Map of Badlands

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This article is about the geographic Map of Badlands. For other uses, see Badlands (disambiguation).
Map of Badlands
Badlands, New Mexico.

Map of Badlands or Map of Mann's Land refer to illustrated background content originally published on the Engineer Update page. Presented as a map taped to the brick wall behind Engineer's drafting bench, it revealed some of the geography of Team Fortress 2.

Badlands geography

This map illustrates the geography of a region called Badlands. It locates several facilities in that region that are represented by some of the Team Fortress 2 game maps. Some of the locations are marked by images of recognizable buildings from those game maps, such as the cart ramps in Pipeline. It is inferred that the map also locates settlements adjoining the facilities; for example, name of the town of Teufort is used instead of the name of the game map 2Fort.

Correspondence to actual New Mexico geography

Previous references in the Team Fortress 2 storyline locate the Badlands in the state of New Mexico; this map has features that correspond to features of north central New Mexico, particularly the surroundings of the Española Basin and Albuquerque Basin of the Rio Grande rift valley.

  • The arrangements of Thunder Mountains and Badwater Basin suggests, respectively, the Jemez Mountains, location of Los Alamos National Laboratory where the first nuclear weapons were made, and the Valles Caldera, having acid-sulfate hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles.
  • The main courses of the Badwater Pipeline follow major rivers or highways in the area.
  • The mountains surrounding the central valley of Badlands recall the mountain ranges surrounding the Rio Grande valley.
  • The Hale River follows the general course of the Jemez River and tributaries, or alternately, the generally paralleling highways US 550, NM 4, NM 126.

Other maps published in the Shadow Boxers comic further confirmed that the Badlands area is centrally based on the geography of north central New Mexico; these later maps show recognizable outlines of actual forests, preserves, reservations, highways, rivers, and lakes located in that part of the state.

Correspondence with other U.S. states

There are some features of other U.S. States that are desirable for inclusion in the game, but which are not particularly available in New Mexico.

Washington and Oregon

There are no ocean ports in New Mexico. If the navigation represented in Upwards is a depiction of the Hale River, then the point of placing the Hale River is to provide ocean shipping to the game maps. The Columbia and Snake rivers in Washington and Oregon carry hundreds of millions of bushels of wheat each year. The Hale River depicted on this map recalls these rivers, running a course on the Map of Badlands through geography similar to that of those real rivers.

  • The navigable course of the Columbia River rises through forested mountains into near-dessert badlands.
  • These badlands are irrigated to grow wheat, which is shipped off on the river. (see ocean vessel in Granary)
  • Past these badlands, the Columbia and Snake rivers divide and each river rises up into higher mountains beyond.
  • In places, bluffs and mountains exceeding thousands of feet overlook ocean-going vessels. (see ocean vessel in Upwards)

Note: TF Industries and its Valve Corporation division are based in Washington, USA.


Some mountains portrayed on the Thunder Mountain and similar Alpine environment game maps are considerably higher than and very different in geology from those in the actual Jemez Mountains, which are more of a deeply eroded high plateau than a range of uplifted mountain peaks as depicted on this map.