Scream Fortress: TF2 Gets NPC Boss Monster

By John Walker on October 28th, 2010 at 2:55 am.

Make soup of him.

Grab your Jarate bottles, it’s about to get all Halloweeny. In the second, and thus now annual, All Hallows Eve update for Team Fortress 2, the game has added its first ever NPC boss monster. He’s the Horseless Headless Horsemann (indeed, a long lost member of the Mann family), and only appears in a new spooky map, Mann Manor. He’s randomly generated, and DOESN’T HAVE A HEAD… OR A HORSE. Cripes!

Mann Manor is a spooky “attack/defend map littered with exploding pumpkins”, created by Art Pass Contest winners, Tim Johnson and Alex Kreeger. It’s clearly going to be an interesting inclusion, what with that old dead Mr Mann causing trouble in a way TF2 hasn’t seen before.

There’s more in the update. There’s new “ghostchievements” (they’re not even trying with that one), along with last year’s “scarechievements” (at least that almost sounds similar). There’s a random drop in the Mann Manor map, the Haunted Halloween Gift. And there are of course more items in the Mann Co. Store, as well as a new “gift wrapping feature”. There’s also a second map from the other winners of the same compo, Mountain Lab.

This is all rather splendidly summed up on a very funny (I mean scary) page, here. The spooksome goings on last from tonight until the 8th November, where seasonal items will creepily vanish from the store (but continue to be wearable by those who’ve bought them).

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101 Comments »

  1. TCM says:

    In before people complain TF2′s becoming an MMORPG.

  2. Frank says:

    Hidden page on clicking “Silas” (on the gravestone).

  3. Jetsetlemming says:

    I don’t like Mann Manor. It’s a whole lot more fun playing Blu than Red, Red’s spawn point is annoyingly oversized and takes a good 15 seconds to walk out of every spawn, and when you’re new to the map (It just came out after all) it takes much longer as there are a lot of looping side hallways that just come back around to the central point or exits. I spent like five minutes between my first death and seeing an enemy again.
    But even playing as Blu, the second point is a massive spam zone. Very poor cover around the actual point itself, while Red spawn gets a very WELL defended overlook to it, while Blu poors in from a chokepoint perpendicular to Red’s area. It makes it hard for Red to keep Blu off the point but nearly impossible for Blu to survive once they reach it. If blood decals didn’t fade away that entire corner of the map from wall to wall and up to the ceiling would be coated in red by the end of the map. Even if Blu manages to take that the final CP is even more easily defended unless Blu is good enough to muscle in and spawncamp Red.

    • Spyder says:

      I agree – I hate the Mann Manor already for all the same reasons. How could such a flawed design win a competition?

    • Delusibeta says:

      @Spyder: Largely because Valve designed said layout. All the mappers had to do was decorate it. Ditto Mountain Lab. It’s Harvest/Harvest_Event again folks.

    • yojin says:

      Hey, you can stand on the roof of the second point and spam down (makes it easier to defend). Also there are sniper positions from the door and a few windows of the actual manor that cover the point as well. There’s also a one way door that will drop red from the manor to right behind the first point that’s great for spys and setting up ambushes.

      It’s a complex map that’s only been out for a few days. If you want simple go fire up well or granary. People are going to hate on this map for the same reason they hate on yukon. It’s not a straight line and following the giant arrows is hard.

  4. Gritz says:

    This game is basically a parody of itself now.

  5. dignitas says:

    in before someone else from fake TCM tag says bad things about tf2 still getting attention

    • TCM says:

      Wait, fake tag?

      In any case, I am mocking the people who claim TF2 is becoming an MMO. Not TF2 itself, it’s quite delicious.

  6. Moonracer says:

    I still need to give this game a try. I liked multiplayer shooters a lot more when I couldn’t hear people talk. It makes it hard to want to identify as a gamer.

    • P7uen says:

      Couldn’t agree more old chum, and despite the actual words you hear, it really ruins the audioscape (for want of a better word) of the games.

    • Rinox says:

      You mean other people (like, the players) or the characters (their domination/killstreak/whatever lines)?

      Cause you can mute the entire server in a matter of seconds in TF2. Or individual players if you feel like that.

    • JimRyanor says:

      Just turn disable voice (or possibly also turn voice receive all the way down) in the option menu and you’re set for life.

  7. Max says:

    I hope Mann Mansion isn’t as bad as Jetsetlemming makes it out to be. I think that a large portion of the previous Halloween special’s success was due to harvest being a superb koth map, and thus not getting old during the entire weekend.

  8. Scott says:

    Remember that one time Valve promised a new game mode, something for the poor neglected medic, new training maps, balancing, and more?
    But wait, we have hats! And only $9.99!

