|“Gotta move that gear up!”
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Although Team Fortress 2 does not have a story mode or single-player campaign, the storyline of the game has been revealed through comics, Meet the Team videos, and major updates. For example, the Halloween update of October 2009 (and Halloween update of October 2010 and 2011), WAR! Update of December 2009, and Engineer Update of July 2010 have all added to the official Team Fortress continuity in one way or another. Hidden links within these pages as well as examination of Team Fortress 2 comic book pages are used to contribute to the various dates in the "Detailed timeline" section below.
The Mann family's backstory begins in the 19th century. with the wealthy Englishman Zepheniah Mann. Zepheniah Mann was the owner and proprietor of Mann & Sons Munitions Concerns – which also went by the name of Zepheniah Mann & Sons Co., but is better known by the name of Mann Co.. His wife, Bette, gave birth to three sons in September 2nd of 1822; Redmond, Blutarch and Gray, but died in childbirth. Though Redmond and Blutarch were perfectly normal, Gray was underweight, and had learned to talk inside the womb. Zepheniah ordered the baby to be smothered, but he was abducted by an eagle during the "Great Eagle Scourge of 1822." The remaining Mann brothers grew up without knowledge of their missing brother.
Gray was well cared for by his eagle abductor. He was fed grubs and mice, kept warm under her breast and accepted by her children. Gray grew strong under the eagle's care and when he was strong enough he killed her and her children and ate them all before crawling back to civilization.
Around 1850, Zepheniah traveled to the United States with Redmond and Blutarch, to expand the munitions business. When they arrived, they discovered the gravel pits and dustbowls that he had purchased were useless; in addition, Zepheniah had contracted numerous illnesses in his old age. With his last will and testament, Zepheniah set up the events of Team Fortress 2 by leaving half of his land to each of his sons – for them to fight over for the rest of their lives. He also left Elizabeth the "miracle gravel" cache that he discovered on a trip to "Terra Australis". According to him, Gray had resurfaced the year before and wanted to blackmail him for it, so he entrusted Elizabeth with it, to keep it secret and safe.
Beginnings of RED vs. BLU
Comprised of Billy the Kid, Stonewall Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Alfred Nobel, John Henry, Nikola Tesla, Sigmund Freud, Davy Crockett, and Fu Manchu, Blutarch had his crack mercenary team set and was eager to claim his land. However, Redmond had assembled his own team of mercenaries and was making similar plans to gain control of his brother's land. The RED and BLU teams proceeded to enter into a massive stalemate as they attempted to destroy each other and take the land for their respective Mann sibling.
A Loose Canon
Forty years later, Redmond and Blutarch were still engaged in their unwinnable war.
As Blutarch neared death from old age, he called in an expert craftsman named Radigan Conagher to construct for him a machine that would allow him to live on, to "make [him] a monster", by artificially extending his life. Radigan agreed.
Upon returning to his store that evening, Radigan found a stranger who had already made her way past his locked door. Knowing she couldn't convince Radigan to change his mind about building Blutarch's life extender, this stranger asked Radigan to build Redmond a machine as well. As payment, she gave him a hundred pounds of Australium – a powerful element found only in Australia which had caused the nation of unintelligent savages to become extremely intelligent and develop such technological marvels as teleportation and cloaking techniques.
Radigan agreed and became super-intelligent with the Australium. He went on to develop life extending machines for Redmond, Blutarch, and a far more advanced life extender for Gray Mann.
- This is the main setting for the in-game events of Team Fortress 2.
During the Summer of 1968, nine individuals - the Scout, the Soldier, the Pyro, the Demoman, the Heavy Weapons Guy, the Engineer, the Medic, the Sniper, and the Spy - were recruited by Reliable Excavation & Demolition (RED) and Builders League United (BLU) to continue Redmond and Blutarch's neverending war to seize the land left to them by their deceased father.
Helen, a descendant of Elizabeth, acts as the overseer of the large-scale battles fought amongst these nine mercenaries. Descendant of Barnabas Hale, Saxton Hale, runs the renowned weapons and headwear business Mann Co., a subsidiary of the Administrator's shadowy company, TF Industries.
Our first major plot event occurs when the RED Demoman and BLU Soldier meet and become friends at an explosives convention, which severely angers the Administrator as they may share information about their job and discover they're working for the same person. With the help of Saxton Hale, she misleads both men into thinking the other is trying to kill them, sparking a bloody war.
