.
- Missing Mom: She dies in childbirth off-panel.
- The Nothing After Death: According to Blutarch, who has been continually dying and reviving through the use of the immortality machine.
- Subverted when they both die and turn into ghosts. Not only do they flat-out state Hell exists, they both try to send each other to it. The players even visit it!
- Our Ghosts Are Different: Not really. They can pretty much still do everything they could do while they were alive.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Blutarch does this twice, once to Radigan, once to Dell.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Subverted; they're both Red Onis.
- Shaggy Dog Story: They've become so obsessed with their feud and so stubborn/senile that they've failed to realise that A. Their father basically stabbed them in the back and gave their real birthright, Mann Co, to a third party, and B. The gravel they've spent decades fighting over is literally worthless in the modern world. Gray actually points this out to them right before he kills them.
- Sibling Rivalry: And how! It started literally the moment they were born. And it was so strong that they turned into ghosts because they weren't sure who died first!
- They are competitive in absolutely everything. Even things that, by their very nature, aren't even remotely competitive, such as praying.
- Skewed Priorities: Aside from what they were doing in the first place... So they've both been murdered by Gray, they're somehow able to manifest as ghosts that can basically do what they could do while alive (and more, considering the state of their bodies before they died). What do they do? Get revenge on Gray? Nope! Try to send each other to Hell to settle the gravel wars once and for all!Blutarch: (last words before being killed by Gray) No! We still have so much gravel to fight over!
- This Is My Side: In a sense…
- Too Dumb to Live: They spent their entire lives fighting over a worthless piece of land simply because neither wanted the other to have it. That's not even getting into their plans of having a machine built to make it so that one can get the other pregnant. Gray kills them very shortly after.
- The Unfavorite: Again, both of them, this time to Gray. They'll try to plead with their father for acknowledgement on Helltower in regards to who's better, but no matter who begs him for attention, Zepheniah will basically admit under his breath that Gray is his favorite, probably because Gray is cunning, dangerous, and not a total dimwit, unlike his twin brothers.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Whichever brother wins Helltower will send the losing team to Hell just to mock the losing brother... and he'll send his own winning team to Hell too just so he doesn't have to pay them.
- Sore Loser: Similar to the above, the losing brother also has the power to drag both teams to Hell with him.
- Upper-Class Twit: Pretty much a perfect example.
- Vague Age: Averted. They're 150 years old.
- Why Won't You Die?: Blutarch has this to say about his brother:"I have mounted an epic campaign of leisure against the ravages of time. Waiting for nature to do to my brother what my men could not. And yet here we are at the end. And he... won't... DIE."
Zepheniah Nicodemus Mann
"I, Zepheniah Mann, being of sound mind, do hereby vow to haunt the earth as a horrifying poltergeist, until such time as I have quenched my all-consuming thirst for vengeance against the world, and especially against my dunderhead sons."The Last Will And Testament of Zepheniah Mann, which is about 90% of his entire existence in the game's related media. (The rest is appearing as a ghost on Harvest Event and Helltower.) Patriach of an arms dealing empire who wasted his fortune on worthless land in the Americas, his will sets up a posthumous vengeful scheme to set his sons against each other forever, and sets up the backstory for this game.According to his will, he has only given his belongings to five people: his maid Elizabeth who got his personal estate and the "miracle" gravel he wanted to keep away from Gray, his tracker Barnabas Hale who took control of his business empire, and his sons Blutarch and Redmond Mann who got the land to fight over.He appears on the map Harvest Event as a ghost to haunt the mercenaries for waging noisy battles over his grave. Any player who gets too close gets stunned for several seconds. He also cameos in Helltower, where he'll briefly converse with Redmond and Blutarch.
Zepheniah Mann provides examples of:
- Arms Dealer
- Asshole Victim: See Jerkass below. The numerous diseases he contracted (and eventually died of) while in the Americas. He was so sick he ended up writing his last will and testament on scraps of his own skin, but it's pretty hard to feel badly for him at all.
- Bedsheet Ghost: His undead form on Harvest Event.
- Benevolent Boss: Treated his employees far better than he did his family.
- Call Forward: Tons, not least the 'pit of gravel', as well as contracting marasmus, the disease Merasmus gets his name from.
- Gender Bender: Possibly? One of the many diseases he contracted before death was "womb fever, a complication from a serious bout of superfluous uterus".
- Generation Xerox: Had a brother of his own, Silas, but the story hasn't gone into whether or not Zepheniah and Silas had the same kind of relationship Redmond and Blutarch did. Presumably they didn't, since Zepheniah never showed any obsession with one-upping Silas in the comics.
- Greatest Scope Villain: He's more or less the guy who's responsible for the eternal war between RED and BLU, and eventually, the Robot Wars of Mann Co. In short, the reason the Team Fortress world's the way it is? All his fault.
- Jerkass: He reacts to his wife giving birth with annoyance at her screams of pain. When told she died in childbirth, he coldly asks about the kid's fate. When told all three of them survived, he commented with "Good. At least she did something right." He also wanted to kill Gray for being weak and ugly - when he was just born.
- My Death Is Just the Beginning: He deliberately left the otherwise worthless land to both his sons, so they'd fight over it. He probably didn't predict just where this would lead...
- Pet the Dog: Generously rewards Elizabeth and Barnabas with his estate in his will: the former being given his estate and tobacco plantation, and the latter his entire Munitions company. Then again, it was either them or his sons...
- Offing the Offspring: He tried to kill Gray right after he was born for being ugly (and supposedly weak).
- Posthumous Character
- Rasputinian Death: In his trip to the Americas, he apparently contracted over two dozen horrible diseases.
- Trauma Conga Line
- Troll: He deliberately and posthumously screws over both his sons by splitting the worthless land they got him, knowing they'd be far too stupid to realize that he gave their true birthright to a third party, instead spending more than a century trying to kill each other, to the point where they managed to commission immortality machines to try and outlast each other as much as possible until Gray finally shows up and kills them, and even then, they still don't give up on that, instead focusing on trying to send each other to Hell in order to win. Zepheniah's ghost is at least impressed by their tenacity, but he's more than happy to mock them both by telling them that Gray is his favorite.
- Waistcoat of Style: In ''Blood Brothers'', when he's discussing business with Barnabus Hale.
"Unlike you two pampered imbeciles, I built my empire. I have studied. I have plotted. I have waited."The lost third son of Zepheniah. Revealed in his hidden birth certificate. Rather than stupid and greedy, he's instead intelligent and evil, and he's made his move.
Gray Mann provides examples of:
- The Ageless: He has a spine implanted immortality machine that is substantially better than his brothers'. While he still has aged, he still looks to be in his 70s, able to walk upright, and have enough strength to fatally stab, as opposed to nearly dead and confined to a wheelchair.
- The Bad Guy Wins: In "Ring of Fired", he outsmarts Saxton Hale, takes over Mann Co, fires the team, and sends the Administrator into hiding.
- And then it winds up subverted by a hairsbreadth when it's revealed he wanted Mann Co. for its Australium cache - which the Administrator was smart enough to make off with when Gray made his move.
- Badass Grandpa: His first appearance in the flesh has him sneaking into the room and casually stabbing two Engineers in a way that mimics the Spy, and then he adds the most famous line of the Spy. However, he's not badass enough to fight Saxton Hale when he challenges him to a duel. But then again, who is?
- Big Bad: Looked to be gunning for the position with the dawn of Mann vs. Machine, and has claimed and solidified it with each new comic he appears in. The put this into perspective, his sudden arrival on the scene caught the Administrator off guard. He loses this position in "Old Wounds" rather suddenly.
- Blackmail: Apparently tried this on Zepheniah for a cache of "miracle" gravel (hinted to be Australium).
- Cain and Abel and Seth
- Colourful Theme Naming: Gray, to go along with Redmond and Blutarch.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: His cunning rivals the Administrator's, easily outwitting both her and Saxton Hale.
- Deadpan Snarker:
- Didn't See That Coming: He was so focused on defeating Saxton Hale that he didn't figure on Helen having already betrayed Saxton.
- Evil Genius: He could talk right out of the womb, and apparently invented a new form of algebra "to pass the time".
- Famous Last Words: "Whatever despicable things you think I would have done with that power... you're right. And I promise you, what she's planning is worse. Stop her."
- Gadgeteer Genius
- Hypocritical Humor/Not So Different: Criticizes his brothers for wasting their fortunes. His robots run on piles of money. It gets worse: he chastises his brothers for thinking gravel has any lasting value... while his robot-building headquarters is his own gravel company. And worse still; in a non-canon comic, it takes him a year to realizes he's squandered his fortune in a war over the exact same land his brothers fought over.
