Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2

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What is Versus Saxton Hale / Freak Fortress 2? - Everything Explained
By Dom
A VIDEO guide to Saxton Hale and Freak Fortress 2, the TF2 mod-gamemodes. VSH/FF2 are modes about pitting one super boss player against everyone else.
   
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Note: This is the video's script.

Versus Saxton Hale and Freak Fortress 2 are popular Team fortress 2 mod-gamemodes. They use arena, king of the hill and custom-made maps and requires a plugin to play.

The original Versus Saxton Hale plugin was release January 2011. Freak Fortress 2 came from Versus Saxton Hale. Its original plugin came out April 2012. Today there are roughly 90 servers running these mod-gamemodes either full or part-time.

So what is “Versus Saxton Hale?”

Versus Saxton Hale is a gamemodes about fighting Saxton Hale (the fictional CEO of Mannco, a super powerful and manly character in Team Fortress 2 lore) and his associates.

In Versus Saxton Hale every round starts the same. One player is selected from a point que to play as the boss and everyone else is moved to the other team to try and defeat them. Rounds are one-life only.

The bosses in Versus Saxton Hale vary from server to server. For the most part all have unique gameplay styles and special moves. Normally the bosses are restricted to melee-only; however they can usually kill non-overhealed players in a single hit. They can also deal damage by landing on players. Bosses have enormous health pools. Their health depends on the number of players on the server meaning that the gamemode can more-or-less accommodate any number of players, and still be balanced.

As stated before, bosses have special moves. Most bosses have a rage mechanic. By taking damage a rage meter fills. Once full the player playing the boss can use their taunt key to active a special effect. Normally the effect is to a stun nearby enemies and sentry guns, however the effect can be anything. Bosses can perform super jumps. By crouching and lettering go, boss players can fling themselves up into the air. This move is ideal for escaping death pits found on some maps. Bosses have a “Weighdown” move. Basically if they’re suspended in the air for too long from constantly being knocked back they can hold crouch to crash back down to the ground. The last noteworthy thing about bosses is that they run really fast and slightly increase in speed as they take damage.


At a certain time in a round the control point on the map will activate. This is event is usually triggered by having only a few remaining mercenaries left. The reason this event happens is to speed up rounds. Bosses can try and cap the control point to force players out of hiding and prolonging rounds. Rounds in Versus Saxton Hale can last long and since they’re one-life-only players can spend a long time simply spectating the action.


Versus Saxton Hale is a mod in semi-constant development. The main thing to change between updates (that differs between servers) is weapon balance. Weapons are heavily modified in Versus Saxton Hale. Some barley resembles their original weapon in terms of stats. Basically over the years, community feedback has shaped the weapons repeatedly and continues to do so. New players may find it a challenge to learn all the obscure changes.

Since most bosses are melee only and have to get close to players to kill them, players on the other team have 100% critical hits on their melee weapons to encourage them to use their melee as a sort of high-risk high-reward situation.


Some mechanics that are often found in Versus Saxton Hale stem from other mods that are commonly used alongside the Versus Saxton Hale plugin. For example the goomba stomp mechanic, the amplifier, taunt crits, and the damage indicator that shows how much damage players inflicted on the boss at the end of the round. Another popular plugin is class restrictions. Sometimes too many of a single class can be overpowered. This plugin allow server operators to balanced the gamemode further.


So what is "Freak Fortress 2" then?

FF2 marks a point in VSH’s lifespan where it split into 2. Over time, more and more bosses across many servers were added to VSH. Eventually the mode became more about fighting non-cannon characters in Team Fortress 2’s bazaar fan concusses and internet meme characters then actually fighting Saxton Hale.

FF2 is basically the same thing as VSH. The main key differences are the grater emphasis on custom bosses and the code-reworking that allowed for custom bosses to be made and implemented more easily. FF2 also starts off with a greater roster of pre-made bosses.

Deathrun is also a mode that came from Versus Saxton Hale. In-short it’s a sort of minigame of Versus Saxton Hale where the boss attempts to trigger traps in an obstacle course in order to kill the other team.


And that’s basically Versus Saxton Hale slash Freak Fortress 2 in a nutshell. A gamemode about fighting a super-powerful boss. An underdog story: Pitting killer mercenaries angst their employer or a vengeful ghost …or a pony.

Thanks for reading. Don't forget to like/fav if you did.
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17 Comments
Squishy Butt Jan 11, 2019 @ 10:16pm 
Every Saxton Hale game I've ever joined has custom sounds, and models. How can I install mods like that?
madzane Sep 5, 2015 @ 11:01pm 
how about wi fi for engi boss ( australia joke)
Joosh May 6, 2014 @ 9:37pm 
What the hell was up with Goofy at the end? XD Anyway, good guide. Although I always play on Ozfur VSH, so it was odd seeing the players on red and the boss on blue.
YourCrazyDolphin Dec 29, 2013 @ 2:46pm 
One thing you missed in the video: The hale can, alternately, right click instead of crouch to charge up a super jump, and most players dislike full capping, especially from the hale, as he is very powerful and capable of killing the remaining players. though, in the case of a bug that renders one side undefeatable, it works.
Irkalla Dec 29, 2013 @ 10:47am 
Who is sexton hale? I only know saxton hale, nontheless quite good explaining
Vinnis Vidya Dec 28, 2013 @ 9:48pm 
"sexton hale"
2232 Dec 28, 2013 @ 8:43pm 
I HAVE A KG VSH SERVER THAT HAS alot of hales in it even Billy The Doll is in there but he has 2 lifes :P
2232 Dec 28, 2013 @ 8:42pm 
I SAW BILLY THE DOLL
Not Not Falco Dec 28, 2013 @ 4:14pm 
One thing about VSH is that you can use Right Click to supper jump instead of crouching.
pebble Dec 26, 2013 @ 7:46pm 
i kill ponys for a LIVING