At around the same time, in an attempt to rid themselves of weapons involved in a Senate investigation, Mann Co. sends a "monkeynaut" named Poopy Joe into space. The rocket is originally fueled with liquid Australium; shortly before takeoff, Saxton Hale replaces the Australium with defective suitcase explosives. As a result, the rocket crashes, killing Poopy Joe. Saxton unsuccessfully tries to cover up the event in subsequent Senate hearings.
The next major event occurs when Blutarch Mann realizes his life support machine is breaking. Blutarch contacts our BLU Engineer, the grandson of Radigan Conagher, to fix it.
Gray Mann, seeking to take control of Reliable Excavation and Demolition and Builder's League United, sent two tear-stained letters to each of his brothers in secret, hoping to get them to meet with each other. Redmond and Blutarch rented the Alamo, and apparently transported it to New Mexico for their meeting, guarded by a group of Engineers under Redmond's employ. Blutarch proposed the idea of a truce, and foolishly suggests the idea of a pregnancy machine, stating that they can use it on one of them to produce an heir, ignorant of the absurdity of the plan. Blutarch states that because of the pointless fighting all of their life, the Mann Family Line would die out. Redmond agreed, and the two shook hands, each thanking each other for "sending" the tear-stained letter to the other.
After the two shake, Gray enters the Alamo, having killed Redmond's Engineers, leaving the three alone. He introduces himself to the two as Gray Mann, their brother, and explains that he sent the letters. Unfortunately, the two appear to be suffering some sort of cognitive disorder, and Blutarch and Redmond apparently forget who Gray is just seconds after he introduces himself. It is noted that Gray appears to be wearing some sort of mechanical device on his spine, possibly of his construction. Gray begins to recount the tale of the brothers' birth, and explains how he was taken by an eagle shortly after he spoke with their father. He explains how he was raised by the eagle as one of its own, and how he later killed it and her children to feed himself.
He goes on to explain how, unlike how Redmond and Blutarch had their empires handed to them, he had to build his own out of scratch. Gray tells Redmond and Blutarch that he watched for a hundred and fifty years as they both wasted their father's fortune over an "asinine war, over worthless pits of gravel." He asks them to consider their true birthright, and tells them that it's "the only thing in this hell-blasted landscape actually worth fighting over" which appears to be Mann Co. Redmond dismisses his claims, stating that gravel powers the world's steam engines, showing how uninformed about the world he actually is. Gray grows tired of his responses, and kills both Redmond and Blutarch by slitting their throats.
Three days later, Gray makes his move against Mann Co., sending a massive robot army to attack all of the company's facilities. Saxton Hale is too busy wrestling a Yeti to deal with the crisis himself, so he sends a video message to the RED and BLU mercenaries informing them that with Redmond and Blutarch dead, the Gravel War has finally ended and they no longer have jobs. He then immediately re-hires both teams to defend Mann Co. against the robots.
The Pyro's identity
The identity of the Pyro has been the subject of much debate since the game's release. Meet the Pyro demonstrated how the Pyro interprets the world around him and his actions with a childlike glee. There is still no definite proof about the Pyro's gender or history.
Third "Life Extender Machine"
After constructing Blutarch his life extending machine on July 17, 1894, and a second for Redmond Mann on August 3, 1894, Radigan Conagher built a third machine on April 14 of an unknown year, possibly for Gray Mann.