- Immortality Seeker: In "Ring of Fired" it turns out the only reason he really cared about Mann Co. was to get at a large supply of Australium to fuel his life-extender.
- Kick the Dog: After Taking over Mann Co. and kicking Hale out. He doesn't even allow Saxton to gather his trophies out of pure spite.
- Killed Off for Real: Rather anticlimactically and suddenly in "Old Wounds". Classic Heavy yanks his Life Extender out of his back and he bleeds out/dies due to lack of Australium trying to warn Pauling about the Administrator's motives.
- Knight of Cerebus: Compared to most other characters in the TF2 canon, Gray is deadly serious and his appearance marks the shift to a noticeably darker tone for the overall TF2 storyline. In particular, the video debut of his robot army is much more solemn than usual and almost completely devoid of any humor whatsoever.
- Know When To Fold Them: Rather than be like his brothers and continue an eternal stalemate, Gray Mann concedes the war for Mann Co... so that he can trick Saxton Hale into making him CEO instead. He succeeds.
- Long-Lost Relative: To Blutarch and Redmond.
- Never My Fault: Averted. While he seethes at the fact all his robots are imbeciles, he admits it's his fault for designing them, and even claims that the "hailing circuit" was his one moment of weakness. Needless to say, the new Mecha-Engineers are where he once again shows he's ultimately Dangerously Genre Savvy.
- Only Sane Man: He is the only member of the entire Mann family, past or present, who understands gravel is worthless.
- Out of Continues: His Life Extender runs on Australium, of which all he has left is currently in the Life Extender (the tank is about 80% full as of "Ring Of Fired"). And Helen made off with the Australium cache Saxton was sitting on. He is not happy about this.
- Harsher in Hindsight: As evidenced by the Administrator's superior model of the Life Extender, it is clearly not a permanent solution. In essence, Gray never had any continues.
- Outside-Context Villain: Gray Mann is a Dangerously Genre Savvy Chessmaster on par with the Administrator herself, is relatively immortal and has a massive army on his side. No one was prepared for his sudden intrusion into the plot, and he has in fact nearly won several times; only some quick thinking by the Administrator and Miss Pauling have prevented his victories.
- Raised By Eagles: Just before his father could kill him as an infant, an eagle burst into the room (there was an eagle plague at the time) and stole him to its nest. When he got older, he ate the eagle and her children.
- Reality Ensues: In a non-canon comic, after a year of (unsuccessful) war against the Mercenaries, the money he amassed for his empire is all gone because he powered the robots with that money - which was used by the mercs to buy more weapons from the very company he was trying to destroy. All his robots did was give Mann Co. a giant loan.
- Robot Master
- Self Made Mann:Gray: Unlike you two pampered imbeciles, I built my empire.
- Separated at Birth: From his two brothers, by an eagle.
- Shadow Archetype: To the Spy in appearance and weapon choice, and also to the Engineer in building robots.
- Surrounded by Idiots: He says this of his robots, but acknowledges it's his fault as he built them.
- Underestimating Badassery: He believed that the sheer power and quantity of his Gray Army robots would be enough to annihilate the mercenaries they were modeled after with ease. Gray also thought that the Administrator and Miss Pauling would be of little threat. He was wrong on both fronts, though his opinion of either party did not improve.
- Ungrateful Bastard: He killed and ate the eagle that raised him, and its family.
- Vague Age: Averted. Like his brothers, he's 150.
- Weak, but Skilled
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Downplayed. While he hasn't explicitly declared wanting validation from his father, his drive to conquer Mann Co. does seem to be because he's certain he deserves that family birthright, especially since his father never gave him a chance and tried to kill him at birth. Surprisingly, he's actually succeeded in gaining his father's posthumous respect, as the ghost of Zepheniah Mann at Helltower tells his other sons that Gray is his favorite.
"Hale! I don't have all day."
The daughter of Gray Mann and the CEO of Gray Gravel.
- Colourful Theme Naming: To go along with Redmond, Blutarch, and Gray, her name is derived from Olive green.
- Daddy's Little Villain: Despite her cute looks, she's just as nasty as her father.
- Disappeared Dad: As of his death in the comic Old Wounds.
- Kick the Dog: After firing Saxton Hale, she sets all the robots on non-violence mode to deny him the right to a proper fight.
- Little Miss Badass: Hilariously subverted: while she's all too eager to fight Saxton freaking HALE in a bare-knuckle fistfight, all her ankle-gripping, piggy-backing and hammering away with all she had did absolutely nothing against him, and she only "wins" because Saxton couldn't bring himself to beat up a child.
- Mad Scientist's Adorable Daughter: She may be just as cruel as her daddy, but she's still adorable.
- Missing Mom: We don't know who her mother is, or if she even has one.
- Puppet King: Obviously, Gray is the real brains of the two, but even so she's been appointed CEO of Gray Gravel simply to cheat Saxton Hale out of Mann Co.
- Sheathe Your Sword: She wins the duel for control of Mann Co simply by being a little girl, since Saxton Hale was unwilling to beat her up.
"A hunter needs his trophies, Saxton. You of all people should understand that. You were my best student, once. Before you gave it all up, for her."Very wealthy former adventurer and mentor of Saxton Hale, currently his nemesis. Owns Darling Zoos, and intends to capture every wild animal on the planet and put it in a cage instead of fighting them to the death. Hale comes to him for help after losing Mann Co. to Gray Mann.
- Ascended Extra: Essentially, after his singular comic appearance that seemed to be a one-off-gag. Ever since "Unhappy Returns", he's become much more involved in the overall plot, and is entirely aware of what the Administrator is up to, as he's going after her cache of Australium with Saxton's help, and might be personally curious about why she's been collecting the stuff.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Most of his appearances have him in a tuxedo, or at the very least a waistcoat. While his fighting prowess is never shown, in the past he has brought down animals several times his size, and taught Saxton Hale how to do the same.
- The Collector: His goal is to make a collection of every animal in the world. He even has a few extinct ones.
- Early-Bird Cameo/The Bus Came Back: He was already showing up back in Hale's very first comics, but "Unhappy Returns" is the first time he gets more than a few panels in years along with his introduction into the plot proper.
- Egomaniac Hunter: He fully embodies the Egomaniac part of this trope to its fullest and beyond. How he passes the time? Reading his own literature, as in, books that he himself wrote.
- Enemy Mine: Forms one with Saxton to get Mann Co. back in exchange for Australium.
- Evil Mentor: Used to be Saxton's.
- Grey and Gray Morality: He wishes to capture all the animals in the world so he can keep them as trophies or make money off them in zoos. Saxton Hale wants to stop him so all his animals can run wild and free... so he can hunt them down and fight them to death with his bare hands.
- Immortality Seeker: Not Charles himself, but he wants to invest in Life-Extenders so his trophy animals can live forever in his collection.
- Punny Name: Of Charles Darwin.
- Villain Has a Point: While he's a cruel, twisted businessman who runs the "zoos" he's created solely for greedy, exploitative purposes, he's still the closest thing in-universe to a real conservationist. (As opposed to Saxton, who prints comics with gorilla blood for ink.)
The 1850's Team
Redmond and Blutarch's original team of mercs, which appeared to be comprised of some of the most famous men of that time.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Billy The Kid (Scout), "Stonewall" Jackson (Soldier), Abraham Lincoln as the Pyro (in this universe, Honest Abe also invented stairs), Nikola Tesla as the Engineer, John Henry as the Heavy Weapons Guy, Alfred Nobel as the Demoman, Sigmund Freud as the Medic, Davy Crockett as the Sniper, and Fu Manchu as the Spy.
- Drop the Hammer: Being that he's John Henry, the Heavy naturally uses this. His modern counterpart's minigun wouldn't be invented until 1960.
- Historical In-Joke: Of course Alfred Nobel would be the Demoman, he invented dynamite!
- Posthumous Character: All of them are long dead by the time the game takes place.
- Multinational Team: This team hails from the United States (Scout, Soldier, Pyro, Heavy, Sniper), Sweden (Demoman), modern-day Croatia (Engineer), Austria (Medic), and China (Spy).
- Nice Hat: Scout (cowboy hat), Soldier (Confederate uniform cap), Pyro (top hat, of course), Demoman (tattered prospector hat), and Sniper (coonskin cap, naturally).
