Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Team Fortress Classic

Go To

Team Fortress Classic is a 1999 multiplayer First-Person Shooter by Valve Software. It's an official, improved port of the original Quake mod, dubbed Team Fortress. It was released to ease the wait between it and Team Fortress 2, its soon-to-be-released sequel (which, considering Valve Time, naturally was released eight years later), and was often packaged with Half-Life, which it is a modification of. It was also free on the disc for anyone who owned the original WON version of Half-Life.

Unlike its cartoonier sequel, Team Fortress Classic cribbed the bulk of its visuals directly from Half-Life, and had no backstory at all. Two teams, Red and Blue, either try to steal each others' flags, assassinate a scared-looking fellow, or impede their progress through a desert or Italian town. No corporation civil wars, no Multinational Team of misfits ... just nails and bullets and grenades.


There are three basic gameplay types: Control Point, Capture the Flag, and Assassination/Escort

  • The Control Point gametype works on the premise of seizing territory to shift the focus of battle. Both teams compete for control points—platforms with a team logo and/or team-colored flag in the center — which must be captured by standing on them or with a flag. The team who forces their enemies into submission and captures all the points wins. In most control point maps, the points need to be captured in a linear fashion, but some allow a more open-ended approach.
  • In Capture the Flag, the goal for both teams is to capture the enemy's flag until the point limit is reached or the time-limit expires while preventing their enemy from achieving the same.
    • Variants include Reverse Capture the Flag maps, which involve taking a flag from your base and pushing it onto the enemy's capture point within the enemy base while attempting to prevent the enemy from achieving the same and Football Capture the Flag features a common flag, or in most cases ball, that has to be pushed onto an enemy capture point.
  • In Assassination/Escort, there is a unique three team style gameplay. The first team is typically the VIP. The second team is a series of Bodyguards that protect the VIP. The third team are the Assassins who attempt to eliminate the VIP. Scoring is based on if the Assassins eliminate the VIP or if the VIP escapes. This is the only official gameplay mode where the 10th class, the Civilian, is used.

It was later inducted into the canon of Team Fortress 2, placing the Classic teams between TF2's teams and the original 1850's teams, as Mann. Co's 1930s paramilitary fighting force.

Tropes exemplified:

