Mental disorders. That’s what makes things flavorful and special. Richard Nixon, King George III, Nero, Paris Hilton…and most importantly…the Pyro. Now I know all of you think I’m just silly…but it is indeed true! Through the footage of the recently released “Meet the Pyro” video, we see the world behind the mask: a twisted collage of rainbows, babies, candy and MURDER. Think of the Teletubbies show as hosted by Jigsaw. This dude is sick. Sick with what you might ask? Schizophrenia? Possibly. From what I have observed is that the Pyro has a complete and total disconnect with reality, seeing the world SO differently that he simply just can’t relate with anyone. But due to the “Pyrovision Goggles” thus begs the question: “Is the pyro’s reality manufactured?”
I posit that the Pyro is being controlled through an artificial form of schizophrenia. (and a bunch of other stuff. Keep reading.)
Why? Why would you trap someone in some happy happy augmented reality funland where their every “act of kindness” is really a brutal murder? DESENSITIZATION. HEIGHTENED BATTLEFIELD AWARENESS. WEIRD AND UNNECESSARY EXPERIMENTS!!! Essentially the Pyro is either a terribly successful experiment, a poor soul who is being manipulated by an unknown hand. Or both.
There are plenty of stories about this stuff in the fictional and real worlds of government experiments on soldiers: The Manchurian Candidate, The Bourne Series, Gordon Erspamer. Hold up. Pause…Who is Gordon Erspamer? (He’s not fiction) He’s a dude that filed suit against the CIA and US Army because he was an unwitting test subject at the US Army’s Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland between 1950 and 1975. They exposed him and a whole host of his fellow soldiers to all sorts of nasty nerve agents and other gassy things. There is official documentation regarding the experiments, but to save you some reading I’ll give you an excerpt from the background paragraph:
“The tests and experiments involved radiological, chemical, and biological research and were conducted to support weapon development programs, identify methods to protect the health of military personnel against a variety of diseases and combat conditions.” – Human Experimentation: An Overview on Cold War Era Programs, Frank C. Conahan, Assistant Comptroller General, National Security and International Affairs Division”
The United States and Russia were truly obsessed when it came down to who could build the better weapon. The cold war was an era unlike any other where nations would simply sit and wait for the possibility of war, but were entirely way too afraid to cast the first stone. Now, I know this is a coincidence but what year does team fortress 2 take place? 1968. Now when did the United States conduct human experimentation on unwitting subjects? Between 1940 and 1974! What does it mean? It means that there is a possibility that the Pyro is allegory to the human experimentation of the Cold War era!
I postulate that the Pyro is a construct, an assembly-line artificial being created through “Pyrovision Goggles”. The “Meet the Medic” video has revealed that there are many different instances of the same class: All the many many Soldiers. So I believe it would be safe to assume that there are many different instances of Pyro.
Examples of other Pyros? Well there’s the Meet the Demoman Pyro, Meet the Sniper Pyro, Meet the Soldier Pyro and so on…all of these Pyros have two things in common: They are all dead, and complete failures. They lacked the qualities to become a true Pyro as displayed in the Meet the Pyro video. This particular instance has all the desired qualities: a monster, invulnerable to fear and doubt, while simultatiously inspiring nothing but sheer terror in all who gaze upon it. (Not to mention an absurdly efficient killing machine).
Now this leads me to a possible explanation as to why the Pyro is perceived as both male and/or female. Sometimes the Pyro is a He…and sometimes it’s a She. This merely depends on the “original mind” behind the mask. The process is simple, take a person (male or female) who is in decent physical shape. Strap on Pyro vision goggles, and suit them up with the right equipment in a controlled facility. Once they make the cut, you just tell them what team they’re on and point them in the right direction. Think about it…a female brainwashed zombie…is (or was) a female, right?
Those of you who’ve read my previous post Behold! The Medic is Zarathustra…sort of… will know, Mike Ambinder is an employee of Valve. A man accomplished in his field of Psychology. He applies both his psychological knowledge and methodologies to video games (and he’s probably the reason why we’re all obsessed with hats). I decided to forward him…basically a synopsis of everything you just read. His reply?…
“I am not allowed to confirm nor deny.” – Mike Ambinder
Yeah. I uh…well. That wasn’t too illuminating. I mean, yeah the questions I tossed his way were probably way too specific. So I decided to forward him three more questions (that were slightly less specific):
Nothing much revealed there…
To elaborate on this question, I was assuming that the Pyro is being manipulated by some invisible hand controlling it’s every action and emotion. I guess…nothing is really revealed through that answer.
Well. The next time you see cheese and crackers…look upon them with suspicion!! For they lie in wait… plotting… scheming… awaiting the day they will finally acquire the coveted butane!!! Oh. Wait. Yeah. Back to my rants and ravings, the theory of a “man made” Pyro is sound: The technology exists. Mann Co. is a company with nothing but the utmost moral ambiguity. Redmond and Blutarch Mann are so focused on trying to kill one another that I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that they would sacrifice any number of innocent…or not so innocent individuals for their campaigns. Most importantly, it’s the aesthetics. Team Fortress 2 is set to take place during a time of government’s shadow conspiracies and human experimentation. TF2 has some similarities to the Cold War: two opposing teams of similar strength, the world hanging in the balance… I could go on, but I think that’s better saved for another blog post.