- Rocket Jump: The Silver Gun Mettle Campaign Coin describes Honest Abe as the inventor of the rocket jump. Though he was the supposed stand-in for the pyro, not the soldier of the original team, this is still possible in game, given Pyros can reflect and launch themselves off of enemy rockets.
- Scarf of Asskicking: Heavy was apparently fond of these.
- Token Minority: As the Demoman on this team is white, Heavy is African-American, instead.
Team Fortress Classic (big spoilers)
The Classic Team
"Them? Don't worry about them. You've got us now."The previous team of mercenaries from Team Fortress Classic. Gray Mann reunites them to battle against the modern team. As revealed in Catch-Up, they used to work for Redmond and Blutarch starting from 1930 before they were fired and replaced with the Modern Team sometime before 1968.
— Classic Heavy
- Archnemesis Dad: Might be the case in terms of Modern Engie/Dell and Classic Engie, since the Engineer Update revealed TFC Engie to be Dell's father.
- Artificial Limbs: Classic Engineer has an entire robotic lower half.
- Badass Grandpa: As old as the first game was, and when The Administrator told you to run instead of facing them, you know they're trouble. True to the trope, each of them are as old as they appear to be in "Old Wounds."
- Band of Brothers/Badass Crew: Much more militaristic than the modern team and with none of the dysfunctionality. Classic Heavy specifically refers to the team as "my men" at one point and is visibly angry when he learns they may have been subjected to experiments by the modern Medic. As of "Old Wounds," Classic Heavy kills Gray and attempts to kill the modern Team due to the deaths of his own teammates.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The modern team has been wearing solely red garb since the disbanding of RED and BLU. These guys wear blue. This may possibly point towards an in-game appearance down the line, much like how Gray's robots are colored blue in-game and up against solely red mercs, despite initial promotional material depicting them as gray-colored and fighting a united RED/BLU force.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Classic Pyro drills into Modern Soldier's Teeth after he's accidentally spilled the information they need and intends to do the same to Zhanna.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: They know that simply killing Miss Pauling and the modern mercs now won't bring the Administrator out of hiding, so they're watching and waiting until she reveals herself. They also appear to have already found some Australium, much to Gray's visible delight.
- Classic Spy managed to trick Ms. Pauling into revealing the Administrator's location by disguising himself as Modern Heavy, here to rescue them.
- Double Tap: Goes with Dangerously Genre Savvy above, Classic Sniper shot Sniper twice when they first met, killing him. Medic managed to bring him back later though.Classic Heavy: We shot him. TWICE! That means we want him dead.
- The Dragon: They report directly to Gray Mann and are just as dangerous as the modern team. Probably moreso; according to Gray, they "came highly recommended" and they've certainly proven why so far. The Classic Heavy in particular seems to be the team's leader.
- The Administrator gives credence to the "more dangerous" bit in "Blood in the Water". She warns Miss Pauling about this team and, upon Pauling's assertion that she and the modern team can handle them, dismisses this and advises for her and the modern team to just run as soon as they encounter them. Her advice turns out to be well-founded, if only because the Modern team have almost no weapons.
- Dragon Ascendant: Classic Heavy usurps Gray's position as this in "Old Wounds."
- Feed It a Bomb: Not literally, but the way Zhanna stuffs a grenade down Classic Pyro's Suit before stuffing her helmet back on gives the same visual image.
- Five-Bad Band: After the deaths of Classic Pyro, Classic Demo and Classic Spy.
- Given Name Reveal: Demo and Pyro were referred to as Greg and Beatrice.
- Immortality Seeker: Seems to be Classic Heavy's new goal.
- Kick the Dog: Classic Heavy takes out his frustrations with the modern medic by crushing Archimedes.
- Killed Off for Real: Classic Pyro (Beatrice), Classic Demo (Greg) and Classic Spy are all murdered by the Modern Team in "Old Wounds."
- Knight of Cerebus: Much like Gray himself, the classic team is dead serious and much more competent and organized than their modern counterparts. Fitting, considering the tone of their game compared to that of TF2. "Old Wounds" solidifies this with the fact that Classic Heavy eventually decides to kill Gray and take his the role of the Big Bad.
- Only Sane Man: Also like Gray, they don't exactly approve of the antics around them. Modern Medic has already done quite a bit to get on their nerves.
- As of "Blood in the Water", these guys show just how much they're playing for keeps. Right after a tragic-yet-still-somewhat-goofy scene involving most of the modern mercs (along with Miss Pauling and Heavy's sister, Zhanna), these guys show up and any trace of humor immediately vanishes as Classic Sniper immediately puts two bullets in his modern counterpart's chest before anyone can even react. The issue immediately ends on a cliffhanger showing the classic team with a massive upper hand and the modern team looking utterly terrified.
- Only in It for the Money: Classic Heavy makes his team's priorities perfectly clear.Classic Heavy: [The Administrator will] have to reveal herself soon. When she does? We'll kill all of them. You'll get your rocks. And we'd better get paid.
- Subverted when they backstab Gray Mann to take the Australium for themselves and obtain immortality.
- Private Military Contractors: They certainly give off this vibe. They appear to act as a military unit and hire themselves out as a whole.
- Professional Killer: Just like our heroes, though much more emphasis on the "professional" part.
- Psycho Rangers: Brought out of retirement specifically to hunt down the modern team.
- Punch Clock Villain: They have absolutely no interest in the Australium and merely regard Gray as an employer with a paycheck to provide. Well, until the Classic Heavy decides otherwise.
- Retcon / You Don't Look Like You: Possibly. Art from the Engineer Update implied the Classic Engy was current Engy's father, but this Engineer is either unrelated to him or looks much different due to age. This stands out moreso since Catch Up shows the whole team in their prime, and Classic Engy does look like Modern Engy's father. Then again, forty years (in-universe) is enough time for his appearance to change so drastically.
- The Classic Pyro was unambiguously male in Team Fortress Classic. Old Wounds revealed that the Classic Pyro was a woman named Beatrice.
- Put on a Bus: Classic Medic is either fully retired or dead.
- Retired Badass: All of them, but they've been brought out of retirement.
- Rogue Protagonist: Not that they were ever said to be the good guys in the original game, however.
- Samus Is a Girl: The Classic Pyro is revealed to be an old woman named Beatrice in "Old Wounds."
- The Smurfette Principle: She's also the only woman on the team.
- The Sixth Ranger: Ninth, rather. The only member of their team to have been replaced is Classic Medic, whose spot is now filled by the modern TF2 Medic.
- The Starscream: Classic Heavy kills Gray Mann and takes over his operation.
- Villainous Friendship: The Classic Heavy seems to be quite fond of his teammates.Classic Heavy (unleashing blood-sucking robots at his captives): You killed some good soldiers today. Friends of mine. I hope this hurts.
- Walking Spoiler: The fact that this team plays a big role in the Team Fortress Comics series is already a massive twist, especially since they are only introduced about halfway into the story with very little foreshadowing. However, it's the Modern Medic's involvement and their eventual betrayal of Gray in "Old Wounds" which really seals the deal.
The Mercs' Families
Scout's MomThe mother of the Scout. Not much is known about her except that she is dating the other team's Spy.
Scout's Mom provides examples of:
- Absurdly Youthful Mother: Seriously, who the hell bears eight kids and looks like that? On top of that, if Scout's dream is to taken, she was once even hotter. She's also at least in her late 40's to early 50's now, as Scout himself is in his early 20's and the youngest of 8 kids.
- Satellite Love Interest: So far, her only notable quality is being the punchline for a Your Mom joke, and someone the Spy shows affection for.BLU Scout: What are you, president of [RED Spy's] fanclub?BLU Spy: No... That would be your mother! (displays photos of BLU Scout's Mom and RED Spy being intimate)
Mr. & Mrs. DegrootThe Demoman's parents. They gave up Demo as an child, and re-adopted him when his talents began to show as part of admittedly stupid family tradition. The father is dead, while the mother now lives with her son.
Mr. and Mrs. Degroot provide examples of
- Blind Black Guy: Both of Demoman's parents are blind. His mother even berates her son for still having one eye left into adulthood.
- Jerkass Has a Point: She would have berated Demoman anyway while he was overachieving, but did have a point that he really let himself go after being fired from Mann Co.
- Parental Abandonment: As stated, they gave him up and took him back after his talent for explosives began to show.
- Pet the Dog: Mrs. Degroot finally praises her son when he gets his old job back with Mann Co.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Demoman is constantly trying to please his mother, who complains about all his purported lack of effort.
- Workaholic: Mr. Degroot had 23 jobs in his life, and Mrs. Degroot thinks her son is slacking for only having one, even though he's already made a small fortune.
