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SWTIEFighter
Star Wars: TIE Fighter
Publication information
Developer(s)

Totally Games

Publisher(s)

LucasArts

Release date

July 1994[1]

Genre

Space simulation

Modes

Single player

Platform(s)
Chronology
Era(s)

Rebellion era

Timeline

3 - 4 ABY

"The Empire is on the verge of success. Soon, peace and order will be restored throughout the galaxy. Even now, our capable forces, led by Darth Vader, are striking back at the Rebel insurgents."
Palpatine[src]

Star Wars: TIE Fighter is the sequel to Star Wars: X-Wing and the first Star Wars video game ever set on the side of the Galactic Empire.

A notable improvement was the 3-D rendering engine, which supported Gouraud shading, an effect that makes curves of low polygon objects appear to be much more realistic. There were many improvements and flight options added and the briefings were richer as well; apart from the standard schematic map, the player had the ability to 'talk' to an Imperial briefing officer and a Lesser Prophet in a dialogue menu.

In addition to the pilot's manual, the initial release of the game offered a novella called The Stele Chronicles, similar to The Farlander Papers that shipped with X-Wing.

Opening crawlEdit

At the battle of Yavin
Rebel terrorists, aided by
spies and traitors within the
Empire, struck a cowardly
blow at the new symbol of
Imperial power... The Death Star!

Darth Vader brought swift justice
to the Rebels by destroying their
main base on Hoth. The pitiful
remnants of the Alliance have
now scattered to the Outer Rim.

In the days ahead, the Emperor
will call upon the Imperial Navy
to eradicate the last vestiges
of rebellion and restore law
and order to the galaxy!

OverviewEdit

Impalace
The Imperial Palace in the introduction.

The game begins soon after the Battle of Hoth, and the expansions lead up to the Battle of Endor. The player assumes the role of a rookie TIE pilot, whose name in the player's guide is given as Maarek Stele. Since this is the first game ever on the side of the Galactic Empire, the position of an Imperial main character could estrange some players; however the pilot's role becomes a bit sympathetic since he lives in fear of the punishment of Darth Vader and other superiors, and later the player is directed against other odds.

Here the Empire is portrayed as a force for peace and order, while the Rebel Alliance is portrayed as a cause of anarchy and chaos.[1] While the Rebels are one of the biggest threats in the initial stages of the game, many missions also deal with the elimination of pirates and other criminals, civil wars, traitor Imperials, and others, in order to maintain peace in the galaxy.

TIEFighterThrone
Emperor Palpatine from his throne in the Imperial Palace. "The Empire is on the verge of success. Soon, peace and order will be restored throughout the galaxy. Even now, our capable forces, led by Darth Vader, are striking back at the Rebel insurgents."

Similar to X-Wing, there is a concourse which gives the player several options. They can examine craft in the tech room, go to the combat simulation chamber to practice training missions or replay successful missions, view gun camera footage in the film room (with the option of "entering" the mission at any point), transfer to another sector (campaign) or review successful campaign cutscenes, switch pilots, and fly the next upcoming mission.

Though an Imperial Star Destroyer is frequently depicted as the headquarters of a sector or star system, the concourse which is a circular atrium likely represents the interior of an XQ Platform. According to The Stele Chronicles, the concourse is located aboard the Star Destroyer Vengeance.

As mentioned, it was the first Star Wars game ever on the side of the Galactic Empire; interestingly, it is also so far the only game that progresses wholly from the Empire's perspective, while all other subsequent games that offer control of the Empire, give it only as an optional choice. Also, it is the only game whose opening crawl does not feature the Star Wars Main Title, but instead it features a modified version of the Imperial March.

Improvements over X-WingEdit

Lulsla dogfight
Inflight screenshot, displaying the aesthetics of the game engine.

An obvious improvement was the rendering engine, which supported Gouraud shading, an effect that makes curves of low polygon objects appear more realistic.

The game engine was significantly improved to support greater numbers of craft, and those of higher detail than in X-Wing.

The AI and scripting were considerably enhanced to create more complex mission scenarios as well as more challenging and capable opponents and allies.