|1680||Members of the Degroot family begin production of Degroot's Rum which the Demoman would become a fan of centuries later.||Link|
|1788 - December 18th||Old Nick turns his boat around to conquer the South Pole while on a voyage to Australia.||Link|
|1792||Italian physicist Alessandro Volta invented the battery by mixing zinc, ammonium chloride and molten salt together.||Link|
|1808||The company that produces the scrumpy that the Demoman would become a fan of over a century later begins production of their product.||Link|
|1814 - June||An editorial cartoon is published in the Gentle Manne’s Monthly entitled "An Editorial Cartoon of Some Insighte" starring the editorial’s mascot the Gentle Manne of Leisure along with his "Companione".||Link|
|1822 - September 2nd||Redmond, Blutarch and Gray Mann are born. Of the three, Gray was "absconded with by that scourge of London, the Eagle".||Link|
|1849||Gray Mann resurfaces this year and threatens to blackmail Zepheniah Mann for all his Miracle Gravel (Australium).||Link|
|1850||The last will and testament of Zepheniah Mann is written and enacted.||Link|
|1850||Australia becomes the world's most advanced country.||Link, Link|
|1857||Abraham Lincoln invents stairs, replacing rocket jumping.||Link|
|1861 - August 21th||Redmond and Blutarch Mann sell their gravel mine to Barnabas Hale for 5 cents. Hale then turns it into a coal mine promising jobs for the surrounding region.||Link|
|1862 - August 5th||Scientists in Australia "nervously assure the world" that there is "No gold after all..." Gold prospectors turn gaze to Canada.||Link, Link|
|1865||Abraham Lincoln holds his Second Inaugural Address stating, "I say this to you with unvarnished factualism of plain talk: I love Arena Mode."||Link|
|1865 - April 20th||The War Department publishes a wanted poster for John "Tower of Hats" Booth for the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.||Link|
|1869||Shiny's Bullion is established.||Link|
|1880||Emily begins her search for Australium.||Link|
|1890||Blutarch Mann commissions Radigan Conagher to build a life extending machine.||Link|
|1890||Emily requests Conagher to build a life extending machine for Redmond Mann as well.||Link|
|1890||Biggs starts producing steel rods.||Link|
|Unknown year - April 14th||Radigan Conagher finishes a life extending machine for an undisclosed party (Probably Gray Mann)||Link|
|1894 - July 17th||Radigan Conagher finishes building a life extending machine for Blutarch Mann.||Link|
|1894 - August 3rd||Radigan Conagher finishes another life extending machine for Redmond Mann as well.||Link|
|1895 - January 25th||“Hills Discovered!” The Here's Some News, Mate! newspaper runs a story about Australia stating “Mysterious new geographic lumps confound men of Australian science."||Link|
|1895 - March 6th||“War, Mate!” Two months later, the king of Australia declares war on hills stating “There will be time to study these so-called hills after they are dead.”||Link|
|1895 - April 5th||“King Conquers Hill!” It is reported by the Here's Some News, Mate! newspaper that the “Coward Mound Surrendered Without a Fight.”||Link|
|1900 - January 23rd||"Mann Co. invents 'ro-bot'." It is revealed by an Australian newspaper that Mann Co., an Australian weapons giant, has invented the "robot". In the article, Mann Co. officials attempt to assure public concerns over their 'ro-bot' by stating that "These automatons will only be used for violence." On a minor note, a poll shows that "Robin" is the most popular Australian girl’s name.||Link|
|1900||Australia tries to colonize space by this time. They seem to have failed.||Link|
|1901||Newell and Sons debuts a "turnless" board game – Teams and Fortresses 2 – with explosive "real-time" gameplay.||Link|
|1907 - June 15th||Mann Co. wins safest workplace in Badlands.||Link|
|1910 - January 24th||Mann Co. wins their bid to be the sole munitions supplier to Reliable Excavation and Demolition and Builder's League United mercenaries.||Link|
|1915 - August 13th||A mineshaft collapses on top of Bilious Hale and his employees, but Bilious Hale punches his way out saving himself and his living employees. 14 die from cave-in and punch-related injuries.||Link|
|1921||Franklin D. Roosevelt loses both of his legs while rocket jumping. As a result, he perfects the modern staircase.||Link|
|1921||Bilious Hale, eager to re-ignite the nation's waning interest in coal, introduced the steam-powered hat at the Paris World Fashion Expo.||Link|
|1922 - March 13th||Bilious Hale permanently halts production of all coal-powered weapons.||Link|
|1922 - March 13th||Mann Co. shuts down their duel coal mine and munitions factory as 50 years of operation but preserves it as a museum of Mann Co. history.||Link|
|1923||Red Shed beers are distilled in Tougaloo.||Link|
