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Frequently Asked Questions



Team Fortress Classic, also known as Team Fortress 1.5, is a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter video game developed by the Valve Corporation. A remake of the Team Fortress modification for Quake, Team Fortress Classic was originally released for Windows on 7 April 1999 as a free addition to Half-Life. A standalone version was later released with Valve's Steam system in 2003. The development of Team Fortress Classic was led by John Cook and Robin Walker, the designers of the original Team Fortress modification.

The game was originally announced in 1999, powered by Valve's GoldSrc engine. The designers of the Team Fortress modification were contracted by Valve to develop Team Fortress 2, but initially remade their original work on Valve's game engine. The game itself revolves in a number of teams, each with access to nine classes, competing in a variety of scenarios such as capture the flag, VIP protection and territorial control. In June 2000, the game underwent a significant upgrade, adding new player character models and game modes. As of 2008, the game is one of the ten most played Half-Life modifications in terms of players, according to GameSpy.

Team Fortress Classic revolves around a number of teams competing in a variety of game modes with players selecting one of nine classes to play as. Typically, players have the choice of two equal teams, red and blue, although certain game modes allow for more than two teams with access to different classes. Each game can sustain a maximum of 32 players. The way a player acts in a game is defined by which class they select, with each class having their own strengths and weaknesses. As such, Team Fortress Classic relies heavily on teamwork between players of different classes.

Game Modes

Team Fortress Classic supports numerous types of play, with distinct objectives for teams of players to pursue. In capture the flag levels, the objective for both teams is to capture the enemy flag and return it to their base while preventing the opposing team from doing the same. Some maps of this type have twists on this formula, such as having multiple flags and requiring a team to capture them all, or requiring a team to perform a task such as disabling security grids before being able to access the flag. Territorial control maps consist of several command points that must be captured, typically either by standing on the command point or bringing a flag to the command point. Teams are awarded points at set intervals for each command point they control. Attack and defend maps, a variation of territorial control, feature one team trying to capture several command points in sequence, while the other team defends each command point from capture. In escort maps, the players are split into three teams—a single VIP, the VIP's bodyguards and a group of assassins. The goal of escort maps is for the bodyguards to escort the VIP to a given point on the map, while the assassins attempt to kill the VIP before he gets there. In an update after the game's release, a further game mode, football, was introduced. In football levels, teams must capture a single ball and take it to a capture point within the enemy base.


There are nine standard classes in Team Fortress Classic that a player can select. Each class is equipped with at least one unique weapon, and is often armed with a secondary weapon such as a shotgun or nailgun. In addition, all classes are armed with a melee weapon—usually a crowbar—as well as grenades with a variety of effects depending on the class a player has chosen. In escort levels, a single player can assume the role of a civilian, armed only with an umbrella, and must be escorted by the rest of the team across the level.

The scout is the fastest class in the game, but is unable to take 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. The sniper class is armed with a high-powered sniper rifle, and can be used to attack enemies from distant positions. Soldiers are significantly slower than snipers and scouts, but possess better armor and are armed with rocket launchers that allow them to rocket jump. Soldiers can also make use of nail bombs to cause more damage within close quarters. The demoman is armed with a grenade launcher for indirect fire onto enemy positions, as well as being equipped with a demolition pack capable of opening or closing certain routes on some levels.

The medic 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 other classes. Pyros are equipped with a flamethrower and an incendiary rocket launcher, both of which can set enemies on fire. The pyro also carries several napalm grenades for the same purpose. The spy differs significantly in style from other classes, with the class possessing the ability to take on the appearance of any other class on either side. The spy is equipped with a knife to assassinate key enemy players as well as a tranquilizer gun to slow down opponents and hallucination gas to confuse them. The final class is the engineer. A defensive class, engineers build structures to support their team, such as sentry guns to defend key points, ammunition dispensers and a teleporter. In addition, the engineer is armed with EMP grenades that detonates any explosive ammunition within its range.


Before Team Fortress Classic there was Team Fortress, a 1996 QuakeWorld mod. TF's developers were working on Team Fortress 2 as a standalone game, but later joined Valve Software and ported the original as a mod for Half-Life called Team Fortress Classic in April 1999. Despite the company's 1998 statement that Team Fortress 2: Brotherhood of Arms would be released "soon," the game remained in development of one form or another for eight years until its release on 10 October 2007, and has been on Wired magazine's top ten vaporware list every year since 2001.

Since Team Fortress Classic's release in 1999, Valve has introduced various changes into the game. The updates tweaked the game's balance and on occasion added new content, such as new levels. A particularly large update was released on 8 June 2000, which introduced several new levels and game modes and a new GUI menu interface, and optimized the game's network code for smoother, faster play. With this release, the game was renamed to Team Fortress 1.5. On 13 March 2001, the player models were redesigned. In 2003, the game was migrated into Valve's Steam system, since then a number of additional features were added. For much of its early history, Team Fortress Classic was second only to Counter-Strike as the most played and popular of online games.

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