Blood in the Water is an awesome comic, whether it was six months late or early. Its accompanying blog post on the TF website reads, “This double-sized monster has got it all, folks! All the action! All the words we know! 113 pulse-crushing, revelation-choked pages!” They weren’t kidding.
Perhaps the chokingest revelation of all, the one I’d like to comment on today, concerns the identity of the TF2 Sniper. For years he’s been scoring those headshots with his trusty rifle or bow. He’s been throwing insults and his own urine around in vast measures. He’s been the bane of many an unwary player used to those games in which windows can shatter. Yet for all that time, his identity was a lie, his true nationality hidden behind a sweaty Australian mask.
As it turns out, Sniper is NOT Australian! Unlike true Aussies, he has failed to grow a moustache and appropriate form of chest hair. He is not the kangaroo-boxing lager-swiller from the Loose Cannon comic, but is far more cool-headed and calcuating. Now we finally know why. Because Sniper is, and always has been, a New Zealander.
What’s more, New Zealand is trapped in a giant dome at the bottom of the Tasman Sea and has been isolated for 40 years. Who sunk the whole country? Sniper’s dad, no less, known as Bil-Bel. All New Zealanders have hobbit-ish names in the comic, or at least they did, before a rocket containing Sniper himself punched through the dome and left them all to drown. Mun-Dee is the real name of our beloved sharpshooter.
In real life, New Zealand is not actually submerged, contrary to beliefs of various popularities. Before the 21th Century it was viewed as a sort of joke country by everybody else. Then The Lord of The Rings arrived in cinemas and the whole world saw how pretty and mysterious the NZ scenery is. Tourists began flooding in, not just because they were confused Australia-seekers, but to see a real-life Hobbiton and the mountains supposedly mined by dwarves.
Things NZ is globally famous for include an abundance of sheeps, the aforementioned movie series and musicians like Lorde and Ladyhawke. We have some subtler claims to fame to. The invention of the pavlova, the Maori culture, the wrestling duo called the Bushwhackers, the 800 miles separating us from Australia. Ooh, and those cute flightless birds.
And suddenly we also have our very own TF2 class! I imagine this massive plot twist will further divide the citizens of Australia and NZ (they have something of a rivalry going on). At least they still have Saxton Hale and all the shiny golden stuff.
What happens now? Well, perhaps Valve will come up with some Kiwi-themed new items for Sniper! Not only cosmetics, but a new weapon or two. I have some suggestions for such items:
- A variant of the Darwin’s Danger Shield which consists of a sheepskin rug covering the player’s back. Could be called the Waikato Woolly Warmer.
- A rugby shirt, because I hear rugby’s a big thing in this country.
- A shoulder-mounted kiwi (of the bird kind) similar to the new Spycrab.
- A pair of gumboots (or wellies) to add some farmy style.
- Unnecessarily short shorts. In the local lingo, these are known as Stubbies.
And yes Valve, that’s my Christmas wish list. No pressure.
What do you guys think of the implications of this? Was it always obvious that Sniper wasn’t born in Aussie? Have the comic writers gone too far? Is Alyx Vance really Medic’s daughter? (oops spoilers :P) (Editor’s note: Dude, seriously?)
Also, in case you hadn’t worked it out already, I’m also from New Zealand. Which is why I’m suddenly such a huge Sniper fan.
I’ll finish today by saying, thank you John Caveson for adding me to the Steam group as a moderator! I believe I’m now officially a staff member, so I must pledge myself to the cause and promise to never, ever misuse my newfound authority.
Have a good day!