Among the many gameplay improvements were difficulty settings and options such as unlimited ammo and indestructibility (though using these cheats drastically reduced the player's score.)

There were many flight options added, like flight dialogue and messages, a message log, a list of objectives, ships' status and behavior, three-dimensional map, and HUD, a sub-target system and other additions such as an option to choose armaments before flying.

The HUD or targeting computer, (showing a 3-D rendering of the targeted vessel), was well received by players since it allows the player to see the target's relative orientation in real time. This allowed players to avoid dangerous head-on confrontations, and to specifically target individual components such as weapons batteries. Numerous new hot keys afforded players myriad targeting options.

The ability to match speed with a target lets the player tail an enemy with less risk of collision.

New CraftEdit

Another significant improvement is the expanded roster of craft like variants of capital ships, utility craft, and others. There are also space stations, including the XQ Platform series and X7 Factory Station (replacing X-Wing's makeshift use of containers and bulk freighters to represent "bases"). Some were never further adopted in the Expanded Universe like the Mon Calamari Light Cruiser (the regular MC80 Mon Calamari Star Cruiser is found in the combat simulation chamber but not the storyline missions), R-41 Starchasers, and T-wings. Oddly, Darth Vader's TIE Fighter (TIE Advanced x1) is not included, in its place is the much faster and more powerful TIE Avenger.

Available craft to fly are seven starfighters. Like the films, the player initially pilots craft such as the TIE Fighter, TIE/sa bomber, and TIE/IN interceptor, all of which lack shields and a hyperdrive. However, there are few missions where the player is part of swarms of fragile craft conducting suicidal assaults (as what the canonical Imperial Navy would do).

Later missions become very customized, becoming similar to the preceding X-Wing, depart from the mass attacks with suicidal TIEs and mirror the main character's advancement in importance and significance through the ranks. Especially in the Defender of the Empire and Enemies of the Empire expansions, most of the missions feature the player against overwhelming odds, often without wingmen because this would make the player a catalyst in how the battle unfolds. [2]. There are several original craft like the Assault Gunboat, TIE Advanced or "Avenger", TIE Defender (later added to The Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels) and Missile Boat (in the expansions only).

As the TIE Avenger, TIE Defender, and Missile Boat far exceeded the capabilities of existing starfighters, later iterations of the X-Wing series either toned them down or made them unavailable.

Like the rest of the X-Wing series games, TIE Fighter is known to use alternate models and statistics for a number of ships.

New WeaponsEdit

TIE Fighter featured new weapons such as proton rockets, proton bombs, magnetic pulse warheads, tractor beam, and the jamming beam. In addition, there were also advanced concussion missiles and advanced proton torpedoes, which were better tracking and more powerful versions of the original warheads. As a result, the potency of the standard concussion missile and proton torpedo were toned down, as per game mechanics though this was not in accordance with canon. The images of the concussion missile and proton torpedo also differ from other official sources.

As in X-Wing, in TIE Fighter, ions will gradually bring down shields like laser cannons, however on unshielded craft a few shots will permanently disable it for the duration of the mission unless there is a repair vessel (according to canon, ion cannons can punch through shields but will only disable temporarily).

Capital ship and space station shields will not regenerate once depleted. As well, capital ships such as Star Destroyers and Mon Calamari cruisers feature far less weaponry than their official canon statistics. Consequently, they are not as much of a threat, though it still requires much ordnance to destroy them. This was a design compromise reflecting the limitations of the game engine at the time - since the targeting and combat AI of each turret on a starship used almost as many resources as a single starfighter, the presence of a single Star Destroyer would count almost as much as an entire squadron of fighters.

Optional GoalsEdit

The briefing includes a dialogue-like interface with questions to an Imperial briefing officer, reminiscent of the LucasArts' concurrent adventure games. Apart from the standard briefing, there is a secondary briefing in some missions, given from a Sith-like Cloaked Figure. This person briefs the pilot on the Secondary and Bonus objectives (see below for detail).