    • Rinox says:

      Yes, after years of free updates this is an OUTRAGE!! Jeez.

    • subedii says:

      I do indeed remember.Not just once, but several several times did they promise such things.

      Also, they delivered them. In fact far more than they ever promised, and in fact, more still than anyone was ever expecting from a 3 year old game, for free.

      In short:

      KHEEP CRYING BABY!

    • Psychopomp says:

      …the medic just got an ubersaw that lets him keep some uber after death

  9. Beach says:

    Weird, I -just- uninstalled TF2 due to me getting bored of the same old same old.

    Reading that gift drop almost made me redownload the entire 5gigs…
    Hopefully you don’t have to pay to open it.

  10. Olivaw says:

    How can you NOT love what’s happening to TF2 right now?

    Shit is really starting to get nuts, and people are MAD about it? Fuck that shit, bring on the noise! I want all the different kinds of stupid nonsense you got, Valve!

    • Delusibeta says:

      If you excuse the console reference, it seems that there is Competitive Super Smash Bros Syndrome developing with certain sections of the TF2 community. (Look up Stop Having Fun Guys on TVTropes if you don’t know what I mean.)

  11. Fumarole says:

    TF2 keeps getting weirder and weirder.

  12. Last_to_go_mad says:

    Just wondering, is anybody else not getting any progress on Candy Coroner and Attack O Lantern? I’m definitely doing what is required, but it doesn’t say that I’ve made progress on them. I was wondering if anybody else is having trouble with that.

    • PleasingFungus says:

      Pretty sure I filled the requirements for Costume Contest (the only one I didn’t get last year), but that didn’t trigger, either…

      …my suspicion is that last year’s achievements are glitched.

  13. Miko says:

    He has a head! It’s a pumpkin. Why isn’t he called the Horseless Headmann?

  14. Chucrute says:

    Must… Resist… Micro… Transactions…

  15. wererogue says:

    Argh, I love TF2, but this Manly Man Man crap is getting really, really, really tired – ever since I read that article by ChemicalAlia and tried out her models, the game just screams “my creative director is too insecure to make any content for women.” The whole MannCo thing makes it ten times worse, even though I think it’s a pretty good business decision to sell content that way.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      FEMINISM, everybody!

      Not understanding the concept of “humor” since 196X!

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Hello, what am this game set in the 1960s. Feminism not an issue for caveman. Caveman moved on but not addressing issue, because caveman moved on. Not pretending issue not exist, issue just not exist in game.

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      ONLINE FORUMS, everybody!

      Not understanding the concept of “feminism” since before Grape Flavor was born!

    • Thants says:

      wererogue: Too insecure to make any content for women? Who says that this isn’t content for women, as well as men? Who are you to tell all women what content is intended for them?

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @ Thants

      lol, yeah. I would argue that wererogue is too insecure about gender issues to enjoy a ridiculous, facetious video game just because it has male character models, and a backstory involving a ridiculous, parodically masculine character.

      I think the fact that no one craps up internet forums on Perfect Dark or Metroid forums shouting “ARGH! DAMN YOU NINTENDO! WHY ARE YOUR DESIGNERS TOO INSECURE TO MAKE ANY CONTENT FOR MEN?!?!, is extremely telling.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @MrEvilGuy

      “ONLINE FORUMS: Not understanding the concept of “feminism” since before Grape Flavor was born!”

      What online forums? Cork bulletin boards, maybe you meant? Mailing lists? Printed newsletters?

      Your sarcastic reply attempt is fail.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Well.

      The new Metroid game was pretty sexist. So that’s not a good example, yo.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @DJ Phantoon

      Nitpicking much? I’d rather you addressed the larger analogy than feebly try to change the subject by bringing up what, the worst game in an 11 game series?

    • Lilliput King says:

      Thants: Because women only want women in games, just like men only want men. Simple common sense.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      @Liliput

      Male Tomb Raider fans would disagree.

    • Saiko Kila says:

      If they made “rape move” I’d be interested…

    • Grandstone says:

      @wererogue

      I always thought the point of all the Manly Man Man MAAAAAAAN stuff to mock that kind of excessive machismo. Do you think it’s more nuanced than that?

      Of course, it’s silly that these circular non-arguments explode over the mere expression of a vaguely feminist thought.

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      @Grape Flavor

      What?
      Either this is some UK joke I don’t get, or you took my post too literally.

      My point, is that you, and many others, don’t understand the concept of feminism, and that this is quite apparent on online forums in general.

      And I don’t accept any objection about being able to understand it and joke about it. To me, that is extremely unlikely, and trolling to the max.

