On Becoming a Parody of Your Former Self

I’ve been re-reading and re-watching a lot of TF2 stuff lately. While my desire to actually play the game has fizzled out lately, I’ve always been a fan of the crazy TF2 back story. Always will. But my recent reviewing of it all has made me notice a few things. Things are changing. In ways I’m not sure I like.

It hit me when I read Gargoyles and Gravel Pits, the Scream Fortress 2015 comic. In it, Medic is depicted as a complete lunatic, while Engineer is pretty chill about everything. And I realised that Medic has gone more and more insane as TF2 has gone along. If you look at his original voice lines and media, he seems insane, yes, but there’s professionalism there and some sternness – Medic is crazy but he definitely knows what he’s doing. Meet the Medic sort of continued this, but with less professionalism and more comedy. The MvM trailer showed a very serious BLU Medic. But come the TF2 comic series, Medic is a raving lunatic who does nothing but waste money and experiment, not caring at all about his former team. A mad scientist, nothing more.

"AHAHAHA HE EXPLODED HAHAHA!" "RED, seriously, it's not that funny..." "AHAHAHA!" "You've been laughing for ten minutes now..."
“AHAHAHA HE EXPLODED HAHAHA!” “RED, seriously, it’s not that funny…” “AHAHAHA!” “You’ve been laughing for ten minutes now…”

I can see a reason why this has happened with Medic. He has too much competition from the far-better-developed Engineer. They’re both vastly intelligent people (as everyone says – although Engineer inherited most of his stuff!) and you have to give them different personalities and backstories. Here’s hoping that the next few comics finally hurry up so I can get some more Medic backstory.

This going more insane thing actually runs in parallel with Soldier’s insanity. Like Medic, Soldier originally was pretty insane, but he hadn’t gone completely off the deep end yet. Unlike Medic, his rapidly falling mental stability was written off by saying he’d been drinking lead-filled water for years, and again, unlike Medic, he’s showing actual character development with his new girlfriend. Soldier though has had plenty of time to grow as a character; after Heavy, Soldier and Scout are the poster boys for TF2, they’re the ones that do all the fun stuff.

Speaking of Scout, his character development hasn’t really gone anywhere, since it always seems to revert back to his old self. He’s still an annoying Bostonian kid. Nothing will change that. Expiration Date showed that Scout could actually get stuff done and did try and push forward his social life, only to have it all reverted in the TF2 comic series and with Miss Pauling suddenly being a lesbian for some reason. Despite that, Miss Pauling has had amazing character development, from some nerdy background character to essentially the 10th class! She doesn’t even feel like the token girl you often get in boys’ TV shows and toys (looking at you, Gali! Lewa totally should have been the girl.) she is the person running the show and pointing the men in the right direction. Although at times, it feels like she’s more of a babysitter than a highly talented assistant assassin.

There’s one more person I’ve noticed who’s changed over the years. Heavy. But his changes have been positive. He’s no longer a silly lumbering slowpoke with a big gun. He has a backstory. He’s seen trauma. He’s got a family he’s sworn to protect. He has both silly sides and serious sides. Heavy is a genuinely likeable character.

Shame that Medic doesn’t seem to give a shit about him. Or anyone but himself and his doves for that matter.

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