Storyline

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Immortality machine.png
Who I am does not concern you.
Elizabeth pulling strings

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 media released in connection with 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 examinations of Team Fortress 2 comic book pages are used to contribute to the various dates in the "Detailed timeline" section below.

1822

Mann Family

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.

1850

Zepheniah's Will

From left to right: Barnabas Hale, Blutarch Mann, Zepheniah Mann, Elizabeth, and Redmond Mann. A mysterious unknown individual is also seen just out of shot on the far right side.

Around 1850, Zepheniah bought a large amount of land on the United States by petition of Redmond and Blutarch, to expand the munitions business. When he and his sons arrived there, they discovered the gravel pits and dustbowls that he had purchased were useless; in addition, Zepheniah had contracted numerous illnesses due to the trip made across the world. With his last will and testament, Zepheniah set up the events of the Team Fortress series by leaving half of his useless new land to each of his sons – for them to fight over for the rest of their lives - as a punishment for their behavior that made him lose a fortune and his life. Mann Co. was given to Barnabus Hale who was his former private detective and deputy. 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.

1850s BLU team

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.


Radigan Conagher

Main articles: Loose Canon, Life Extender Machine
Australians in the 1890s.
Radigan Conagher accepts Blutarch's request.

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 due to the Australium. He went on to develop Life Extender Machines for Redmond and Blutarch, and at least one more for an unnamed party.

1960s

Dell studying Radigan's papers.

Dell Conagher

When Blutarch Mann realizes his Life Extender Machine is failing, he contacts the BLU Engineer, Dell Conagher, who is the grandson of Radigan Conagher, to fix it. Blutarch provides Dell with his grandfather's papers, robbed from Radigan's desecrated grave. Dell repairs and improves the design of the Life Extender Machines. The design of the Sentry Gun manufactured and sold by TF Industries, and widely employed in the Gravel and Robot Wars, is credited to Dell Conagher, although the original design is his grandfather's.

1968

Gravel War

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.

The Administrator

Helen, a possible 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.

WAR!

Main article: WAR! Comic

When the RED Demoman and BLU Soldier meet and become friends at an explosives convention, the Administrator is severely angered 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.

Senate investigation

Shocking testimony.
"Dear Lord in Heaven." — Senator Mitchell Gray (D-California)

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, with the entire national reserve of the United State's Australium being committed to the project. 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. Moreover, after the crash, no trace of the supplied Australium was found.

The Senate investigation is promptly closed when a Ms. [redacted], under questioning before the executive session, states her actions and objectives regarding the Australium.

Mann Co. Online

Later, Saxton Hale discovers the Internet (which notably did not exist until 1969, the year after) and uses it to open the online Mann Co. Store for players to purchase weapons and items.

1971

Gray Mann

Main article: Blood Brothers

Seeking to take control of Reliable Excavation and Demolition and Builder's League United, Gray Mann 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.

GrayMachine.png

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, it is later revealed that this is an improved version of the Life Extender Machines. 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 stabbing them in the back.

That night, the ghosts of Redmond and Blutarch argue over who outlived the other. After fighting for a while, they settle on contacting a lawyer, who turns out to be the Soldier, to decide who is the victor. He tells them that the true winner would be decided when the other's spirit passes on. The two then arrange for the mercenaries of RED and BLU to push carts containing the other brother's corpse to Hell. With one team winning, the opposing brother drags both teams to Hell with them. One team manages to beat the other to a spellbook and escape back to the surface, presumably leaving the other behind.

Robot War

Doomsday secret map.png
Main articles: A Fate Worse Than Chess, Mann vs. Machine (update)

After years of signs and rumors, Gray makes his move against Mann Co., sending a massive robot army to attack all of the company's facilities three days after slaying his brothers. Saxton Hale was too busy wrestling a Yeti to deal with the crisis himself, so he sends a video message to the remaining 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 the team to defend Mann Co. against the robots.

Main article: Shadow Boxers

The Robot War continues for about a year, with the cooperating mercenaries successfully defending hundreds of Mann Co. facilities in the Badlands and worldwide.​ ​​​Miss Pauling becomes the active leader of the mercenaries. Soldier emerges as an erstwhile "tactical mastermind"; devising decoy facilities and infiltrating Gray's island base.

After continuous defeats, Gray Mann develops a more intelligent Mecha-Engineer, but never-the-less fails in the following assault on Mann Co. Headquarters.

Early 1972

Takeover of Mann Co.