Mr. Jonathan & Mrs. MundyThe parents of the Sniper. Apparently do not approve of his chosen career. As revealed in "Blood in the Water," they're not his birth parents.
Mr. Jonathan & Mrs. Mundy provide examples of:
- Expy: Visually resemble Eustace and Muriel Bagg of Courage the Cowardly Dog. According to Word of God, this was intentional.
- Killed Offscreen: According to Sniper, he found them dead in their home just after he was fired from Mann Co.
- Why Couldn't You Be Different?: According to Sniper, they're not big fans of what he does for a living. In his Meet the Team video, Sniper is seen arguing with his father over the phone on the subject.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: That said, they finally come around to admire his job after they're dead, their souls telling Sniper to leave heaven and give their murderers the vengeance they deserve.
Bill-Bel and Lar-Nah (big spoilers)
These people are the birth parents of the Sniper. Years ago, Bill-Bel tried to escape in a rocket, but his son Mun-Dee (Sniper) accidentally snuck into the rocket during an argument. When the rocket pierced the dome of New Zealand, the place was doomed. They managed to hide in a hidden lab for 40 years, after which the two escaped when the mercs showed up.
Bill-Bel and Lar-Nah provide examples of:
- The Alcoholic: Lar-Nah has spent the past forty years stuck in the lab drunk on wine and making death threats. When she escapes in the last rocket, the rocket is filled with bottles of booze.
- Cassandra Truth: Inverted. Everyone in New Zealand believed Bill-Bel when he predicts the surface of Earth to be buried by magma, but he's really just insane and making wrong predictions.
- Ditzy Genius: It takes a genius to design an underwater country and build rocket ships. And it takes a ditz to have said sinking of their country be completely unnecessary and to waste the most valuable substance on Earth as rocket paint.
- Expy: They're clear parodies of Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van, Superman's parents.
- It's All About Me: Bill-Bel built a rocket big enough for one to escape predicted ecological disaster, but he intended to use it for himself and leave his wife and child to die. His wife planned to do the same.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Not only did Bill-Bel doom New Zealand with his escape rocket, he wasted almost all of the remaining Australium in the world to paint failed rockets.
- Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: When Lar-Nah sees Bill still has one Australium rocket left, she steals it and flies into space to be free from the sunken nation. Her takeoff cracks the dome over the last unflooded spot in New Zealand, and Bill steals the mercs' multi-seater submarine all for himself to flee.
- Walking Spoilers: They reveal a lot of secrets about the world of TF2.
- Worthless Yellow Rocks: Double Subverted. Miss Pauling, having tracked the last cache of Australium to New Zealand, asks them to tell her where it is while insisting it's just worthless stones. Bill responds that as a scientist he doesn't fall for that and knows the true value of that mineral... only for us to find out he actually knew nothing about Australium's properties and just used it to paint his rockets.
"Alright."The Engineer's soft-spoken grandfather, who was contracted to build an immortality machine for Blutarch Mann so he could outlive his brother Redmond. He was later asked by the Administrator's ancestor to create the same machine for Redmond as well. In exchange for this offer, Radigan was given one hundred pounds of Australium, an element that helped Australia become the world's most technologically advanced nation. He may have also built a better functioning version for Gray Mann.From this amount of Australium, Radigan created a variety of new inventions. However, the Australium's radiation eventually caused Radigan to become Australian; he went from a regular scientist to a muscular, shirtless, mustached scientist with a robotic left hand and chest hair in the shape of Texas.
Radigan Conagher provides examples of:
- Artifact of Doom: The Golden Wrench, implied to have been built from Australium.
- Artificial Limbs: He eventually replaced his left hand with a prototype Gunslinger.
- Carpet of Virility: After his transformation into an Australian, he gets one—in the shape of Texas, no less!
- Cursed with Awesome: There are probably worse fates than Testosterone Poisoning that one can succumb to.
- Hollywood Cyborg
- Hot-Blooded Sideburns
- Posthumous Character: Dead in the present.
- The Quiet One
- The Stoic
- Viral Transformation
"You'll always look out for us. And we love you for it. But now you must let us look out for ourselves."Heavy's family, consisting of his mother and three sisters (Zhanna, Yana, and Bronislava). All of them broke out of The Gulag with Heavy years ago and since then he's sent most of his money to them. As of "Blood in the Water," Zhanna has become Soldier's fianceé.
- Action Girl: Zhanna joins Soldier and Spy in "assaulting" the submarine base in "Blood in the Water." She's actually pretty good at snapping necks, at least.
- Amazonian Beauty: All three sisters are stocky around the waist, possess bulging arms and legs, and fairly strong jawlines, having been hardened by a life of wrestling bears and surviving in the wilderness. Doesn't stop them from being attractive, in their own way; Zhanna in particular is quite a Sensual Slav, and Soldier and (initially) Scout are glad to accept her advances.
- An Arm and a Leg: Zhanna cuts off her hand with a shard from Grey's broken life-extending machine to escape her bonds in "Old Wounds" (though she tried dislocating her thumb as taught by Soldier to try getting out first, which of course didn't work). She quickly regarded herself as a handless monster after the fact, but Soldier assures her that she is ravishing and that reattaching the appendage will be no proglem.
- Badass Family: When Heavy insisted he stay to protect them from anyone who'd come after them, they explain people already have come and they took care of them. Violently.
- Before that, Yana and Bronislava make their appearance by dragging in a bear they hunted themselves.
- Blunt Metaphors Trauma: Zhanna apparently picked this up from her brother, because when Soldier asks her to kill "with extreme prejudice", she interprets this as "be racist at them". Although that might just be because she's kind of kooky herself.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: Zhanna picks up her fianceé's "HUTTAH!" cry when snapping necks. They even snap a man's neck together in "Blood In The Water".
- Composite Character: Zhanna combines Heavy's short temper and broken English with elements of Soldier's Dumb Muscle.
- Fangirl: Yana and Bronislava were pretty excited when they heard some of Heavy's former colleagues were paying a visit. Though they thought it was Spy and Sniper...
- Gilded Cage: They've spent the last twenty years hiding in the same cabin in the middle of nowhere. Zhanna was ready to screw the first man she saw, while they were all happy to leave.
- Happily Engaged: Zhanna and Soldier.
- Mother Russia Makes You Strong: It most certainly has. Though they're pretty damn tired of eating bear meat.
- Nice Hat: Bronislava wears one.
- Out of Focus: After being introduced in "A Cold Day In Hell", Yana, Bronislava, and Heavy's Mother don't appear at all in the next comic, "Blood In The Water".
- Sex Equals Love: Zhanna's first interaction with Soldier was demanding he make love to her, because it had been years since she had even seen an eligible man. Since then, they've been a tight couple.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: Spy thinks Zhanna and Soldier are this, calling them "rutting pigs".
- The Sixth Ranger: In "Blood in the Water," Zhanna is tagging along with Miss Pauling and the mercs.
- Strange Minds Think Alike: In at least some ways, Zhanna is as crazy as her boyfriend, the Soldier. It's implied that part of what persuades her to treat her relationship with him so seriously is that, towards the end of A Cold Day In Hell, he confesses that he's homeless but promises to buy her the biggest, stinkiest barn that money can buy after he gets paid for the latest job. In Blood In The Water, she mistakes "extreme prejudice" to mean "be racist to the enemy", a mistake the Soldier admits to making in the past, and when Soldier offers her a necklace of human ears as an engagement present, she delightedly throws herself into his arms for a passionate kiss.
- Spy Catsuit: Zhanna is wearing Natasha Romanoff's Marvel Movieverse costume on the cover of "Blood In The Water". So is Soldier.
- Unnamed Parent: His mother has yet to be named.
Enemies and Bosses
Horseless Headless Horsemann
The Horseless Headless Horsemann
The Horseless Headless Horsemann provides examples of:
- Alliterative Name: The Horseless Headless Horsemann, and the two items associated with him: the Horseless Headless Horsemann's Head and the Horseless Headless Horsemann's Headtaker.
- An Axe to Grind
- Camera Screw: The camera shakes when he's nearby. As if everything going dark and the music weren't unsettling enough.
- Damage-Sponge Boss: He has at least 3000 HP under his belt, with another 200 added for each player on the server. He also shows up only with a minimum of 10 players are on the server, meaning without cheats he always has at least 5000 HP.
- Servers normally can hold up to 24 people, with some servers being able to hold up to 32 people. This means that the Horsemann can peak at around 7800-9400 HP. For comparison, the highest HP any player can go is 450, which is an overhealed Heavy.
