Team Fortress - the Computer Game Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Team Fortress - the Computer Game

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Team Fortress1 was originally developed by a pack of mildy-eccentric Australian students who were attempting to make an interesting new Mod2 for Quake.

What they found was that they could sell this idea for an absolute fortune - and revolutionise team games in the process.

Team Fortress consists of a 3D world, or map, inhabited by two or more teams. Each team is made up of a number of players3, all of whom may choose from one of several classes: for example, the fast Scout, the heavily armed Heavy Weapons Guy, and the cunning Spy.

Each team has specific goals. Usually this will involve capturing the other team's flag, key, or other item, whilst defending your own base. Sometimes, however, goals are more varied; one team might have the job of defending a VIP, while another team has to assassinate him. New maps, created by enthusiasts, are available for download over the internet.

Getting Involved in Team Fortress

Should you want to play Team Fortress, you'll need four things: an internet connection4, a copy of a game which supports TF/TFC, the Mod itself, and a way of finding people to play against online.

Your best option is probably to buy a copy of Half-Life5, and download TFC from the internet using its auto-update facility. You can then use Gamespy to find games to join.

Be warned: you'll need a fairly modern PC. A clock speed of at least 200Mhz is recommended, along with a 3D card such as a Voodoo II or better. 64Mb of RAM will help greatly. If you don't have a 3D card, you'll need a 350Mhz PC or better.


If you play Team Fortress online for any length of time, you'll see people with several seemingly meaningless letters in front of their name. These are tags, and they indicate membership of an online clan, such as =KIN=, [TGC], or +CNC+.

Clan gaming is what Team Fortress is really about. A clan is a group of dedicated games players who take part in online tournaments, leagues and competitions, hoping for fame and glory. Getting into clan gaming is relatively easy; play a few games of Team Fortress online and talk to any clan members you see. Getting good at clan gaming is another matter entirely...

Match Score - 5000 to 3

Signs that you are having a bad game of Team Fortress include:

  • Respawning6 causes certain death

  • The score is 5000 to 3 and you're not on the winning side.

  • There are eight players, but you're the only one on your team.

Signs that you're having a good game of Team Fortress:

  • The front of the enemy base is plastered with Sniper lasers.

  • There's so much smoke on the level you can taste it.

  • There are so many bullets flying through the air its like a fireworks spectacular.

  • You're winning.

1Team Fortress (TF) is known in later incarnations as Team Fortress Classic (TFC).2A Mod is an add-on for a computer game. A Mod can be anything from a file of a few 100k, perhaps adding a new weapon, to a many-megabyte monster which is effectively a game in itself.3The ideal number of players on a team, for most TF maps, is around six.4A 56.6k modem will do, but ISDN or faster will give you a big advantage.5Anyone who considers themselves a fan of PC games should own Half-Life anyway.6Respawning is the technical term for reappearing after being killed - all Team Fortress players are endowed with infinite lives.

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