  • Abandoned Laboratory: Due to it being a mod of Half-Life, most maps like destroy_1 and Shutdown look as inhabited as the Black Mesa complex.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Rock2's underground's passage counts as this.
  • Adjustable Censorship: As with other GoldSRC games, there was an option to change the blood into sweat and remove gibbing and death animations.
  • American Accents: Every class uses the same lines spoken with a slight New York dialect.
  • Anachronism Stew: A given due to the fact that neither the base game itself nor any add-on made for it were made with the idea that it took place in the 1930s.
  • Announcer Chatter: A formerly common server-side mod would make the game announce a "KILLING SPREE!!!", a "M-m-m-m-monster kill!!!", a "Headshot!", or a "HUMILIATION!!!" (knife, crowbar, med-kit, or wrench kill), taken from Quake and Unreal Tournament.
  • Ascended Glitch: Players love to Bunnyhop, strafe jump, and Rocket Jump, all of which were regarded to be glitches in the original Team Fortress and its parent game, Quake I.
    • The Spy class originated from a glitch in the original Team Fortress that had players sometimes spawn with the wrong team colors.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Spy's tranquilizer gun makes backstabbing players much, much easier, but the dart is so slow and it takes so long to fire that most Spies don't use it much, as it automatically removes your disguise.
  • Back Stab: The Spy's knife is an instant kill, but only if you hit the opponent in the back.
  • Beating A Dead Player: Subverted because it's a Spy feigning death.
  • The Big Guy: The Heavy Weapons Guy (HW Guy). Even though he's the same height as the other models, he's visibly ripped as much as 90s graphics will allow.
  • BFG: The Heavy's Assault Cannon, the Medic's Super Nailgun, the Soldier's Rocket Launcher, and the Pyro's Napalm Cannon.
  • Blown Across the Room: Can be useful for teammates if asked to be blown across the map by your weapons.
  • Boom, Headshot!: The original Team Fortress was the Ur-Example for FPSs and it is implemented here as well.
  • Bottomless Magazines: The only weapons that need reloading are the shotguns, the rocket launcher, and the grenade/pipe launcher.
  • Bulletproof Vest: In the final version of the game, all of the classes wear thick, black, ballistic vests, with the exception of the Civilian and the Scout.
  • Butt-Monkey/Chew Toy: The Civilian. He wields a short range umbrella for a weapon, moves slowly, and has very little health. He was often ridiculed in the fanbase.
  • Caltrops: Part of the Scout's arsenal, cuts movement in half and does continual damage, akin to being set on fire or poisoned.
  • Capture the Flag: The most popular gameplay mode.
  • Charged Attack: The Sniper Rifle does this. Hold it down long enough, and a simple body shot will suffice to One-Hit Kill targets.
  • Cherry Tapping: On some servers, killing someone with a melee weapon would play the Quake III: Arena humiliation sound clip.
    • Managing to kill someone with the Nailgun. Doing it with the Super Nailgun is a bit easier, but still quite difficult.
    • The Tranquilizer Gun is one of the weakest guns in the game. Managing to kill someone with it would end with the player never living it down for the rest of the match.
  • Classic Video Game "Screw You"s:
    • Bottomless Pits: Many maps.
    • Escort Mission: Protecting the Civilian.
      • Notably, one of you actually has to play as the Civilian, a tenth class that is armed with nothing but an umbrella and has really low health.
    • One-Hit Kill: Several, including a fully-charged sniper rifle headshot, a knife backstab, and the EMP grenades.
    • Timed Mission
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer
  • Combat and Support
  • Combat Medic: Far more so than his distant German cousin. The Medic, while not able to heal from a distance, had a shotgun, a BFG Nailgun far, far superior to its normal counterpart, mobility comparable to that of the Scout's (including the ability to conc-jump), and worst of all, the ability to hit enemies with an infection attack. It's like being on fire, except there's higher DPS, it spreads to your teammates, and it can never, ever be put out, except by an allied Medic. (Or death.) There was even a popular binded message for this: "Infected? Go to Resupply and tell your friends!".
  • Construct Additional Pylons: The more Dispensers around Engineers, the faster they get metal to build with.
  • Crowbar Combatant: The default melee weapon unless the class gets something more specialized. No actual justification for why a bunch of highly specialized mercenaries all use a crowbar for their melee weapon of choice.
  • Damage Over Time: The hallmark ability of the Pyro class is the ability to set opponents on fire with their flamethrower. The Medic's infect is infamous due to the fact that only death or another medic stops it.
  • Death Is Not Permanent: Unlike in Counter-Strike, you respawn immediately after you die.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The game in general, especially mastering grenades - most projectiles are easily dodge-able or can be sidestepped by flinging a grenade at the player. TF2 players will be absolutely wrecked by the lack of balance and grenades, but mastering them ensures you'll be a competent team player.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: The Heavy while spinning his barrels and the Sniper with his rifle charged.