- Drop the Hammer: When Merasmus summons him to attack the bumper car games, he wields the Necro Smasher instead of his usual axe.
- Enemy Mine: Aside from passing off aggro and the more serious players, both teams commonly team up to defeat him when he spawns.
- Headless Horseman: He wears a jack-o-lantern as a head, however.
- Implacable Man
- Large Ham: He doesn't even speak, and he manages to chew scenery with the best of them.
- Lightning Bruiser: He is as fast as a scout's normal speed. Fortunately, he can't jump.
- Nerf: Scream Fortress 2015 made it so getting hit by his axe wasn't invariably lethal.
- One-Handed Zweihänder: He starts out with his axe slung over his shoulder using both hands. As his health wears down, he starts swinging it with only one hand.
- One-Hit Kill: For a long time, only two things can survive his Headtaker: A Wrangled Sentry, and a Dead Ringer Spy. And in both those cases, only just (and he'll probably swing again).
- Oxymoronic Being
- Palette Swap: Aside from his entrance, exit, and scaring animations, he's a sized up reskin of the Demoman.
- Slasher Smile
- The Undead: Silas Mann's ghost, who has possessed his skeletal corpse, got an axe and gone on a rampage...for some reason.
Voiced by: Gary SchwartznoteThe Demoman's disembodied left eye taken from his body and haunted upon opening a forbidden tome at Merasmus the Magician's castle. After Soldier enrages Merasmus, he unleashes the eye upon the team, setting up the events leading to the 2011 Halloween event.
MONOCULUS! provides examples of:
- Artificial Brilliance: His AI is more complex than the Horsemann, that's for sure. He leads his shots, prioritizes threats, and can juggle combo.
- Berserk Button: Gets really pissed upon taking a critical hit.
- Bold Inflation: His name is officially spelt in all-caps.
- Damage-Sponge Boss: Like the Horsemann, he can take an incredible pounding. Helps that he's resistant to miniguns and flamethrowers.
- Death from Above: His main method of attack is to rain down smaller eyeballs which do the same damage as critical rockets on both teams.
- Enemy Mine: Enforced, even more so than the Horsemann. When he appears, the capture point resets and both teams cannot cap until he is either defeated or leaves the map, so there's no point to killing each other, other than being a jerk.
- Now enforced by the server. When he appears, the teams are unable to harm each other until he's gone. Look out for Engineers taking the opportunity to build at the enemy spawn.
- Faceless Eye
- "Get Back Here!" Boss: He teleports around a lot and will only stay around for 90 seconds, though this also makes it easier to defeat him because doing so opens up a portal to an area that if you can exit gives players invulnerability, crit-boosts, overheal, and a speed boost. Buffed players also stun him when they damage him.
- Giant Eye of Doom: This happens a lot around MONOCULUS!.
- Glass Cannon: In comparison to the Horsemann being an immovable damage sponge, MONOCULUS! is easier to push around. He also has a hideously strong damage advantage, shooting eyeballs that kill most classes in a couple of hits.
- Insistent Terminology: It's not "Monoculus", it's "MONOCULUS!". Valve also insist that upon being killed by him, the player must raise their hands toward the ceiling and scream the name at the top of their lungs. It's just the etiquette. And when the police arrive, be sure to explain!
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: See Turns Red below.
- Taking You with Me: Anyone near him when he dies is coated in Jarate. And since he's no longer around, both teams are going to be focusing on each other again pretty quickly...
- Time-Limit Boss: He only hangs around for 90 seconds per appearance, so if you want the achievements for taking him down, make sure to do it quickly and hope the other players want to kill him as well.
- Turns Red: Shooting him with critical hits will make him shoot volleys of faster projectiles that lead their targets flawlessly. He noticeably looks angrier when this happens.
- Thanks to an update, defeating him causes him to become stronger when he next spawns.
Merasmus the Magician
Merasmus the Magician
"Who dares disturb Merasmus the Magician?"However, his skirmish with the mercs didn't result in his complete death, as by "Ring of Fired", 10 months after the Halloween event (and likely a bit longer in the TF2 canon universe), he's back in his solid body and living with Tom Jones.
Merasmus the Magician provides examples of:
- Apologetic Attacker:
- A Wizard Did It: His existence is as much of a defiance to this trope as a literal example. He actually is (somewhat) responsible for the Demoman losing his eye, unleashing MONOCULUS! upon the mercenaries, and sending them to DeGroot Keep.
Heavy: Every Halloween, [Merasmus] comes here and tries to kill us.Miss Pauling: So why do you let him in?Soldier: He's a wizard, Miss Pauling.Scout: Yeah. He knows magic and crap.
- Subtly noted by the BLU Spy as the reason why Soldier was somehow qualified to be a public defender in a court of law.
- As of Scream Fortress 2012, it was revealed that Merasmus isn't as powerful of a magician as he claims. However, this in no way means the magic he can use won't tear you and everyone else present a new one when you fight him.
- Discussed once again in the Scream Fortress 2015 comic (in regards to why they keep dealing with Merasmus in the first place):
- Affably Evil
- Artifact of Doom: Apparently an avid collector of these. Hell, he even tells people to not gaze upon his broom, despite the Demoman actually being forced to do so to do his work (either that or it's a Verbal Tic).
- Artificial Brilliance: Not limited to one attack like the Horsemann and MONOCULUS!, and he knows how and when to use them effectively.
- Black Magic
- Bold Inflation: Like MONOCULUS!, his name in-game is stylized as MERASMUS!
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: "Wait, wait, wait. Merasmus lagged. Do over."
- Butt Monkey: Every time he meets Soldier, something bad happens to him. For example, in Doom-Mates, he returned home from after 3 days to find that Soldier had buried his fridge in the yard and hid sour cream all over the property. Because the sour cream was not kept in the refrigerator, it had all gone bad and attracted every raccoon in the area, which meant his home had to be annexed by the city and turned into a raccoon sanctuary.
- Canis Latinicus: His spell incantations.Merasmus: Mortus Longdistimus!
- Card-Carrying Villain: We'll let him tell it:Merasmus: Most villains don't think they're evil. They think they're heroes. Not me! I'm reclaiming it! EVIL WIZARD! I'm rotten to the bone and I don't care who knows it!
- Damage-Sponge Boss: Much, much more so than MONOCULUS!.
- Doomy Dooms of Doom: Many of his lines. One of the comics featuring Merasmus is called "Doom-Mates"."Time to play hide-and-seek... YOUR DOOM!"
"DOOM! All of you are doomed!"
- Double Take: Any time the players get something beneficial from the Wheel of Fate.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Played for Laughs. Aside from Soldier, Demoman, Medic, Heavy, Scout, and Mister T-Bone, everyone refers to Merasmus as either "Ma'am" or "witch-woman". Strangely enough, even Miss Pauling makes this mistake.
- Enemy Mine: Invoked the same was as with MONOCULUS!, the control point becomes locked whenever he's around. And he will require the complete cooperation of both teams to bring down.
- Now enforced by the server. When he appears, the teams are unable to harm each other until he's gone. Look out for Engineers taking the opportunity to build at the enemy spawn.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Merasmus actively apologizes for the "Jarate rain" card in the Wheel of Fate.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: His death animation involves him spinning and flailing wildly in mid-air.
- Evil Is Hammy
- Evil Is Not a Toy
- Evil Laugh: He has several when he appears and when he uses the Bombinomicon.
- Expressive Accessory: The ram skull he has on his head seems to be sentient, unsurprisingly. Being a skull, however, it just stares at things.
- Flight: Even when he's supposedly on the ground, he isn't going to fall down that deep pit if you manage to get him in there.
- For Massive Damage: You'll be lucky to get him down to half HP before he leaves if you don't invoke this yourself.
- Ramming into him while transformed into an Action Bomb by the Bombinomicon stuns Merasmus. While stunned, everything that hits him is a crit.
- He's also fully crit-vulnerable while raining bombs on the control point, though approaching him while he's doing this is obviously a very bad idea.
- Other than dropped crit-pumpkins or Kritzkrieg-boosted players, only Snipers using the Huntsman are able to do constant crit-damage with headshots. Notably, Merasmus is the only boss vulnerable to this. This is the reason people agree that a Huntsman Sniper-rush is the best way to tackle Merasmus: he takes a thousand or so damage per every headshot/stun-crit with a fully-drawn arrow.
