31 Topics about Team Fortress 2 – Episode 11
That mask really doesn’t hide anything.
Ever see something in the dark that actually isn’t there?
When I lie down at night, I turn to face the doorframe. My eyes gradually adjust to the low-level of light coming in from outside lamps. Sometimes, my eyes do not correctly focus on the frame. For a few minutes, I can see a shadow of a man standing at my doorframe. Well, he’s not there. Obviously. But light and shadows trick me. For me, it’s shocking. The fake figure is taller than a normal man, perhaps more like a Slenderman than anything else. Sometimes, he has his hands on the frame, leaning into my bedroom.
I really ought to start shutting the door.
Could you imagine how terrifying it would be if someone were actually there? Or, could that man’s presence be comforting? It all depends on who’s there, I guess. Especially when you’re dealing with a Spy. If it’s the enemy standing there, invisible expect for just a little bit of wrong light hitting his cloak? No device could hide that sinister smile. If he’s our ally, then perhaps it could be comforting. You don’t always seem Batman at night, you know. Still, if you see the silhouette of his cape and hood, you know he’s out there protecting Gotham. Heck, you might not want to leave him.
The Spy has the greatest moral range. When he’s virtuous, he’s a perfect gentlemen. He cares for his teammates, even to the point of taking their lifeless bodies from the battlefield at cost of his invisibility and speed. He has respect and even some admiration for his enemies, even if he has to take their lives. Murder and destruction is not a personal vendetta for the good Spy. He does merely what he has to in order to secure his team’s victory. When he’s on the other side of the spectrum? I doubt there could be a more evil man amongst his team. He takes revenge. He toys with his victims. He steals one member’s face and haunts another with it. If that doesn’t work, he takes captives. He sleeps and sleazes his way to victory. No tactic is too low that he wouldn’t sink to it. All the while, he will mock and deride every unfortunate soul that crosses his path.
No other class can cause such fear. Ever been focused on your role so hard that you jump when the Spy stabs you? Hell, the reason I prefer the Razorback to Jarate is that it saves me from having little heart-attacks when I’m playing as a Sniper. He scares me. The only comparable fear I have to him is being side-swiped by a Jockey in “Left 4 Dead 2”. I know—Jockeys don’t look scary. But that sadistic laughing and the way that monster just wrenches your character from under you…
At any rate, I doubt a Spy would make a good Jockey. Perhaps a Hunter?
The Spy is one of the classes that I have written the most about. It’s not that I particularly favor him in comparison to the rest of the classes. There is just so much intrigue to him that I feel compelled to keep an eye open. He’s got all of these fancy tools for sneaking his way past any force. His guns are kind of wonky, but I am fond of the Ambassador and the Enforcer. Of course, it’s hard to ignore the versatility of the Spy’s knives. Hell, I wrote a love letter about the Your Eternal Reward. I’m not even good with the blade, but I can appreciate and admire people who don’t break a sweat when they use it.
It’s not as if the Spy is a complete mystery, though. We do have some clues about him. He claims to be French, but his accent slips from time to time. He’s a sharp dresser. He must be pretty tolerant to heat, too. I would imagine running around in a suit in the middle of New Mexico isn’t easy. (Must be that last few degrees from the Pyro that does him in.) He’s got skinny knees. If he still has hair, it’s got to match his eyebrows. So, he’s probably a brunette. He’s kind of got a hawkish nose, but it works well with his eyes. Really, that balaclava doesn’t hide much. He should just take it off. Slowly.
We can’t forget that stylish cigarette habit of his either, can we?
One topic I like to explore with the Spy is the relationship he has to the Scout’s mother. I tend to play it as a long-term relationship. Really, that is far from what we observe. Hell, the RED Spy was straight-up banging the BLU Scout’s mom. Not cool. One can only wonder what the BLU Spy was thinking as he was taking those photos. Either way, this affair is fascinating. What does it say about the Spy? Isn’t he supposed to be a lady killer? Has he wooed more women to get his way, or is he a man with a steady side relationship? Hell, am I overlooking a very sexy third option? That would make for a different kind of spy. At least, in comparison to the pop culture image of spies that we have. (I’m looking at you, Mister Connery.)
What about his teammates? Do they fear the Spy? Probably not the on their side, at any rate. They must still have some apprehension to their enemy, however. So much of “Team Fortress 2” is built on paranoia about a Spy’s location. It’s why you always have the Pyro circling around the Engineer’s buildings, or why dumb broads use the Razorback instead of the more useful Jarate. (Are there any classes that are easier pickin’s for the Spy than the Engineer and the Sniper? And not just in a match…) It must be a difficult to be a Spy, though. When he screws up, he’s at point-blank ass-kicking range. He will die if he can’t outmaneuver his target. Fate help him if he ever gets caught with sticky fingers after hours. Although, I always was fond of the James Bondage trope…
It might be a little thankless to be a Spy, but he’s an invaluable teammate. He creates tension and removes high-priority targets. He doesn’t actually even have to do work to have the other team cowering in fear. He’s kind of amazing like that. Of course, it’s better if he does actually do something for them to be terrified of, but that’s pretty obvious. Just as long as he stays away from that overly enthusiastic Pyro. That’s not flowers spewing from his weapon, you know.
So, what stories work the best for the Spy? Well, horror! Obviously! A mystery or political intrigue might do well to play a Spy as a prominent actor. He’s not one for getting his suit dirty, so it’d have to be a pretty special reason for him to step outside of a city. He’s a bit of a player, so romance wouldn’t be out of his realm. Just light a candle and lower the lights. He’s quick to inspire, be it admiration or revulsion.
Just don’t turn the lights down too low, and don’t let him get handsy. Unless, of course, that works for your plot…