    • dysphemism says:

      @Grandstone

      You struck the nail within its designated strike zone. Feminism in games is more multifaceted than a directive to include female characters, though that surely factors into it, just as feminism in the larger scope can address gender roles of both men and women. Mann Co is a camp portrayal; it’s a funny send-up of specific aspects of male gender norms. I don’t think there’s anything particularly anti-feminist about it, unless you’re missing the satire.

      That said, “feminism” isn’t a dirty word, and it isn’t an outdated concept.

    • Sir Derpicus says:

      I see the RPS crowd is still good at discussion about the important things in life.
      Every single one of you could’ve been playing a game instead of talking about special people with vaginas, you know that?
      …Who am I kidding, let’s talk about deep frying next.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @MrEvilGuy

      For one, I’m not from the UK, that’s apparent by the way I spell “flavor”.

      I know it’s a hard concept for many to understand that people might disagree with you AND not be uninformed at the same time. I understand the concept of “feminism” very well, thank you. It’s quite an interest of mine, actually. And I’m perfectly free to mock it and/or despise it as I please.

      Of course, it’s entirely possible, even likely, that we have entirely different concepts of what the word “feminism” implies. In fact I am an equity feminist myself, but the bulk of feminism in the Western world today is the OTHER sort of feminism, and so I usually refer to it in short as simply “feminism”.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equity_and_gender_feminism

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @Sir Derpicus

      Frankly I had hoped the feminist lot would have followed Mr. Gillen out in a mass exodus from RPS and we could be done with this crap. But alas, the asinine political posturing over silly innocuous videogames continues unabated.

  16. A-Scale says:

    Can anyone confirm whether the Scottish Resistance bombs being visible through walls is new? Or at least that they look different?

    • Qazi says:

      @ A-Scale -
      It isn’t new new. However they “Fixed glows not drawing correctly when using antialiasing on some computers.” this update.

    • A-Scale says:

      I’m so happy! My GTX 260 hasn’t displayed it up till this point. It makes the ScoRes useful, and with the glowing carts its like cheating! The whole game is changed!

  17. Mandla says:

    Dear Valve,

    When you first announced TF2, I was overjoyed. When I took a 2 year sabbatical from gaming, and returned home, and found TF2 still being played by a bunch of people, my joy was greater.

    When I look at the support and upkeep that TF2 is still getting from valve and from the community, my joy is without parallel.

  18. DerShcraa says:

    OT:
    I guess I’m one of the first victims of Steam DRM.
    About a month ago i decided to delete my Google account (GMail, Youtube etc.).
    After realizing that my Steam account is tied to my non existant Gmail account I tried to re-open it, which is not possible.
    For one month i have been trying to get Steam support to verify my new E-Mail Acct., but all they have done is CHANGE my password and never send me a mail with my new one.
    +30 games gone. Go figure.

    • mbp says:

      Bet they sent the email to you old gmail account!

      By the way you can change the email address in the account settings once you log into Steam. Once you get a working password you can sort this easily.

    • sneetch says:

      Jinkies, medic! What a groovy update!

      I love the bottom picture, pure Scooby-Doo!

      With guns!

    • sneetch says:

      Woah, mis-clicked an mis-replied, nothing to do with Steam/Gmail woes.

      I did have a similar issue with a cancelled account but I logged into Steam and updated my email details which you can’t do anymore as they’ve changed your password so I know, I know, that information is about as much use as a chocolate teapot to you, DerShcraa.

    • jalf says:

      One of the first?
      Hardly. And you won’t be the last either.

      It sure would be nice if Steam actually provided some kind of customer service. But that’s not likely to happen any time soon. I expect it to happen shortly after GFWL becomes usable… Which… could be a while.

    • AlexW says:

      DerSchraa, you’re not a ‘victim’ of Steam’s user account protection systems by deleting your own e-mail account without switching Steam over, just like you’re not a victim of gun crime if you shoot yourself in the mouth with a flare gun. You should have changed it before you deleted the old account. However, Valve will probably be gracious enough to complete the move over if you contact their customer support and demonstrate proof of identity (probably with credit card statements to prove that you own the card that bought the games on the account, or something like that).

    • noobnob says:

      Yeah, as long as you prove that you’re the owner of your account, you shouldn’t have any problems. A screenshot of your transactions on Steam should do the trick. When I did that, customer support changed my email in a matter of minutes. On a weekend. Makes me wonder if Steam support is as bad as people claim or people just refuse to read the KB articles in the support page.

    • jalf says:

      Man, you guys are almost as helpful as Steam support.

      Did you see what he wrote?

      For one month i have been trying to get Steam support to verify my new E-Mail Acct., but all they have done is CHANGE my password and never send me a mail with my new one.

      Sounds to me like he *has already* contacted Steam support. Sounds like they weren’t “gracious” enough to fix the problem.

