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It was way back on August 24th, 1996 that the first version of Team Fortress took its first feeble baby steps out into the world. At the time it only had five playable classes, no maps, and--believe it or not--no hats. There wasn't even a concept of teams yet. That's right, we didn't actually get teams into a game called Team Fortress until a couple of releases after the initial launch. (The next time someone says their game isn't ready to release yet because they're missing a core feature, you can helpfully point this out to them.)
What the initial version of TF did have, though, was a Soldier class wielding the original Quake's iconic weapon, the rocket launcher. Now, fifteen years later, thanks to Bethesda and id software you too can wield that same rocket launcher in TF2, original sound effects and all.
It ended up being surprisingly difficult to integrate the Quake rocket launcher into TF2, mainly because any time we started working on it, we'd get sidetracked by hours of reminiscing: about that first Quake game, about its impact on us all personally, and on Valve overall. When Quake celebrated its 15th birthday this past June 22nd, we realized just how damn many of us at Valve are here because of id software. Some of us were inspired by their games' technical prowess, and others by getting their first taste of game development thanks to Doom and Quake's revolutionary approach to user-generated content.
So, thanks id, for... well, everything.
As long as we're here, we might as well tell you how to actually get your hands on that rocket launcher we've been getting all misty-eyed over. If you've been living under a rock, you may not be aware that QuakeCon started today. We're celebrating with a QuakeCon Steam Sale, where each day we'll have a new Bethesda title on sale. We've built TF2 items for pre-ordering Rage and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and whipped up an awesome Brink mask for those of you who own Brink (which also just released some free DLC). Quake IV landed on Steam today as well, and buying that will net you The Original Quake rocket launcher. We're also big Fallout fans, so we politely sent a few thousand emails to Bethesda until they let us build a replica Pip-Boy for the Engineer, which you'll get if you own Fallout: New Vegas. Note that all of this only runs the length of QuakeCon, so keep an eye on the QuakeCon Sale.