Success of secondary and bonus objectives (also referred in-game as secret mission objectives) doesn't alter the scenario or the outcome. However, these optional objectives increase the pilot's score and prestige: as after completing a tour of duty, the medal will contain green and red pins based on perfect completion of secondary and bonus objectives per mission, respectively.

  • Secondary Objectives are given by the Cloaked Figure and they aim to reinforce Imperial Intelligence. Success in completing them catches the attention of Emperor Palpatine, who initiates the pilot into his Secret Order and enables him to move up the ranks of the Order. Completing all secondary objectives in a mission awards the pilot a small silver star with a green gem.
  • Bonus Objectives are intended to increase the replayability of the game. Bonus goals are not mentioned in the briefings and require to be discovered only on the player's initiative, activity and/or luck. The player can guess or complete an objective if he is lucky or active enough to do something 'right', either by hints from secondary objectives or simply by a random action. The nature of bonus goals usually include, for example, to identify a craft before destroying it, or destroy/capture a craft not required to by the official objectives. Completing all bonus objectives in a mission awards the pilot a small gold star with a red gem.
The existence of the bonus objectives is revealed only after completing them in the mission log (when all of them are completed, the player will be notified audibly), or in the debriefing (by displaying how many out of how many have been completed). The full list of bonus objectives is also revealed in the combat simulation chamber once the player has successfully passed the mission in "actual flight". However completing the bonus objectives in the simulation chamber will give the player no awards.

ScenariosEdit

The story evolves in seven different systems, separated in seven Tours of Duty, of four to six missions each.

Tour of Duty I: Aftermath of HothEdit

Hoth system: Pursue Rebels fleeing from Hoth.

MissionsEdit

  1. Patrol Jump Point D-34
  2. Red Alert
  3. Counter-Attack
  4. Outpost D-34 Has Fallen
  5. Attack Rebel Lt. Cruiser
  6. Destroy the Lulsla

Tour of Duty II: The Sepan Civil WarEdit

Sepan system: End a prolonged civil war.

MissionsEdit

  1. Respond to S.O.S.
  2. Intercept Attack
  3. Rescue War Refugees
  4. Capture Enemies
  5. Guard Resupply

Tour of Duty III: Battle on the FrontierEdit

Newland system: Establish a new Imperial base.

MissionsEdit

  1. Load Base Equipment
  2. Destroy Pirate Outpost
  3. Hold Position
  4. Guard Space Station NL-1
  5. Thrawn Inspects NL-1
  6. Wait for Relief Forces

Tour of Duty IV: Conflict at Mylok IVEdit

Mylok system: Battle pirates in the Outer Rim.

MissionsEdit

  1. Escort Convoy
  2. Attack the Nharwaak
  3. Defend Tech Center
  4. Diplomatic Meeting
  5. Rebel Arms Deal

Tour of Duty V: Battle for HonorEdit

Parmel system: Capture a defecting officer.

MissionsEdit

  1. Mineclearing
  2. Assault Gunboat Recon
  3. Convoy Attack
  4. Tactical Superiority
  5. Capture Harkov

Tour of Duty VI: Arms raceEdit

Parmic system: Demetrius Zaarin builds new technology.

MissionsEdit

  1. Protect Prototypes
  2. Prevent Rebel Ambush
  3. Convoy Escort
  4. Punitive Raid

Tour of Duty VII: Treachery at OttegaEdit

Parmel system: Stop a revolt by rogue Imperials.

MissionsEdit

  1. Trap the Protector
  2. Destroy the Akaga
  3. Retribution
  4. TIE Defender
  5. Save the Emperor

Expansion packEdit

Defender of the Empire cover
Defender of the Empire. Interestingly, the player does not fly any of the craft depicted on the cover.

One additional campaign disk was sold separately, Defender of the Empire which added 3 new Tours of Duty:

Tour of Duty VIII: Strategic WarfareEdit

Omar system: Zaarin attempts sabotage.