  19. Polysynchronicity says:

    TF2-related info:

    The Horseless Horsemann only spawns on Manor when there are a few people playing (lowest I saw it happen was 12)
    Presents randomly spawn on Manor, again when the server has enough people on it

    Being the first person to grab the present when it spawns will get you an achievement and a random paper mask with one of the 9 classes on it. Grab multiple presents to get multiple masks.

    To get the Saxton Hale mask and achievement, combine 1 of each class mask together at once.

    Being one of the last people to hit the Horsemann before he dies will get you an achievement and his head to wear as a hat
    Doing the same with a MELEE weapon will get you the above _and_ a second achievement _and_ Unusual Haunted Metal.

    You can craft a haunted axe (same stats as the Eyelander) with Unusual Haunted Metal + 2 Refined Metal + a Scotsman’s Skullcutter

    • Qazi says:

      @Polysynchronicity –
      Also SUF is reporting 4 Refined Metal + 1 Unusual Metal = 1 Random (New) Halloween Themed Hat.

      Which I assume is the Spine Chilling Skull or Voodoo Juju. It seems we can only get one Ususual Haunted Metal each as its tied to the Gored! achievement. Be careful in deciding what to do with your Haunted Metal. :/

    • Rinox says:

      This no doubt means that metal prices will go UP UP UP!

      Let’s see if I can trade some hats for refined metals. *grin*

    • subedii says:

      Given how hard people work for them, economists really ought to look into the hat based economy model.

  20. pupsikaso says:

    Does anyone like this map? It just doesn’t feels so… different from what Valve would make.

  21. Lipwig says:

    The picture for this article looks really good on the current advertisement background end post.

  22. Davie says:

    RED and BLU called a ceasefire, everyone went Demoman, and we lobbed a couple of hundred stickies onto the final control point, detonating them simultaneously when the Horsemann appeared. It was the best.

  23. The Hammer says:

    Ooooh, a reason to go back to TF2, if only for the weekend! Is the haunted house lavished with detail? It doesn’t sound like it’s up to the standards as the rest of the game’s levels, but it’s a free, seasonal slice of new stuff, isn’t it?

  24. Drexer says:

    To all of you silly people saying bad things about the Manor map layout…

    It’s the same freaking layout as the artpass map.

    If you want to complain about the layout complain to Valve, but all the maps were built over the same basic layout. I personally have some problems with the aspect of the map, but those are aesthetic decisions not layout decisions.

    Silly people that only half-read the contest rules.

  25. airtekh says:

    Every time I get even slightly jaded with a TF2 update, Valve release another one, and I resume playing with renewed enthusiasm. It’s an endless cycle, and it’s got to the point where I’m neglecting my backlog of other games with alarming regularity.

    It’s highly appropriate that this is a Halloween update, as with its release, I fear my very soul has been sucked into the game proper, and will stay there for all eternity (or at least until TF3 is released).

    Curse you Valve. Curse you and your brilliant, brilliant game.

  26. pimorte says:

    A hint: Always make sure someone else is fighting it first. If you shoot it when it doesn’t have a target it will lock on to you and chase you until you die or hit someone with weap3.

  27. Pijama says:

    NPC boss monster?

    Oh. Dear. Odin.

    No. Just no.

  28. Monchberter says:

    TAAAAAAAANNNKK!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh, my mistake!

  29. panther says:

    It killed me but hey, I got the achievement :D

  30. Arthur Barnhouse says:

    I wish Valve would understand and respect the fact that I would like to have a life outside my apartment, and updates only playable on holidays force me to become a shut-in.

  31. Delusibeta says:

    Bonus, non-Halloween related stuff includes an update to Coldfront and the inclusion of the Swamp Theme assets for mappers, a severe Rocket Jumper nerf, a Sticky Jumper for the Demoman, and “fixing Sandvich charge meter” which I presume removes the “eating sandvich using T doesn’t drain the meter” bug.

  32. Gr1mbum says:

    Well its cool but not that big of a deal most servers have mods and admins that do this on a daily basis.

  33. EthZee says:

    I WANT MEET THE PYRO

    I HAVEN’T FORGOTTEN, YOU FIENDS

    (Still, this update looks excellent. BUT STILL ANGRY SHOUTY CAPS)

  34. Collic says:

    Valve really know how to make an event interesting. The chaos caused by the boss running around is glorious.

  35. SuperZero says:

    The Horseless Headless Horsemann is actually a demoman using the eyelander with 1-hit kill abilities plus more health per person.

    :(

  36. Aoanla says:

    *sigh*

  37. Cross says:

    I want the ingame message when the Horsemann spawns to be “The Horseless Headless Horsemann has appeared, nothing to lose your head over, right?”

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