- Sentries are a good way to rack up damage as always. Just make sure you use the Wrangler with it and sit in a place where you're less likely to be killed, otherwise you will get a LOT of flak from the other players. Don't be afraid to give the other team permission to destroy your Sentry should you somehow die anyway and leave it to its own devices.
- The Genie Knows Jack Nicholson / Anachronism Stew: Merasmus makes reference to Harry Potter despite the books not even been written yet in Team Fortress' 1968-1972 setting, or for that matter, its future author being old enough to write. He also mentions Ticketmaster and the Internet in other lines. Perhaps chalk this up to either A Wizard Did It, or Rule of Funny.
- "Get Back Here!" Boss: Like MONOCULUS!, he can teleport around the map. In Merasmus' case, it happens after recovering from stun and when using the aforementioned Prop Hunt trick.
- Inept Mage: Downplayed. He's a competent wizard, but not a stellar one, and his design of the Wheel of Fate is dubious at best.
- Less and less downplayed as time went on. In "Blood Money" he was unable to escape the Yakuza, then in "Gargoyles & Gravel" he ends up in debt with the Russian mafia instead (and is revealed to be living at a YMCA in the coinciding update), and finally after the events of "Ring of Fired" he was detained by ordinary police and currently being held in an ordinary penitentiary.
- I Shall Taunt You: He'll taunt you mercilessly while hiding.
- Kill It with Fire: His most common attack during his boss fight, he casts a spell that not only sends everyone around him flying, but lights them on fire.
- One of the Wheel of Fate cards can spontaneously immolate everyone on the map!
- Large Ham: That sounds almost like Vincent Price.
- Large Ham Announcer: For the 2014 Halloween Map.
- Mad Bomber: Thanks to the Bombinomicon's magic, he has as many bombs as he wants. He uses this to devastating effect in the boss fight, having the book spew bombs all over and around the control point; it's very common to see several players die to this at once.
- He can also randomly roll a bomb at you while in his regular attack phase. It's rarer and much easier to avoid, but he may surprise you with it.
- Magic Misfire: Some of the Wheel of Fate consequences he's trying to curse the players with are actually entirely beneficial.Magic! It is not... an exact science.
- Magic Staff: His weapon of choice when not using the Bombinomicon, both for spellcasting and simple bludgeoning.
- Meaningful Name: His name resembles "marasmus", meaning severe emaciation due to starving, and he is indeed quite skinny.
- Monster Roommate: To the Soldier of all people, for a while. (Though, given the Soldier's personality, it's not clear which one is more monstrous.)
- And as of the official comics, he's somehow managed to end up roommate with Tom Jones. The Soldier makes quick work of him.
- Off with His Head!: A killing blow achieved with a staff whack will decapitate the victim.
- Palette Swap: He's a sized-up reskin of the Sniper (though he has the Heavy's animations if the dance card is selected).
- Irony: The Sniper is the best class to use against him, particularly if he has the Huntsman.
- Playing with Fire: One of his favorite afflictions to give to the combatants."Fire! You're all on fire!
- Punched Across the Room: He's no Horsemann in terms of damage, but one swing from his staff can send you pretty far.
- Running Gag: Being mistaken for a woman.
- Scream Fortress 2014 and 2015 both have him borrowing money from foreign crime organizations for some "eldritch" reason; 2014 has him borrowing money from the Yakuza to build an amusement park for Bonzo, "the evil Sumerian Circus God", and 2015 sees him borrowing from the Russian Mafia to buy little gargoyles that collect souls.
- When Merasmus casts the dance curse, he gives a shout out to Thriller, which is fitting since his voice is modelled after Vincent Price.
- His lines, "It is the crit-boostening!", "The hide-ening!", "Plague of head biggening!", and "It is the bloodening!" are references to the Quickening from Highlander.
- "Everything is coming up Merasmus!" is a references to "Everything's Coming Up Roses" from Gypsy: A Musical Fable. Alternately, it may be a reference to "Everything's coming up Milhouse!" from TheSimpsons, where the quote is sometimes mis-attributed to.
- A running gag is his hatred of/desire to prove himself a better wizard than Gandalf and Harry Potter.
- Sickly Green Glow: His magic.
- Sound Effect Bleep: Scream Fortress 2015 features a couple of his lines getting bleeped:Merasmus: "Either you kill my past self and I get my soul, or my past self kills you, and I get yours!" [laughs] "I don't [BLEEP] care! I'm all about souls tonight!"
- Tactical Suicide Boss: Adding ÜberCharges (and other beneficial effects) to the Wheel of Fate doesn't seem like such a good idea in hindsight.
- Subverted during the actual fight however, as this form of ÜberCharge immediately fizzles out if he spawns during it. The Wheel of Fate Crits aren't subject to this, though their effect at the start of the fight is negligible.
- He also insists on bombing everything with a spellbook that hates him, and will blow him up whenever it can.
- Tarot Motifs: He has a custom-made deck of tarot cards for use on the Lakeside event map. A random one is chosen every time the control point changes teams, each with a different effect including Gravity Screws, Super Speed, all players suddenly dancing on the control point, the aforementioned Jarate rain, and so on.
- Tattooed Crook: As seen in "Grave Matters".
- Teleport Spam: Will do this whenever recovering from stun or going to hide.
- The Battle Didn't Count: One of his death quotes is him groaning that you won, then he'll quickly say it was a tie.
- Actually played straight since he does indeed come back, possibly even in the same round.
- As it turns out, he's right; he's back in solid form as of "Ring of Fired" and is celebrity Tom Jones' roommate.
- Third-Person Person
- Time Abyss:Merasmus: I was born before time, dark larvae from the putrid womb of the ancient ones!
- Later Subverted; he's only 6,000 years old.
- Timed Mission: Like MONOCULUS!, he only sticks around for 90 seconds.
- Total Party Kill: His penchant for area-of-effect attacks can cause this if the players are particularly unlucky.
- As a sidenote, it's possible to have this done to the entire enemy team during regular gameplay if you're an Engineer; just build a Sentry near the point and wait for Merasmus to pick the Dance Party card from the Wheel of Fate. Anything that isn't the same color as the Sentry will be immediately gunned down while stuck in their dance poses. Even a Mini Sentry can accomplish this before the dance ends.
- Trrrilling Rrrs: He trills the "r" in his name a lot in the 2014 Halloween event.
- Two-Faced Aside: He has a few lines, mostly to the Soldier."Merasmus arrives on a tide of blood! Oh, hello Soldier."
- Unexplained Recovery: In "Ring of Fired", about 10 months after we last heard from him, we see he got his physical body back somehow and became Tom Jones' roommate.
- Verbal Tic: If you mention one of his possessions, he'll reflexively tell you to GAZE NOT UPON IT!!
- He's also fond of DOOM! and FOOLS!, with him admitting he's not even sure why he calls people fools half the time.
- Virgin Power/Blood Magic: The comic "Blood Money" reveals that Merasmus is a 6,000 year old virgin, and uses his own blood for sacrifices.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With the Soldier, possibly. A few of his punchlines indicate that he might not hate the Soldier quite so much as he claims.
Merasmus: I die! Soldier! You were the wooorst rooommaaate!
- Doesn't stop Merasmus from raging at him when he dies though.
- Voluntary Shapeshifter: The reason one of his two "Get Back Here!" Boss tactics is such a pain.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: He sounds notably more unhinged when he pulls out the Bombinomicon for the bomb rain attack.Merasmus: MAGIC, EVERYONE! MAGIC!
- You Fool!
- Yubitsume: In the comic "Blood Money," Merasmus' right pinky finger is noticeably shorter and bandaged up, after racking up a debt of $12,000 to the Yakuza. It's implied he did this to show them his respect.
"Hey, buddy! You look like you could use a bomb for a head. Pow, zoop! Off I go."
The Bombinomicon provides examples of:
- Action Bomb: See Why Am I Ticking? below.
- Affably Evil: He's so friendly that you just can't help but like him, despite working for Merasmus in his first appearance, and being the Devil in his second.
- The Casanova: Claims to know how to attract the ladies and briefly mentions seeing a cookbook.
- Catch Phrase: Several:
- "Hey, buddy!"
- "Pow, zoop!"
- "It's good stuff."
- The Dog Bites Back: Apparently he doesn't like his owner. He'll choose two players to turn into bombs and instruct them to run at Merasmus.Merasmus: AH! Who told you to do that!?
- Face of a Thug/Vocal Dissonance: This scary old tome with red eyes and sharp, bloodstained teeth is a trickster and sounds like a fast-talking Italian dealer.