  • Drop-In-Drop-Out Multiplayer: Players can normally come and go as they please. Some servers even replace absent human players with bots.
  • Electro Magnetic Pulse: The secondary grenades of the Engineer, which can set a detpack's timer to one, destroy a player's ammo (which can range from doing minor damage to a one-hit kill depending on the class), and can easily obliterate an enemy engineer's buildings.
  • First-Person Ghost
  • Friendly Fireproof: Depends on the server.
  • Game Mod: The game is one to Half-Life and the sequel to the original Quake mod. Team Fortress Classic later received its own Game Mod in the form of Neo TF, a side-server plug-in mod that takes the insanity Up to Eleven by giving all classes new abilities.note 
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The Pyro is canonically female, but due to that being established years after the game's release, her in-game voice is the same masculine voice the other classes have.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: The Pyro's and Medic's updated models (the previous ones had the pyro with a hood and visor, while the medic simply had a surgical mask).
  • Heroic Mime: Except for "MEDIC" or "EXCUSE ME! I AM IN NEED OF MEDICAL ATTENTION!", the characters are mostly silent.
  • Homage: The very popular level "Rock2" was based on the movie The Rock. The bases were prisons, and capturing the "flag" involved taking the gas to a dispersal room and setting it off (then frantically running to a safe room before poison gas killed everyone on the map.
  • Hit Points
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Not as much as most First Person Shooters, but still an example. The Soldier, for example, carries a Rocket Launcher, two different shotguns, frag grenades, nail grenades, tons of ammo for all the above, and a crowbar. Even the fast and light Scout carries up to three Concussion Frags, three canisters of Caltrops, a nailgun, a small shotgun, and a crowbar. Averted only by the Civilian.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Pyro, who has a bit more fire to play with compared to her Team Fortress 2 counterpart. The flamethrower behaves differently than Team Fortress 2 flamethrowers, as the fire blast doesn't "turn" as fast, and is pathetically weak. The Napalm Cannon is an AoE-based Flare Gun/Rocket Launcher combo that has more ammo that launches specialised rockets that are much weaker but set enemies on fire and have a larger explosion radius, as well as completely bypassing armor on direct hit.
  • Idle Animation: The player’s hands will fiddle with the Incendiary Cannon, Flamethrower, or Medkit if held for too long (coincidentally these are also the only three held weapons with damage-over-time)
  • Infinite Flashlight: Still in the code. Can be utilized by hitting the ~ key and typing: bind <key> "impulse 100". Not much use, as all maps, even those at night, are well lit.
  • Interface Screw: Being set on fire will have the 2d sprite flames cover your screen if you are moving slowly or standing still.
    • A spy's gas grenade can make you see and hear things that aren't there, such as grenades or bullet marks on the walls.
    • Getting tranquilized dims the screen.
  • Kill Streak: Some servers will use the Unreal Tournament's kill streak sounds.
  • Laser Sight: The Sniper Rifle uses this, in place of crosshairs. Comes in the form of Crosshair Aware—if one dances over your vision, you will explode into a pile of giblets, unless you move. Fast. Just like in Team Fortress 2 (and real life), the laser itself is invisible—all that can be seen is the dot of light on walls, or unfortunate teammates.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Some server mods change it so that not only are all the gibs skulls, but you explode into a shower of them upon the slightest provocation when dying.
  • Made of Explodium: The Heavy and Demoman have a MIRV grenade. It's a grenade that first causes a massive explosion, then splits into normal grenades.
  • Mistaken for Spies: Even more so than in TF2 because the spy's disguise appears the same for all teams.
  • More Dakka: The Heavy's minigun of course. Also, the Medic's Super Nailgun, which is basically a Tommy Gun with Bottomless Magazines. That shoots nails.
  • Nail 'Em: The Scout, Sniper and Spy each have Nailguns, which aren't very powerful. The Medic has the Super Nailgun, which fires 2 nails at once, but deals more damage.
  • New Work, Recycled Graphics: The engine and mechanics, plus the majority of the sounds, weapon models, animations, objects, and textures, are taken directly from Half-Life. The Crowbar is the same, the Medkit is a standard Medkit pickup without a string, the Knife is a remodel of the one from Opposing Force, the Double-Barrel Shotgun is the SPAS-12, the Rocket Launcher and Incendiary Cannon are just the RPG, the Flamethrower is a slightly modified Gluon Gun, the Tranquilizer Gun was a cut weapon from the original Half-Life, and the Hand Grenade reuses the standard Grenade model. Pretty much all the other weapons and assets, though, are entirely original.
