Team Fortress 2 ARG Introduces Gray Mann

Fanghawk

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Team Fortress 2 ARG Introduces Gray Mann

Valve's subtle hints led fans to the motherlode of TF2-lore webcomics.

Valve is famous for three things: high-quality games, Valve Time, and advertising campaigns worthy of myth and legend. Whether announcing <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/109286-Valve-ARG-Gives-Fans-Power-to-Release-Portal-2-Early>a new game or <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/118086-Valve-Readies-Team-Fortress-2-Pyromania-Update>quirky character updates, Valve's use of clever alternate-reality games encourage players to find their own clues about the game company's latest releases, and usually rewards them in a spectacular fashion. A new Team Fortress 2-themed ARG that was completed this past weekend is no exception, as a pair of clickable blood spots on the TF2 website took players on a huge quest culminating in the discovery of the mutual enemy of Red and Blu teams, and a war against Saxton Hale himself.

Of the two available links, the first took visitors to the birth notice of Mann brothers, who in TF2's lore founded the Red and Blu teams. What this letter reveals is the existence of a third brother, Gray, who upon being born was "absconded with by that Scourge of London, the Eagle". The second link updates Zephamiah Mann's will with the knowledge that Gray had resurfaced with threats of blackmailing his father for a "miracle gravel cache". It's worth pointing out that these details are probably among the least fantastic that we've seen in Team Fortress 2's advertising campaign so far. But it doesn't stop there.

A simultaneous update to TF2 update allowed players using the high-five taunt while carrying the Capacitor to read joke descriptions listing various in-game items, such as: "Did you hear the story from 1306 where Enormous Haunted Eyeball, Dr. Whoa, Familiar Fez, Dispenser, Private Eye, Direct Hit, Googly Gazer, Kukri, and the Administrator walked into a bar?" This is the point at which it starts going over my head, but as a URL to a Team Fortress webcomic finally providing answers.

The webcomic presents Red and Blu Team founders Redmond and Blutarch as they are tricked into a meeting by their estranged brother Gray. Gray announces his intention to put a stop to the senseless battle between Red and Blu over gravel pits to retake "the only thing in this hell-blasted landscape actually worth fighting over": weapons-producer Mann Co, currently run by Saxton Hale, <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/103735-Team-Fortress-2-Mod-Pits-Entire-Team-Against-a-Single-Australian>the world's most powerful Austrailian. Once it becomes clear that Redmond and Blutarch are incapable of helping him in this task, they are dispatched, foreshadowing what may be the introduction of an entirely new in-game threat.

In Valve's first Team Fortress 2 comic, the lore introduced a battle between the Soldier and Demoman classes that pitted teams against each other to win class-specific updates. Rumors and speculation on the internet encompasses everything from the introduction of a Gray Team, to the possibility of Red and Blu putting aside their differences to protect Saxton Hale from <a href=http://www.pcgamesn.com/tf2/mann-vs-machine-mode-teased-latest-team-fortress-2-update>an army of robots. The discovery of the comic suggests that an official announcement from Valve will soon follow, but whatever the update entails we can agree on one thing ladies and gentlemen: There will be hats.

By God, will there be hats.

Source: Rock Paper Shotgun

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thenumberthirteen

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Wow. That comic is cool. I wonder whether we can harness the power of ARGs to aid the world. Maybe next time Valve can make an ARG where you have to mow my lawn to get a clue.
 

Fanghawk

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Fanghawk said:
their estranged brother Gray. Gray ...
Title of post: Grey Mann

WHO DO I BELIEVE? WHAT DO I BELIEVE???

[HEADING=1]WHY GODDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD???[/HEADING]

Erm, you might want to edit something there.
 

Jack and Calumon

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Dec 29, 2008
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Grey Mann...

Remove THREE letters from the first word and we have...

G Mann!

And for additional proof, we can take away ONE letter from the SECOND word to get "G-man", and 1+2=3

Confirmed Half Life 3 announcement imminent.