|1932||American soft drink magnate Theophilus Bonk added sugar to the same mixture as the first set of batteries, creating Bonk! Cola||Link|
|1937||Redstone Cargo is established.||Link|
|1939 - September 1st||World War II begins. Though he wanted desperately to fight in World War II, the Soldier was rejected from every branch of the U.S. military. Undaunted, he bought his own ticket to Europe. After arriving and finally locating Poland, the Soldier taught himself how to load and fire a variety of weapons before embarking on a Nazi killing spree for which he was awarded several medals that he designed and made himself.||Link|
|1941 - September||The Heavy's father, a counter-revolutionary, is killed. The Heavy and his family are deported to a North Siberian gulag.||Link|
|1941 - December||The North Siberian gulag burns to the ground with all its guards tortured to death and all prisoners, including the Heavy and his family, escape.||Link|
|1945 - September 2nd||World War II ends.|
|1949||The Soldier ends his Nazi killing spree in Poland upon hearing that World War II had already ended in 1945.||Link|
|1959||Primaprime comes out with a series of instructional films.||Link|
|Early 1960's||Saxton Hale's Barbershop Action debuts in the U.S. It is followed by ancillary titles Saxton Hale's Barbershop Romance and Haircut Horrors Starring Saxton Hale's Ghost.||Link|
|1961||Saxton Hale’s Thrilling Tales first arrives on newsstands.||Link|
|1962||Saxton Hale's Jungle Brawl debuts in the U.S.||Link|
|1963||Only four items are being produced for the elderly: hats, meat, caskets, and Saxton Hale's Mildly Thrilling Tales. Saxton Hale Visits His Mother Monthly and Soothing Stories of Familiar Things soon follow.||Link|
|1964 - March||The first, and possibly only, issue of Saxton Hale's Mail Storm is published.||Link|
|1965||The Engineer creates several mechanical contraptions, including the Sentry Gun, while under contract with TF Industries.||Link|
|1968||Boy's Adventure Starring Saxton Hale comes under fire from the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency. Pressured by the Senate, Mann Co. changes the title to Girl's Adventure Starring Saxton Hale.||Link|
|1968 - June||The Gravel War - the main setting for Team Fortress 2.||Link|
|1969 - August||Saxton Hale firebombs Woodstock from a helicopter due to a longtime feud with hippies.||Link|
|1972||Saxton Hale's Jungle Brawl ends publication.||Link|
|1972||Gray Mann assassinates Redmond and Blutarch Mann to gain control of their respective corporations. This also marks the end of The Gravel War.||Link|
|1972||Saxton Hale, catching wind of Gray Mann's plans to gain control of Mann Co., re-hires both RED and BLU unemployed mercenary teams to protect his company and kill robots without pay.||Link|
|1972 - October 29th||Merasmus the Magician attends WizardCon MCLVI as a guest speaker, giving a two-hour talk titled "Living with a Non-Wizard".||Link|
|1972 - October 30th||Merasmus returns from WizardCon to find that the RED Soldier, now a park ranger, has let his castle be overrun by raccoons and turned into a raccoon sanctuary. Being evicted from his own home as a result, Merasmus snaps and transforms into a powerful ghost version of himself, vowing to kill everyone the Soldier cares about.||Link|
|1972 - December||In the midst of the Robot War, the RED team and Miss Pauling discuss where Gray Mann's army are going to attack next. Soldier reveals that he was able to infiltrate Gray Gravel Co. and learn their battle plans while wearing a cardboard robot costume the day before. Miss Pauling orders him to make more, and her, the Soldier and the Heavy do the same a week later, witnessing the unveiling of the Mecha-Engineer in the process.||Link|
|1973||Gray Mann, on the verge of bankruptcy, reprograms his robot army to, instead of trying to kill the mercs, sell them robot themed hats to recoup his losses and to edge-in on Mann Co.'s ever growing lucrative hat sales revenue.||Link|
|1996||Kisses von Butternubs, a pomeranian in a sweater, is elected president of America by popular vote.||Link|
|1999||Future Dell Conagher (Engineer), now very old and his arm replaced with a cybernetic one, and Pyro, who is now a floating head in a bubble, travel back in time to 1973 to warn the all the mercs not to open Gray Mann's robocrates to stop the impending Hat Wars of the 1990s very briefly before being teleported back to 1999.||Link|
|7039||Saxton Hale's ownership rights of the Sniper's likeness expire.||Link|
- World maps exist within the game that do not show 1968 contemporary nations, such as the Soviet Union, but instead show countries like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Estonia, and many others which were not independent at the time. This may be due to Team Fortress' timeline differing from our own, or simply being an oversight.