MissionsEdit

  1. Evacuate TIE Avenger Plants
  2. Save TIE Avenger Factory
  3. Secure TIE Avenger Plant
  4. Supply TIE Avenger Plant
  5. Capture Mag Pulse Weapon
  6. Trapped

Tour of Duty IX: T/D TechnologyEdit

Parmel system: Secure TIE Defender technology.

MissionsEdit

  1. Capture Platform
  2. Hold Platform
  3. Protect Evacuation
  4. Escort to Rendezvous
  5. Trapped by Pirates
  6. Transfer Prototypes

Tour of Duty X: New ThreatsEdit

Eva-T system: Counter-Attack!

MissionsEdit

  1. Ransom
  2. Rescue
  3. Under the Gun
  4. Missile Boat Diplomacy
  5. Rebel Assault
  6. Eliminate TIE Defender Factory

Enemies of the EmpireEdit

The scenario ends with Thrawn's promotion to Grand Admiral, and Emperor Palpatine tasking him to hunt down Zaarin. An additional campaign disk, Enemies of the Empire concluded the plot, but was never sold separately. Instead, it was included in the Collector's CD-ROM.

Tour of Duty XI: Hunt for ZaarinEdit

Semag system: Thrawn seeks the traitor Zaarin.

MissionsEdit

  1. Intercept Convoy
  2. Preemptive Strike
  3. Bait and Switch
  4. An Unexpected Attack
  5. The Real Thing
  6. Protect Vorknkx Project
  7. Evacuate

Tour of Duty XII: Prelude to EndorEdit

Yllotat system: Investigate Bothan connection.

MissionsEdit

  1. Escort Prison Ship
  2. Escort Prisoners
  3. Attack on Bothuwui
  4. Strike on Kothlis
  5. Bothan Treachery
  6. Recon Military Summit
  7. Delay Strike Force

Tour of Duty XIII: The Emperor's WillEdit

Iast system: Final triumph...?

MissionsEdit

  1. Surprise Attack
  2. Capture the Turncoat
  3. Track Down Rebels
  4. Missile Boat Trouble
  5. Return to Vorknkx
  6. Corvette Attack
  7. Zaarin Takes the Bait
  8. The Trap is Sprung

Collector's CD-ROM EditionEdit

Like X-Wing, TIE Fighter was also re-released a year later (1995) in an enhanced version including the original release plus two expansions. The game engine was also rebuilt to run under Windows 95.

Like the previous X-Wing Collector's CD-ROM, it offered full voice-over soundtrack, and an improved rendering engine which supported 640x480 resolution.

The Collector's Edition featured a completely redone introduction cutscene, all of it was fully rendered. There is now a Super Star Destroyer and a Nebulon-B frigate alongside the many Imperial Star Destroyers. During the assault on the Rebel platform, the Imperials are attacking with TIE Bombers instead of just TIE Interceptors, making the assault more realistic as starfighters' laser cannons would have been unable to do significant damage to a large space station. However the kind of bombs they use to bombard the facility, do not appear in-game.

The CD-ROM Edition also added a new campaign Enemies of the Empire with 3 brand new Tours of Duty that conclude the scenario.

TIE Fighter had a major retouch for its release along with the collections X-Wing Collector Series (1998) and X-Wing Trilogy (1999). The game was retrofitted with the Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter graphics engine, which uses texture mapping instead of Gouraud shading. Concourse graphics and some cutscenes were also retouched. This version is the one which will work with MS Windows XP, though the iMuse music system was removed. [3]. However, the original DOS-based Collector's CD version, which includes iMuse, can be emulated using Dosbox.

DemoEdit

LucasArts released a demo of TIE Fighter in early 1994. This demo was based on an unfinished build of the game and has some unique features as a result. It consists of just one long mission in a TIE Fighter against various Rebellion forces. The cockpit is not the same as that in the final game [4], sound effects are different, and the soundtrack is from Star Wars: X-Wing.

The demo was sponsored by Dodge and displayed a Neon car advertisement before the gameplay began. It came on two 3.5" 1.44 MiB floppy disks. The demo announced the game's release date as "Spring 1994" but it wasn't released until July.

Voice castEdit

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Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit


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