Team Fortress Classic
Team Fortress Classic (also known as Team Fortress 1.5) is a 1999 first-person shooter video game developed and released by Valve Corporation. The game pits two teams against each other in online multiplayer matches; each team member plays as one of nine classes, each with different skills. The scenarios include capture the flag (CTF), territorial control, and escorting a "VIP" player.
|Team Fortress Classic|
The box art for Team Fortress Classic depicts the Heavy Weapons class against the backdrop of Half-Life's box art
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux|
Based on the 1996 Quake modification known as just Team Fortress, Valve ported the game to the GoldSrc engine (used in Half-Life) as a way of promoting Half-Life's software development kit. Since the release of Team Fortress Classic, the game has undergone significant upgrades to the player models and game modes.
Matches in Team Fortress Classic feature two teams, one red and one blue, and nine playable character classes. Each character class has a set of weapons and abilities unique to that specific class. This differentiation between classes makes for rock-paper-scissors-esque gameplay that requires teammates to work together in order to effectively achieve the objective. The class-system also encourages players to vary their selection of classes and utilize certain classes in conjunction with one another to gain the advantage.
In Team Fortress Classic, a server can hold up to 32 players simultaneously, and matches can be played in a number of game modes, each featuring different objectives.
In Team Fortress Classic, the player can choose to play as one of nine classes: the Scout, Sniper, Soldier, Demoman, Medic, HWGuy, Pyro, Spy, or Engineer. Each class comes equipped with at least one weapon unique to that class, and often a secondary weapon which may be common across multiple classes (typically a shotgun or nailgun). Additionally, each class gets a melee weapon (all classes but the Medic, Spy and Engineer wield a crowbar, a homage to Valve's game Half-Life). Finally, each player carries grenades; the effects of grenades vary, depending on the player's class.
In Escort game modes, a player may also choose to play as the Civilian class, which is armed only with an umbrella, no armor, and very little health. Civilians are typically escorted and protected by the rest of the team.
- The Scout is the fastest class in the game, but is unable to deal much damage in return. The Scout is armed with a nailgun as well as being able to use caltrops and concussion grenades to slow down and confuse opponents. He can also disarm the Demoman's detonation pack as well as reveal enemy spies by running close-by fellow players.
- The Sniper class is armed with a high-powered sniper rifle, and can be used to attack enemies from distant positions.
- The Soldier class is significantly slower than Snipers and Scouts, but possesses better armor and is armed with a rocket launcher that allows him to rocket jump, along with combat shotguns as sidearms for backup. Rocket jumping, while effective for moving about the battlefield, also significantly damages the soldier. Soldiers can also make use of nail bombs to cause more damage within close quarters.
- The Demoman class is armed with a grenade launcher for indirect fire onto enemy positions, and a Pipe Bomb launcher for booby trapping places as well as being equipped with a demolition pack capable of opening or closing certain routes on some levels.
- The Medic class is equipped with a super nail gun, concussion grenades and a medical kit that can be used either to heal teammates or expose opponents to a contagious infection that drains health.
- The Heavy Weapons class is armed with a powerful minigun, and can sustain more damage than any other class. However, the Heavy is significantly slower than the other classes.
- The Pyro class is equipped with a flamethrower and an incendiary rocket launcher, both of which can set enemies on fire. Pyros also carry several napalm grenades for the same purpose.
- The Spy class differs significantly in style from other classes, as he can disguise himself to look like any other class on either side. The Spy is equipped with a knife to kill enemy players in one hit by stabbing them in the back, a tranquilizer gun to slow down opponents and a hallucination grenade which spouts gas to confuse them. Spies also possess the ability to feign death, allowing them to use their backstab ability more effectively.
- The Engineer class builds structures to support their team, such as sentry guns to defend key points, ammunition dispensers and teleporters. Engineers have the ability to replenish a teammates armor by tapping them with their wrench. In addition, the Engineer is armed with EMP grenades that detonates any explosive ammunition within its range, as well as a shotgun for backup.
Team Fortress was originally a modification for Quake (1996), and then later for QuakeWorld, developed by TF Software Pty. Ltd. Its developers were working on a follow up stand-alone version that they planned to call Team Fortress 2 when the team was hired by Valve Corporation to write a port of Team Fortress as a mod for Valve's game Half-Life. After several delays from the original release date of March 26, 1999, the mod was released on April 7, 1999.
Valve significantly updated the game over time, tweaking the game's networking code, and adding new maps and game modes. In 2003, Team Fortress Classic was released as a stand-alone game on Valve's Steam system. Versions of the game for OS X and Linux were released in 2013.
On June 9, 2000 Team Fortress was officially updated and renamed to Team Fortress 1.5 in Half-Life's 1.1 update. It was the first standalone version of Team Fortress. The update added "new sounds and weapons, enhanced graphics, new models for classes and weapons, new maps from popular mapmakers, an updated user interface that makes finding and joining games easy and intuitive, and a new in-game Command Menu Interface". It also included a new in-game interface and the networking code for Valve's then upcoming Team Fortress 2.
There were three new maps with the update: Dustbowl, Warpath, and Epicenter. Additionally, the new Command Menu Interface was an in-game menu that allowed players to execute commands to change teams, call for a medic and change classes while in a match.
Team Fortress Classic received positive reviews from critics, garnering a rating of 85% on the video game review aggregator site GameRankings. There were some criticisms, however, like Graham Smith of Rock, Paper, Shotgun who criticized the game for being "like Counter Strike only messy and gruff" PC Gamer US named Team Fortress Classic the best multiplayer game of 1999, and wrote that it was "more fun and more addictive than any other multiplayer-only title released in 1999, and didn't cost owners of Half-Life a single penny." PC Gamer UK praised the game for its multiple character classes, "sophisticated game-tactics", and drive to work together with your team, but also noted the game's "clunky" inter-team communication and mediocre graphics. In 2010, the game was included as one of the games in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die.
Following the success of Team Fortress as a Quake modification, Team Fortress Software began development of a sequel. Interested in the project's potential, Valve Corporation hired the team to develop Team Fortress 2 on the modified Quake engine utilized by Half-Life. The partnership was announced in 1998, developed in parallel to Team Fortress Classic. However, the game was not shown publicly until a year later at E3 1999. Introduced as Team Fortress 2: Brotherhood of Arms, the game showcased multiple unprecedented technologies for its time and won several awards including "Best Online Game" and "Best Action Game". In June 2000, Valve announced that Team Fortress 2 had been delayed further, attributing this to their rebuilding of the game on a new, proprietary in-house engine that is today known as the Source engine.
Following this delay, little mention of the game was made by Valve for a period of six years. Running up to Half-Life 2's release in 2004, Valve's Doug Lombardi claimed that Team Fortress 2 was still being developed and news of its release would come after that of Half-Life 2. However, Lombardi's claim would not come to fruition until Electronic Arts' 2006 Summer Showcase. For the first time in more than half a decade, the game was shown publicly with an art style that notably contrasted its revisions prior. In 2007, Team Fortress 2 was released to critical acclaim as part of The Orange Box.
The plot of Team Fortress 2 is progressed outside of the game itself, usually in the form of short videos or comics. In April 2014, Valve introduced the Team Fortress Classic mercenaries, excluding their respective Medic, into the plot of Team Fortress 2. A catch-up comic released on the TF2 website released for free comic book day revealed that Team Fortress Classic is set in alternate 1930, and that the game takes place during the Gravel Wars era of the timeline, along with the fact that the classic engineer is the father of the engineer in Team Fortress 2.
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