- Flight: The Bombinomicon appears to be able to levitate if there's a player underneath him with a bomb head.
- Friendly Enemy: Despite (mostly) serving Merasmus, he's quite friendly to the players, and when you make it to hell in the 2013 event, he's genuinely glad to see you.
- Lovable Traitor
- Manipulative Bastard: He is able to convince the young Demoman to read his pages.
- Motor Mouth
- Portmanteau: "Bomb" and "Necronomicon".
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Though he seems pretty amicable. See Face of a Thug, above.
- Reliable Traitor: He dislikes Merasmus and will help you from time to time by giving you a bomb head.Bombinomicon: I hate that wizard! You should go blow him up.
- Satan: Apparently he got put as the Devil while we weren't looking. He's amicable, at the very least.Hey it's me, the Bombinomicon! Bad news, you're in hell. Good news, I'm the devil!
- Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Pow, zoop!
- Sickly Green Glow: His bombs glow green, and when he's hovering above a bomb-headed player, the space between him and the bomb is green.
- Throw Down the Bomblet: As long as it involves bombs, he'll be happy to attack anyone.
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: One that contains "over 400 pages of spells, enchantments, recipes and anecdotes about blowing things up", and two of those spells see use when Merasmus uses the Bombinomicon to rain bombs on the mercenaries and when the Bombinomicon turns a player's head into a bomb.
- The Trickster
- Verbal Tic: Hey buddy! Pow, zoop!
- Wild Card: He will happily tell you to run at Merasmus when you have a bomb head, yet he'll just as gleefully turn the control point into a blasting zone at Merasmus' command.
- Why Am I Ticking?: The Bombinomicon can turn you, specifically your head, into a bomb. This forces you into the humiliation pose (though with a speed boost) in which you can only run around helpless. The goal is to run into Merasmus with it; a successful hit will not only stun him, but also give you temporary Crits and Uber so you don't get hurt from the explosion. Failure to hit him means... well, you get hurt from it, which will take a huge chunk out of your HP if not outright kill you.Bombinomicon: Giving you a bomb head. Run at the wizard!
- Stop Helping Me!: Sometimes you'll have the misfortune of getting a bomb head right before Merasmus decides to play Prop Hunt. All you can do in this case is hope that another player reveals him fast enough, because running into props with the bomb head does nothing, even if it is the one Merasmus is hiding as. This has since been patched; running into a prop with a bomb head destroys the prop and removes the bomb, but doesn't grant you the UberKritzSpeed boost.
The Robots (Gray's Army)A seemingly-endless army of robots created by Gray Mann to reclaim the Mann Co. empire in the name of the Mann family. Each unit is made in the image of one of the mercenaries, some using default weapons, some using specialized loadouts, others still having a completely new bag of tricks. Strangely enough, they run on money.
The Gray Team provide examples of:
- Action Bomb: The Sentry Buster is a pressure mine on the legs of a Giant Demoman.
- Artificial Stupidity: In-universe. The robots are programmed to attack "all things Mann Co.", which includes an incredibly obvious decoy facility the Soldier made with some paint and an abandoned warehouse. They were also fooled by the Soldier's robot disguise, his Halloween costume. To clarify, they were repeatedly outsmarted by THE SOLDIER.
- Artificial Brilliance: In-universe, the Mecha Engineer was eventually made to correct that Artificial Stupidity. Out of universe they do some very crafty things; they avoid Snipers, strafe from side paths, prioritize killing Medics, and so on. They also follow pretty decent rules when it comes to detecting spies.
- Dumbass Has a Point: Even they find robots running on money to be a questionable idea.
- Boom, Headshot/Cranial Processing Unit: Upgrades for the Sniper's primary weapons, except Huntsman, take it to the extreme; headshots (lethal or otherwise) on robots will cause an explosion that damage nearby robots in addition to debuffing both the target and the bots hit by the explosion.
- Boss in Mook Clothing: Pretty much any giant bot, but especially the "Octo-Heavy", a Giant Heavy flanked by several Ubercharge Medics. A coordinated assault, including Shoot the Medic First, is required to bring this colossus down, especially if the wave spawns a Tank in the meantime. Worse, you will rarely fight just one Octo-Heavy in a single wave…
- Car Fu: Tanks will crush players that get sandwiched between it and a solid surface. Engineer buildings are also destroyed instantly when it runs over them.
- Cyber Cyclops: The robots based off of the Demoman have one eye in the center of their head.
- Damage-Sponge Boss: Tanks. They just slowly follow a preset path, but they have a hell of a lot of health, if they make it to the hole you lose, and the other robots can use it as a distraction to attack you or advance their own bomb.
- The Mecha Update introduced special boss robots that boast more health than the tanks, and regenerate health quite quickly, to the point where they're, for the most part, the only thing in the wave that has to be defeated. Captain Punch is the most extreme of the bunch, considering he boasts about 60,000 HP, along with wielding the Fists of Steel.
- Demonic Spider: The Engineer Robot is intended to be this, for several reasons: he spawns at a random location on the map, the teleporters he builds act as a new spawn point for the robots, and he can instantly construct Level 3 Sentries. He's even smart enough to move said Sentry up to keep the players pushed back.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: …and yet he's still edged out on the list of threats by giant robots with Uber Medics. Sure, it's intimidating when an entire pack of robots pops into existence instantly, but the teleporters don't actually spawn robots any faster than normal. And his Level 3 Sentries, because they're defensive weapons in an offensive team, simply won't be killing that many human players beyond the occasional greedy Scout.
- Diesel Punk: The way they shake as their engines rev give this impression.
- Elite Mook: Two kinds: Robots that use unlock weapons, and Giant Mooks with halved speed, but a new feature to enhance their respective class' strength.
- Evil Knockoff: Well the RED and BLU teams aren't saints, but...
- Fisticuffs Boss: The Steel Gauntlets, single units with increased resistance to ranged damage thanks to their Fists of Steel.
- Glass Cannon: In later waves, both the players and the robots become this. Players are easily capable of taking out groups of robots en masse, but all it takes is one robot to get a lucky shot to kill even an overhealed Heavy.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: A quick Engineer can grab their sentry as the Sentry Buster arms itself, saving the sentry while dooming the Buster to a pointless death. It's even an achievement.
- The Giant Charged Soldier is perhaps the only Giant that is easily countered single handedly by a single player. Its low rate of fire and slow projectile speed means that a Heavy with the Deflector upgrade can render the poor bastard completely ineffectual. The infinite crits alongside all of it means a Pyro can not only do this, but also turn its own rockets against the horde, easily oneshotting any Medics the giant has healing it.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: None of the bots need to pick up ammo (despite common rumor, most of them do need to reload).
- Particularly notable are the Giants. Giant Charged Soldiers and Rapid Fire Demos reload so fast that it often looks like they aren't reloading at all, and Rapid Fire Soldiers play this trope brutally straight.
- I Shall Taunt You: Like bots outside Mann vs. Machine mode, enemies will sometimes taunt after killing a player.
- One-Hit Kill: Provided they have the right weapon, some of them can even taunt-kill!
- King Mook: Three of the missions included with the Mecha-Update end with facing giant robots, including Captain Punch (Steel Fist Heavy), Major Bomber (Grenade Launcher Demoman), and Sergeant Crits (Rocket Launcher Soldier). All of them have ludicrous damage boosts (from guaranteed crits and/or an innate damage boost), as much health as the most durable tank which constantly regenerates, an increased ammo clip, nearly immune to knockback, and greatly increased rate of fire and reloading. However, they fight alone except for sniper and spy support bots, and most of them are even slower than normal giants.
- The Two Cities update adds Sir Nukesalot to the list, and unlike the above three, he operates differently in that he has an upgraded Loose Cannon that fires cannonballs with dramatically increased blast radiuses and damage bonuses, though thankfully he can only fire one shot at a time before having to reload.
- Laser Sight: Sniperbots have a visible laser beam, instead of just a dot light normal Snipers. Given that they go for rapid bodyshots, this is a necessity to help avoid them or take them out.
- Lethal Joke Character: The Heavy Mittens. They are incapable of doing damage directly, but can pin you in place so the other robots can run past or finish you off.
- Don't forget that Criticals don't affect Sentry Guns, so if you're an Engineer and you're using the wrangler… yeah.
- Lethal Joke Item: Many 'useless' or 'underpowered' weapons become very powerful in this game mode. Of particular note is the Third Degree, a Fire Axe that deals damage to anyone linked by a Medic's healing beam. A single critical hit on the giant robot or ONE of its Medics will instantly kill ALL of the Medics. Also, the usually ignored Beggar's Bazooka becomes very powerful after a few rounds, as it can rapidly fire a bunch of rockets in a wide radius.
