Scream Fortress is Best Holiday

scream fortress

After leaving for University, holidays kinda stopped being a thing. I’d go home for Thanksgiving and Christmas and I’d probably go out for a drink on my birthday, but that’s pretty much it. Without little kids, religion, or a drinking problem, most holidays went past without occasion. Valentine’s Day was always hokey, I don’t drink enough to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter is a little kid’s game. Who cares? However, there is one holiday to which I look forward each year: Halloween.

Not just for the excuse to dress up, nor for the party my friends host every year (although those do definitely add to my excitement). No, the real reason I get excited is much… stupider. For the weeks beforehand, I start to obsess and refresh the website, hoping for a hint or glimpse of the joy to come. I get impatient if it starts later than previous years. Even now, I have almost an addict’s level of withdrawal, just waiting for my fix. One question rings in my head:

“Is it Scream Fortress yet?”

Every year, Team Fortress 2 holds an event over the course of about two weeks. We get a new Halloween boss to fight, a new map, new costume pieces to win, and (more recently) new lore to add to the growing ridiculousness that TF2 brings. For a TF2 addict like me, it’s better than a pillowcase full of candy.

Like children on an easter egg hunt, heavily-armed mercenaries run around on the maps, looking for presents left just for them. Is it a new hat, or a shiny pair of wings? Excitement akin to that of a child on Christmas takes over as everyone gleefully dances through the violence and bloodshed expected of games like TF2. With similar excitement, I can dress my characters up in costumes that are ordinarily restricted to full moons – thusly showing off not just how long I’ve been playing, but my ability to collect sets of things. I don’t know why, but it matters to me and the rest of the TF2 community (and is a badge of honor above the n00b f2pers).

However, it’s togetherness that marks Scream Fortress. In order to defeat whichever new spectral baddie, each team needs to overcome their differences and work together. Red beside blue, spy beside engie, everyone works together in what can only be described as a Scream Fortress miracle.

Once my eyes grow heavy and reflexes sluggish, I acknowledge that it’s time for bed, so I go cuddle up with a bedtime story. But it’s Scream Fortress, so I need to stay in the holiday spirit, right? I can read this year’s comic, or hark back to earlier days; it started as the Haunted Hallowe’en Special, and then became Scream Fortress for the second, third, and fourth years. Comics from all of them lull me into a contented yet excited sleep; while I know it has been a good day, I have the same to look forward to tomorrow.

This is what Halloween holds for me: Scream Fortress. It’s fun, it’s ridiculous, and I look forward to it every year. The patch was just released in the last hour or two – and subsequently, it’s taking all the willpower I have to finish writing this post. So while others tell you that Christmas is the hap-happiest time of the year, I beg to differ. Sure, it has family and presents, but Scream Fortress has all that and more. It brings friends together for the noble purpose of killing a ghost and stealing their skull for a hat. What more could you want?