  • Off-Model: The HEV Suit arms don't fit any of the class models, and the first-person weapon models have many inconsistencies with the third-person ones. The Sniper Rifle and Auto Rifle also share the same model, as do the Rocket Launcher and Incendiary Cannon.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Civilian's only facial expression. Entirely justified by his situation.
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank
  • Percussive Maintenance: The Engineer fixes and upgrades his equipment by smashing it repeatedly with his wrench.
  • Playing Possum: One of the Spy's abilities. It's pretty much useless, since practically everyone knows about it and will just stand on top of the fake corpse and melee them to death, and it doesn't even protect you from damage.
  • Ranged Emergency Weapon: The Engineer's railgun. Terrible damage output and rate of fire, but it has a unique ammo supply and extreme accuracy. There's also the Sniper's secondary fire, which uses up precious sniper ammo and is only meant to damage an ambusher while getting away.
  • Ray Gun: The Railgun, again.
  • Real Is Brown: Downplayed. While the game does reuse the visuals from Half-Life, which mostly played this trope straight, it does often feature maps with much more bright colours and more vibrant outdoor locations.
  • Recursive Ammo: The MIRV grenade again.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Pyro's visor is red, regardless of team colour. Shortly following seeing it, you are usually set on fire.
  • Respawn Point: Mainly in specific rooms or points, depending on the map.
  • Samus Is a Girl: In the Team Fortress 2 canon, the Classic Pyro is a middle-aged lady named Beatrice.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: The Shotgun, used as the Scout's main weapon and a backup for everyone except Sniper, Spy, Engineer and Civillian, and the Super Shotgun, the main weapon of the Medic and Engineer and the main sidearm for the Soldier, Heavy, and Spy. The Shotgun has a fast firing speed, decent damage, and a good amount of ammo, but most notable averts Short-Range Shotgun with its tight spread and lack of damage fall-off, making it very useful for taking shots at enemies at long range or fighting from a distance. The Super Shotgun, on the other hand, is very useful in mid-range combat due to its good damage, average capacity, and plentiful ammo. It doesn't lose damage over range either, but it has a wider spread than the Shotgun, and should mainly be used for close-to-medium-range encounters.
  • Shout-Out: Capturing the enemy's flag results in a Scare Chord from Star Wars.
    • Some maps have the logo of Black Mesa on walls and crates, and the map Hunted is a part of a level in the original Half-Life.
    • Rock 2's shower and nerve gas are a shout out to the The Rock.
  • Sniper Duel: A major problem with people who play Sniper is that they start focusing on gibbing each other to the exclusion of all else—such as, say, winning the mission. In the end, a lot of servers just limited how many people could play Sniper at one time, except for, of course, servers that hosted exclusive Sniper Duel maps.
  • Stock Control Settings: They can be changed.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Soldier rockets, grenades, Engineer buildings, the characters...
  • Suspiciously Cracked Wall: An easy sign of where to place a Detpack for a new entrance.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors
  • Taking You with Me: With the ablity to hold your grenades until detonation, it can and will happen.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: The Engineer's teleporter. Too bad it only teleports one way.
    • Tele-Frag: An Engineer's worst nightmare when trying to fix a teleporter. Enemy Spies can use the teleporter and telefrag the Engineer, who might be crouching over the exit. Of course, anyone who's experienced knows better than to stand on teleporter exits.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill
  • Trial by Friendly Fire: Spy-checking via attacking one's teammates is a good tactic to have, as long as the server has friendly fire off. And most did.
    • The Medic is especially useful for this when friendly fire is on: all he has to do is try to heal his teammates. If one of them becomes infected, start shooting.note  The result is the same, but without damaging teammates.
  • Unorthodox Reload: The Soldier's rocket launcher is the same single-shot launcher that Gordon Freeman uses, but with a four-rocket clip; Soldier just plays the reload animation four times, inexplicably stacking four rockets on top of each other. The Demoman's grenade launcher and pipebomb launcher also have magazines which are removed in the reload animation, but he invisibly loads one shot at a time while seemingly just staring at the magazine in his hand. When they're fully reloaded, he simply puts the magazine back.
  • Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: The Pyro is infamously underpowered. Her flamethrower deals average damage with horrible reach, and the lingering flames deal a whopping eight damage; most classes have 100 health. The Incendiary Cannon is like the Soldier's Rocket Launcher, but about 40% weaker. She's got average armor, decent speed, but most damningly doesn't have the Double Shotgun that so many other middle-of-the-road classes can fall back on.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: The Engineer's metal, required for construction and upgrading.