Main article: Ring of Fired

After the Mercenaries successfully defend Mann Co. against the robot attacks, wary of another intractable stalemate, Gray decides to change his approach. He goes directly to Saxton Hale at Mann Co.'s headquarters, and declares that the war is over — he gives up. But then he says he is there for the Mann Co. Challenge, offering a fight with Hale for the ownership of the company, a policy Hale made himself. After Hale grabs and punches Gray with ease, Gray declares that he is not the one who will be fighting, but instead Gray's daughter named Olivia, an underage girl, will fight Hale. Hale refuses to fight her, ultimately granting Mann Co. ownership to Gray. Gray proceeds to fire the mercenaries, and the Administrator orders Miss Pauling, her assistant, to hide. The mercenaries scatter, but Scout and Spy are arrested before they escape Teufort.

Late 1972

Assemble the team.

Main article: Ring of Fired

Six months after the loss of Mann Co. to Gray, Pauling receives a message to "​​Assemble the team."

The mercenaries have scattered. Three mercenaries remained in the Southwest; Soldier gives guided tours to homes of the stars, Pyro is an engineering company CEO, and Demoman is a drunkard living with his mother. Sniper has "gone bush" in Australia. Heavy has returned to his family home in Siberia. Medic has some important position and is unreachable. The whereabouts of Engineer (Dell) are unknown to the rest of the team.

Posing as a policeman, Miss Pauling first recovers Soldier, but not before setting Merasmus up to take the rap for Soldier’s murder of Tom Jones. She easily entices Pyro and Demoman from their current situations, and drives the three to Teufort to save Scout and Spy.

Trial at Teufort

Main articles: Unhappy Returns, A Cold Day in Hell, Blood in the Water

Arriving at Teufort, the group splits up.

Miss Pauling takes Pyro with her on her tasks. Pauling first meets in an alley with the "Administrator" (a very aged woman who keeps her actual appearance hidden from Pauling). The woman claims to have collected 89,000 tons of Australium and gives Pauling instructions to get the "one last cache of Australium". Miss Pauling and Pyro then go to the Teufort library to locate and destroy genealogy records. They burn the paper copies, learning that the microfiche copies had been destroyed a year earlier.

Demoman and Soldier go to the courthouse to locate Scout and Spy, but they reveal themselves to the court and are arrested. The four mercenaries are tried at court, convicted of municipal misfeasance, and sentenced to hang. Miss Pauling arrives just in time to save the four by clearing up questions of mayoral duties.

Close on their heels, Gray Mann is looking for the same records as Pauling, but only finds a burnt scrap of a birth record showing the name "Helen".

Heavy's and Sniper's families

The Administrator threatened Heavy's and Sniper's homes and families.
Main articles: Meet the Director, A Cold Day in Hell, Blood in the Water

Through the Director's filmed interviews, the Administrator learned details of Heavy's and Sniper's families. She located their families and had photographs taken and sent to Sniper and Heavy as threats against talking to anyone about their jobs. Heavy and Sniper vowed to kill whoever threatened their families. After the loss of Mann Co., while most of the other mercenaries remained around the Badlands region, Sniper and Heavy left the country to join their families.

After the Teufort trial, Miss Pauling's team splits up again. Soldier, Scout, and Pyro are in Siberia to locate Heavy, while Miss Pauling, Spy, and Demoman leave for Australia to find Sniper. They learn what has happened to the respective families:

"Big girls who do not need bossy old Misha anymore." — Heavy (A Cold Day in Hell)

Heavy's mother and sisters were attacked by "bad men" before Heavy returned to Siberia. Heavy's sisters dealt harshly with the attackers, killing them all. His sisters and mother follow him to America; Zhanna in particular joining the mercenaries as Soldier's girlfriend and then fiancé.

"So you're a Kiwi now, huh?" — Miss Pauling (Gun Mettle Campaign)

Sniper's parents died near the time the Administrator vanished. Their death was convenient, since Sniper then discovered that he was adopted and so is willing to go to New Zealand with Miss Pauling to locate his birth parents, who just happen to have the Australium cache that Miss Pauling was sent to acquire.

Darling’s team: Saxton Hale and Maggie

Joining the fight against the robots! But on who's side?
Main articles: Bidwell's Big Plan, Unhappy Returns, A Cold Day in Hell, Blood in the Water, The Naked and the Dead

After losing Mann Co., Saxton Hale seeks help from his mentor, now nemesis, Charles Darling. However, Hale was so incensed by Darling's zoo that he burned most of it down. For this crime, he spent months in jail. Upon his release, Saxton is met by his ex-girlfriend, Maggie, who now works for Darling.

Charles Darling

The Darling family has been connected with the Mann family since the beginning; so, Charles is well-aware of the properties of Australium. Darling recruits Saxton Hale for his own plan to collect a cache of Australium with the promise of helping Hale get Mann Co. back.

