|Found On:||Ghost Fort, Carnival of Carnage (owner and announcer)|
Merasmus the Magician, or simply Merasmus (also referred to as wizard, magician, or "idiot in a dress") is an important character in the Team Fortress 2 Storyline. Merasmus has several appearances or references in the comics, hidden pages, and game maps. He has more roles in game play than any other non-player character.
In the Team Fortress 2 Storyline, Merasmus has a connection with Demoman in the origin of MONOCULUS; however, he most often appears as Soldier's long suffering former roommate. His appearances in comics or other media are usually related to releases of paranormal or haunted maps, with Soldier’s actions generally being the reason the mercenaries end up fighting there.
In game play, not only does Merasmus (stylized as MERASMUS!) make an appearance as the boss the players must fight in Ghost Fort, he is also the owner and host of the Carnival of Carnage, a summoner of both MONOCULUS in Eyeaduct and the Horseless Headless Horsemann in the Bumper Car games, and the keeper and wielder of Bombonomicon, which itself appears on multiple maps.
Not particularly a top tier wizard, the earliest available records of show Merasmus to be a brewer of potions for the Scottish Drug Company; an example being his "Wizard's Brew" Hat Tonic as advertised in the August 21, 1861, issue of The Teufort Bystander on display in the Coal Town Museum. He remained in Scotland until relocating to Badlands sometime between the late 1950s and mid-1960s.
In the Bombinomicon (comic), RED Demoman, then seven years old, discovered Merasmus' castle in the Highlands while seeking work. Merasmus hired Demoman to sweep the library of his castle, but told him not to look at a certain book. Ultimately, the Demoman lost his left eye when the Bombonomicon haunted it and Merasmus was forced to remove it. Years later, the magician's tumultuous relationship with the RED Soldier was revealed, and he summoned MONOCULUS (the haunted eye) for the RED team to fight.
During the events of Soldier Needs a Home, Merasmus kicked the Soldier out of his castle for being a nuisance. When he found later that the Soldier had trashed his home and evicted him, he took on a ghostly form and attacked the Soldier's team.
Following this eviction, Merasmus left Badlands to live in a city in another area of the U.S. Southwest, where he moved in with Tom Jones, who was later murdered by Soldier. After Merasmus called the police, Miss Pauling arrived and tricked him into checking Tom Jones' pulse, and thus Merasmus was believed to be responsible for the murder and arrested.
Merasmus was imprisoned; and while in prison he received several tattoos (one of them the Soldier's class emblem) and is permitted to wear a skull hat. While continuing his practice of brewing, he relayed to the other inmates the tale of Grave Matters.
In Blood Money, Merasmus borrowed $12,000 from the Japanese Mafia to construct a Carnival. However, he forgot to construct it over an ancient burial site, and so he invites the mercenaries to collect tickets for entry to the World's Largest Strongman Machine. While at the same time, the mercenaries constantly kill each other, creating an impromptu burial ground; thereby allowing Merasmus to summon Bonzo, the evil circus god of Sumeria.
Gargoyles and Gravel marks the second time (after Blood Money) that Merasmus ran into trouble without any help from Soldier. This time, it was the Russian mafia he owed money to, and he needed the merc's assistance to fill a gargoyle with souls. Heavy and Spy responded to his arrival with annoyance, but eventually the mercs (and Miss Pauling) decided to accept the wizard's challenge once again.
Appearances and references
- Game Maps/Events
- Coal Town and Ghost Town (newspaper advertisement in the museum)
- DeGroot Keep (the angered magician that sent the mercenaries “back in time”)
- Eyeaduct (the summoner of MONOCULUS!)
- Ghost Fort (the boss and wielder of Bombonomicon)
- Helltower (the source of Soldier’s legal powers when the latter advised Blutarch and Redmond Mann)
- Carnival of Carnage (owner, developer, host, mis-fortune teller machine, and WizardCon MCLVI sticker on suitcase).
- End of the Line event (announcer for spawns and pick ups of Quackston Hale “bonus ducks”)
- Other media
Merasmus will spawn on Ghost Fort's control point every few minutes when there are at least 10 players playing on the server. The players have 1 minute and 30 seconds to defeat him before he leaves. While he is alive, the point resets to neutral ownership and cannot be captured. Merasmus's health is displayed as a bar on the screen, under the time.
When Merasmus spawns, he pushes all nearby opponents away and destroys all stickybombs around him, also knocking back all stickybombs he comes in contact with. Merasmus has a wide variety of attacks, and can teleport throughout the map on random intervals. Merasmus can melee players with his staff, roll bombs at them, and perform a magic attack which sets selected targets on fire and launches them skyward. Merasmus can also hover over the control point and use the Bombinomicon to spread bombs a wide range around the control point. Whenever Merasmus is hovering in the air while performing this attack, all damage dealt to him will be critical hits. Merasmus uses this attack far less often than any of his other attacks.
