Popularity, Lore and Intrestingness

When you have a game with multiple characters, it’s hard to make sure that they all get equal amounts of usage, story and fun. Often one character will stand out ahead of the others, either because the developers like that character the best or simply because that character is the most popular or pliable. Or both. Team Fortress 2 is no exception to this. No franchise is. People need to sell this stuff to make money you know.

The main character of Team Fortress 2 was always the Heavy Weapons Guy. Big powerful man with a silly Russian accent and a huge gun. Fair enough. He’s all over the cover of the Orange Box and the box that TF2 came in if you got it via a CD for XBOX or PS3 or something. He’s appeared in pretty much every Meet the Team video, either as a main character (Meet the Heavy, Meet the Medic), a side character (Meet the Pyro, Meet the Spy) or the poor person who gets hurt (Meet the Scout). He’s even appeared as a main character in a completely different game, in Poker Night at the Inventory. To be fair, Pyro appeared in Killing Floor, but more as a skin than anything else.

(A quick note about Poker Night at the Inventory, the Spy would have been an amazingly good choice for the sequel. I’m sorry, the characters they chose didn’t really cut it. Spy has both humour and an air of professionalism about him. Plus, he totally fits that playing-poker-in-a-fancy-bar sort of thing. Maybe for Poker Night 3? Please?)

Anyway, over the years, Heavy has kept his title of being the face of TF2. But he’s not the entire body of TF2. No, the other body parts belong to the other mercenaries. Mostly Scout and Soldier, who make up the two legs and the hips that TF2 stands on. Demoman and Spy also have a bit of that body, being the arms. Sniper sort of limps around at the back, being Tf2’s right hand and playing a huge part in the sexy fan-art area. Pyro fulfils the mysterious left hand and Engineer could be the stomach of TF2. Medic is a pinky toe, due to his reliance on everyone else.

Let’s face it, not every mercenary in TF2 is cool and exciting. And not every mercenary has a nice strong bit of plot or lore or backstory behind them to give them the excitement they lack from more obvious sources. Engineer wouldn’t be nearly as impressive if he 1. didn’t have a huge backstory that links a lot of TF2’s plot together and 2. wasn’t annoying as heck. If we knew stuff about Pyro, he wouldn’t be interesting at all.

Soldier and Scout take this to another level. A lot of what goes on outside the game itself revolves around these two. Take the comics as an example. Soldier is all over those. He’s all over the TF2 comics like a rash, and he’s become more and more insane as time goes along. Thankfully though he’s had some sort of respite, now he’s no longer drinking Teufort’s lead-contaminated water, but that insanity sticks around. Scout on the other hand is generally just everywhere. He sparked controversy in Meet the Pyro. He’s been ruining the life of Spy throughout the comics. He was basically the main character in Expiration Date.

On the flip side, we have Sniper and Medic. Sniper recently had a breakthrough in this department, somehow receiving a ton of lore and backstory, only to discover that he’s not Australian. The one time Sniper gets some good screen time, he’s told it’s all a lie. Wonderful. To be fair, he did appear a lot in Meet the Director, but in the same way that Scout and Heavy did. But Sniper basically got kicked in the bollocks for no reason. He didn’t even get any lines in Expiration Date.

Comic-wise, Medic’s suffered even more. Outside issue 3 of the TF2 comic, Medic’s spoken three times. And one of those times was a cough. But at least Medic got the best Meet the Team video. Way to make healing look cool! Insert yet another

Anyway, my point is, maybe Soldier and Scout are getting a little bit too much screen time? Probably. They’re everywhere. They’re more everywhere than Heavy is, and he’s the face of the game. Meanwhile, Sniper’s just found out everything’s a lie and just got shot in the chest. Literally. Normally everything is spread around rather fair, but it’d be nice to have a little more fairness. Right? But don’t give Sniper more weapons. He has enough of those.

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