Saxton and Maggie encounter Scout and Heavy at Ayers Rock. Neither Heavy nor Saxton tells the full truth to the other. Saxton and Maggie do not disclose that they are working for Darling. Heavy is misleading in his statement that they were sent by "the old woman". Saxton and Maggie transport Heavy and Scout to Gray’s base, supply Pauling’s team with weapons, and join the fight against Gray’s last robot army.

Australium chase

Gray Mann opening the Mann Co. cache.
Main articles: Loose Canon, A Cold Day in Hell, Blood in the Water

Rare as is its, there have been multiple large caches of Australium. Several parties are seeking the remaining caches; Gray Mann, to use its immense power and to fuel his Life Extender Machine, Charles Darling, to extend the lives of his collection of "last of their breeds", Helen, for reasons secret to even her closest associates, and at least one other unknown party who seems to be beating all of them to the caches.

The cache at Mann Co. Monkeynautics facilities was emptied before Gray Mann could locate it, with only a single bar of Australium and a lipstick-stained cigarette butt left behind. Darling’s and Pauling’s teams in Australia learn that the Australian supply at a Ayers Rock went missing a few months later. Pauling’s squad discovers that Sniper’s birth father, Bill-Bel, has wasted the entire New Zealand cache as paint for his failed spaceships. Sniper’s birth mother, Lar-Nah, escapes with the last spaceship, which was the last Australium in that cache.

Team Fortress Classic

Elderly TFC mercenaries.
Main articles: A Cold Day in Hell, Blood in the Water, Old Wounds

Having found the Mann Co. cache emptied, Gray Mann hires the aging Team Fortress Classic mercenaries (with TF2 Medic) to find the woman who took the Mann Co. Australium cache and recover the Australium. The Classic mercenaries track and capture Pauling, five mercenaries, and Zhanna at New Zealand, killing Sniper.

The TFC mercenaries take the TF2 team to Gray Mann’s base for interrogation to learn of "Her" location. TFC Heavy figures out that the Australium is the source of Mann’s longevity. He turns on Gray Mann, intending to capture the Australium cache for himself and his team. He rips the Australium out of Gray’s Life Extender Machine, effectively killing him in short order.

TFC vs TF2

Main articles: Old Wounds, The Naked and the Dead

The sharp fragments of Gray’s shattered Life Extender Machine give Zhanna the means of escaping her handcuffs. The prisoners thereby begin their escape, killing TFC Pyro, Spy, and Demoman. Medic revives Sniper. TFC Heavy unleashes Gray’s blood-sucking robots on the escaped TF2 mercenaries. Toxic-blooded Demoman single-handedly fights off the blood-suckers while Medic revives Miss Pauling and the others. TFC Heavy throws the remainder of Gray’s robot army at the unarmed mercenaries, who are then joined by Scout, Heavy, Saxton Hale, Maggie, Jerry, and a planeload of weapons.

The robots and remaining TFC mercenaries are eliminated; TFC Heavy being defeated by Heavy and Medic, with some grudging intervention from the Devil. However, the fate of the TFC Engineer, assumed killed by Spy, is unconfirmed.

Mysteries

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 itself and its actions with a childlike glee. There is still no definite proof about the Pyro's gender or history despite speculation by the community.

The Administrator's Goals

The hidden pages and comics that contribute to the story of Team Fortress 2 bring to light that the Administrator has been stockpiling Australium for 150 years in order to settle an old score.

Scout's parentage

"Hey Spy. Pauling. I took care of that DNA test for you. You owe me one ...." — Miss Pauling (Gun Mettle Campaign)

With the introduction of Spy's romantic interest in Scout's Mother came suggestions that Spy is Scout's biological father. Several scenes or gags in the comics reference this suspicion. Certain comments made by other characters suggest they know or suspect something of a connection between Scout and Spy. A strongly emotional scene plays out after the battle with the last of Gray's robots; Spy comforts a dying Scout with an apparent fiction that Scout is the son of Tom Jones. Spy may be Scout's actual biological father, or he may have otherwise over time developed a deep fatherly concern and affection for Scout.

Detailed timeline


Legend
Important event


Alternate universe/spin-off timeline

Note: events in this timeline are not considered canon. [1]

Trivia

  • Even though Saxton Hale states he discovered the Internet in the 1968, it clearly did not exist back then. However, with the extreme amount of technology advancement in Australia starting in the late 1880s, Australia could have very well invented the Internet before the actual date it was invented.

Sources

  1. KritzKast interview with Valve's Andrew Wilson. 'Anything canon should come from the team here; we view the comic as a possible alternate universe. ... While we don’t want too many people steering the canon for TF, we love to see where the characters are taken.' "KritzKast interviews Robotic Boogaloo." May 26, 2013.

See also