Calumon: ...Maybe it's just a new hat?
 

Gabanuka

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Best. Lore. Ever

Though it would be great if this somehow lead to the convoluted release of Half Life 3
 

Fanghawk

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Gray Mann
G. Mann
G-Man

Look at his pose in the revealing site of the comic and the one gesture you see the GMan always perform... Valve keeps trolling.
 

Evilsanta

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Apr 12, 2010
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My mind has been blown....

Also Gray Mann pose, Valve are doing that on purpose aren't they?
 

Mr.Mattress

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What I believe will happen in TF2's Mann vs. Machine Update, based on the knowledge I currently have, goes like this: Gray now owns Red and Blu. He wants to take back Mann Co. because Red, Blu and Mann Co. all belonged to Gray's dad, Zephaniah. Obviously, Saxton Hale, the current owner of Mann Co., won't let that happen. Since Mann Co. Recently developed Giant Robots (According to this: http://www.teamfortress.com/classless/hidden/populace/), you will be playing as both teams fighting Giant Robots. In a way, the maps will be new Doomsday Maps.
 

kajinking

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUH3JQjcweM

I do believe this applies to the situation, still what lunatic would want to pick a fight with two seemingly cloned teams of literally insane Mercs. Also I wonder how the announcer fits into all this.
 

Furioso

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I hope it's an official game mode for Vs. Saxton Hale, the mod game mode is SO much fun, and putting an official dev team to work out the kinks would be awesome
 

Mr.Mattress

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kajinking said:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUH3JQjcweM

I do believe this applies to the situation, still what lunatic would want to pick a fight with two seemingly cloned teams of literally insane Mercs. Also I wonder how the announcer fits into all this.
The Announcer was meant to prolong the war against Red and Blu Teams. Odds are, if Gray now owns both Red and Blu, she won't be paid. I believe that she will jump ships and join Saxton Hale and Mann Co., because Saxton and the Announcer do actually have a past together (At least a hidden one).

Furioso said:
I hope it's an official game mode for Vs. Saxton Hale, the mod game mode is SO much fun, and putting an official dev team to work out the kinks would be awesome
Well, Saxton Hale is in charge of Mann Co, and Mann Co. are the ones who own the robots. There could be an official/updated version of Vs. Saxton with a Real Saxton character (Not a re-skin of the Soldier), though I don't know if it would be a part of Mann vs. Machine.
 

Vkmies

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Why is it that every time Valve does something cool, I start hoping it somehow turns out to be a reveal of HL3.


.....please turn out to be the reveal of HL3.......
 

Fanghawk

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Jack and Calumon said:
Grey Mann...

Remove THREE letters from the first word and we have...

G Mann!

And for additional proof, we can take away ONE letter from the SECOND word to get "G-man", and 1+2=3

Confirmed Half Life 3 announcement imminent.

Calumon: ...Maybe it's just a new hat?
God damn it, I hate any news regarding Valve.

Calumon, disconnect the Jack's keyboard.
 

Imperioratorex Caprae

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May 15, 2010
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Wait.... WHAT? G-Man? You've got to be fucking kidding me... no seriously... pulling my leg. Disconnecting it entirely from my hip even.
Valve... My head hurts. Just... plain... fucking... hurts.
Wow.
 

AJax_21

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May 6, 2011
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Grey-Mann... G-Man...

Oh Valve, you trolls.

Whelp, interested to see what they do with this update since they were hyping it up for two years.
 

Anti-American Eagle

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I don't know what to say in situations like this so, VAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLVVVVVVVVVE!!!

This will be the lead into how tf2 characters are in HL3...
I mean comeon we already have the explanation on how the portal gun is in it...
The green flu will be trickier to explain though.
 

Eric the Orange

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Sounds like there making some kind of horde mode. where you have to fend of ever increasing waves of robots for a set period of time.