Every time Merasmus teleports to another location on the map, the Bombinomicon will choose a few players and transform their heads into bombs. Players cannot attack after being turned into bombs and are stuck in their humiliation pose until the bomb detonates or they are killed, but their speed is also boosted. The screen and the Bombinomicon will instruct the player to find Merasmus and run into him. If the player reaches Merasmus with the bomb, it will stun him, stopping him in his tracks. The player who transported the bomb will become invulnerable, speed boosted, and crit boosted for a short time while getting tossed upward from the explosion. If the player fails to reach Merasmus in time, the bomb will detonate, damaging the player and surrounding members of the opposing team by 100 HP. If the player kills anyone, those show up on the killfeed and grant the player a point. At all times while stunned, all damage Merasmus takes will be critical hits.
At around 50% and less than 10% health, the boss health bar will turn green as Merasmus teleports away and disguises himself as a random prop, while other props are scattered about the map to throw players off. These props will bleed green liquid when attacked, distinguishing them from background elements. If an incorrect prop is destroyed, it will drop a large Halloween pumpkin, which any player can collect. If the correct prop is destroyed, Merasmus will reappear and may be stunned for a short period of time, with the player who destroyed the prop always given limited invulnerability, speed boost and crit boost. While disguised as a prop, Merasmus will slowly heal.
Upon Merasmus' defeat, he will disappear and be replaced by the Bombinomicon. It will remain on the field for a few seconds, and all players can use it to teleport to Skull Island. When the players reach the island, they can climb the hill and collect the Skull Island Topper in the cage. Entering the cage will transport players back to the main field. Defeating Merasmus for the first time will award the Necromannchievement Wizards Never Prosper, while collecting the Skull Island Topper will award A Lovely Vacation Spot.
As of the November 2, 2012 Patch, Merasmus' behavior has been altered. He became easier to defeat, with various classes better able to inflict damage upon him. However, he was given the ability to level up. Like with MONOCULUS, each time he is beaten, he grows stronger in the next appearance, with more health, faster health regeneration while hiding, and increased range to his fire magic. If the players don't kill Merasmus, his level returns to 1. The Skull Island Topper will track the highest level of Merasmus the wearer manages to defeat.
A simple strategy is to use the Sniper's Huntsman or Fortified Compound which will deal a total maximum of 1080 damage upon headshot to Merasmus while he is stunned or spreading bombs across the map. A fully charged Sniper Rifle will do 1350 damage with a fully charged headshot, but will take longer to charge than the Huntsman, making it inconvenient because of Merasmus's teleportation. The player will be safe from the bombs that Merasmus spreads if the player is far away from Merasmus while still being able to attack him with the Huntsman or any other Sniper Rifle.
- When Merasmus uses his long-distance attack to set nearby players on fire, the Pyro will take damage from the initial attack, but remain visually on fire for the duration of the afterburn. The afterburn deals no damage; however, the Pyro can be specially affected by weapons that will deal Critical hits and Mini-crits on burning players (such as the Sun-on-a-Stick, Detonator, or Axtinguisher) as if the Pyro was on fire.
- If Merasmus targets an ÜberCharged player to set on fire, the player will be ignited and use a "Fire!" voice response. The afterburn lasts as long as normal fire would when a Medic's beam is trained on the player and deals no damage.
- If Merasmus spawns after the round ends, the server will crash upon map change.
- Merasmus is the magician that the RED Soldier angered, causing both teams to be sent back in time to DeGroot Keep.
- Merasmus' model uses the Sniper's animations, though he uses the Heavy's when the dance card is selected.
- Marasmus is a medical condition characterized by emaciation and wasting, generally caused by malnutrition. The name of the disease in turn comes from the Greek word marasmos, meaning "decay". Zepheniah Mann stated in his will he contracted this disease while traveling to his new land in America.
- Merasmus' Prop spell is a reference to a community game mode called Prop Hunt. Prop Hunt is a server-side mod where the players on one team are disguised as props and find a place to hide, and the other team searches for them.
- In Grave Matters, Merasmus' arms are covered with tattoos, one appearing in the form of Soldier's class emblem; these tattoos are not seen in the preceding Doom-Mates or the following Blood Money.
- Merasmus now appears in Scream Fortress 2014, replacing the Administrator.
- A running gag in the comic series is certain strangers mistaking Merasmus' unconventional robe as a “dress” and so address him as “ma’am” or “lady”.
- As stated above, Merasmus's voice actor is Nolan North. Nolan North's birthday is on Halloween, so it's no surprise that he voices a Halloween-themed character.
Merasmus as he first appeared in Bombinomicon (comic).
Merasmus's ghost as he appears in the Doom-Mates comic.
Merasmus finding out Soldier killed his roommate in the TF2 Comic Ring of Fired.
- Merasmus responses
- Spectral Halloween Special
- Community Ghost Fort strategy
- Horseless Headless Horsemann
- Bombinomicon (comic)
- Grave Matters