- At the same time, some otherwise popular weapons are a lot less useful in this mode.
- Lightning Bruiser:
- Sentry Busters. They move at 187% speed, have 2500 health, and can potentially win the game for the robots by blowing the everloving shit out of your Sentry and everyone else within a three-teleporter radius.
- Super Scouts move at TWICE the speed (267%) of a regular Scout and do not suffer speed loss while holding the bomb, so they can destroy you if the players don't have some W+M2 Pyros, a Natascha Heavy, or any other player who can slow bots down.
- Macross Missile Massacre: Rapid Fire Soldiers, described as wielding the "machine gun of rocket launchers."
- Regular Soldier Robots spawn in big enough groups to cause these on arrival, and it is nothing short of terrifying.
- A fully upgraded Beggar's Bazooka can unleash this on them. Unsurprisingly it's why the BB is considered one of the better weapons to use against them.
- Man Versus Machine: Add another "n" in the first word to get the name of the update they were introduced in.
- Mecha-Mooks: Well, obviously. They're also loyal to Gray, who used a significant portion of their processing power for a hailing function.
- Mighty Glacier: Any giant robot tends to be beefy and pack a punch, but winds up being very slow. That is, if it's not a giant Scout (especially the Super Scouts), in which case...
- Money Spider:
Miss Pauling: For reasons I can't comprehend or explain, the robots run on piles of money. Destroy them and whatever falls out is yours.
- They literally run on money. Lampshaded by Miss Pauling, to justify why the Mercs are now fighting giant robots: Money, Dear Boy.
- Gray Mann states in "Death of a Salesbot" that because of this stint, he is now actually going bankrupt while Mann Co is posting record profits, considering that whatever wasn't burnt by the robots went straight into Mann Co's pockets (the Mercs almost instantly turn the money in to buy new upgrades), doing the exact opposite of what he intended. This later prompted him to use alternate methods to gain control of Mann Co.
- Mook Chivalry: Ha ha, you wish. The melee bots will gleefully swarm you like locusts, and on higher difficulties the ranged bots will focus their fire on a single target - this can be especially painful when it's a gang of Soldierbots or Demobots (or both). Suddenly those Resistance upgrades you could safely ignore on easier difficulties become a necessity.
- No Water Proofing In The Future: Robots can be slowed down with upgraded Jarate and Mad Milk.
- One-Wheeled Wonder: Robot Medics move with a single wheel compared to the other robots' two legs. It still uses the same hitboxes as a regular Medic with legs.
- Only Sane Man: The Mecha-Engineer is the only robot that wasn't fooled by the Soldier's Paper-Thin Disguise.
- The Scout Robot in "Death of a Sales-Bot" that tells Gray he should build robots that don't run on money.
- Point Defenseless: Averted. Deflector Heavies will reliably shoot down any projectile thrown in their direction.
- Player Heavies can do the same thing with a minigun upgrade.
- Professional Butt-Kisser: All of them, save the Engineer, as Gray devoted a significant amount of their processing power to make them absolutely loyal to him. This design choice also made most of them (again, save for their Engineer) even dumber than the Soldier.
- Robot Me: All of them (excluding the Sentry Buster) are built to resemble each member of the Mercs. The Spies, however, are able to disguise themselves as flesh and blood.
- Robot War: Gray uses them to wage one against Mann Co., with the human Mercs fighting them off constantly.
- Rogue Protagonist: Before the Mecha Update, (human model) Engineers sometimes showed up on the robot team due to glitches. And it's easy to see why they were left out before Valve could iron the Mecha Engineer's coding out.
- Spy Bot: About as literal as it gets. The Announcer calls the trope out by name.
- Status Buff: If the bomb carrier isn't destroyed after a while, it'll receive buffs in stages which stack, marked by a graphic on the bottom of the HUD. First stage is a defensive buff that is shared with nearby robots, second stage is health regeneration, and the final stage is critical hits all the time.
- Stone Wall:
- Tanks. They can't even attack players (except in rare exceptions noted above), but they more than make up for it in HP.
- Giant Medics. They have nearly as much health as giant Heavies and use a Quick-Fix with a ridiculously powerful heal ratenote , so about 1/5 of the time they'll be effectively immortal and recover all previous damage.
- Generic Giant Soldiers. They have the same rocket launcher as every other soldier, half the speed, and much higher health. That's it, they aren't any more dangerous than a single normal soldier robot.
- Giant Demoknights and Pyros, unless you're stupid enough to walk right up to them, are comically inept, being half the speed of their regular counterparts and armed with short-range weapons only good for close quarters, as well as partially locked into a straight course for the bomb hatch. Just stay out of range and shoot them lots.
- Giant Scouts are fast, durable, and can rush the bomb to the hatch very rapidly, but slow them down and they can't really fight back much.
- And then there's Captain Punch. 60,000 HP, heals 250 every second, resists 40% of all ranged damage, and is armed with a pair of fists. Anyone attempting to exploit his weakness to melee damage has to contend with his powerful melee attacks, while everyone else just has to walk casually in the opposite direction to avoid him.
- Zerg Rush: Seems to be the main tactic of the army. This is especially true of Scoutbot waves.
- Zombie Apocalypse: The robots get reskinned into flesh-and-bone zombies for Halloween.
The Skeleton ArmyAn army of Skeletons collectively act as the closest thing to the boss of the fifth Scream Fortress event. After the Mann Brothers' mining operations disturbed an Indian Burial Ground, the vengeful spirits may rise from their graves to assault the players, sometimes led by a giant Skeleton King. In addition, they can also be employed by a player who obtained the spell to summon them.
- Asteroids Monster: Kill a regular skeleton, and he drops four skulls that each grow into mini-skeletons.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Denotes which team they'll chase after, with green skeletons attacking both teams.
- Dem Bones: The entire lot of them.
- The Dreaded: The Mann brothers will express fright when the Skeleton King arrives:Redmond: The Skeleton King! Oh... gravelpits, you are in for it now!
Blutarch: Run! It's the Skeleton King!
- Indian Burial Ground: Lampshaded by Redmond in Grave Matters.Redmond: Why would anyone dig through an Indian burial ground to reach Hell? Just dig somewhere else!
- King Mook: The Skeleton King acts as their leader, for the most part.
- Mighty Glacier: The Skeleton King does a good bit of damage, but almost every class can outrun him.
- Mini Mook: Small, big-headed skeletons sometimes appear alongside their normal counterparts; see Asteroids Monster above.
- The Undead: The deceased occupants of the Indian Burial Ground that decide to do something about your occupation.
- Zerg Rush: They're understandably more brittle than Gray's robot army, so sheer number is their only real advantage.
Mayor Mike is a minor character from the comics. He's the mayor of Teufort, but surprisingly he knows very little about what Mayors are allowed to do, resulting in him legally screwing things up for a lot of people. He's also quite Dangerously Genre Savvy, almost getting half the Mercs executed until Miss Pauling comes to the rescue.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Despite being very Genre Savvy, it's later revealed that he (and almost everyone else in Teufort) is completely insane due to the contaminated water supply.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: When he catches Spy and Scout in a safe, he immediately knows that if guards attack, Spy will kill them. So instead, he locks Scout and Spy in Scout's own safe.
- Faux Affably Evil: He's constantly smiling, very polite, insists the Mercs call him 'Mike' instead of 'Mister Mayor', and sentenced four of them to be executed. It may or may not be subverted with the later revelation that he's got a particularly brain-scrambling case of lead poisoning. He may not quite be faking an affable attitude as much as not being aware he's not supposed to do that.
- Hanging Mayor:Mayor Mike: I pronounce this trial over and both of you guilty!
Defense Lawyer: Your honor, the defense requests that we have the trial first.
- Mayor Evil: Downplayed. He simply seems to believe the Mayor can do anything he wants, including sentencing people to death.
- Psychotic Smirk: Particularly during the trial.
- Ultimate Authority Mayor: Subverted. A book on what a Mayor's capacities are is found out to be more of a pamphlet, and he was more or less accidentally riding on the townspeople's ignorance on what a mayor can actually do.
- Windmill Crusader: Extremely sheltered and brain-damaged as he is, Mike doesn't seem to trust anything outside of Teufort, particularly the mercenaries (who, up until he antagonized them, posed very little threat). When he finally discovers the joys of reading at the local library, he cheerfully orders all books not about Teufort to be immediately burned.note