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TIE Fighter: A Gamer's Education

Kat reflects on the game that changed her perspective on gaming.

Retrospective by Kat Bailey, .

This article originally ran in July 2014. In honor of May 4th, we're bringing it back to highlight the best Star Wars game ever made. Enjoy!

In the summer of 1995, I sped home on my bike with a handful of 3.5 inch disks rattling in a box tucked under my arm.

The box contained TIE Fighter, which I'd discovered a few weeks before. I looked to it simply as one more game to keep me busy during the muggy Minnesota summer, never suspecting that I would still be playing it well into adulthood.

On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, I find myself reflecting on TIE Fighter a great deal. For me, the ultimately represented an escape from the drab days of middle school, but it also served as an education. It was the game that really introduced me to the Star Wars universe; at the same time, it taught me a good deal about good game design. Many people talk about games that influenced their childhood. TIE Fighter didn't merely influence my adolescence, it helped shape my tastes as an adult.

It came into my life at the perfect time. In 1995, I was a shy and mousey-looking 12-year-old with huge glasses. As I stood on the verge of entering middle school, I found my gaming tastes were in the process of shifting as well. I still liked my NES, but it seemed woefully out-of-date; and without a Super Nintendo or a Sega Genesis to replace it, I inevitably gravitated toward the PC.

TIE Fighter presented an experience that I couldn't get on a 16-bit console, nor even on one of the newer 32-bit consoles like the Sega Saturn. Oh sure, there were a few inferior console ports of Wing Commander here and there, but TIE Fighter was more complex than any of those games. The key command screen alone — loaded as it was with wingmate commands and targeting instructions — made it clear that TIE Fighter could never work on a simple gamepad. This was well and truly a PC game.

I played hours of TIE Fighter that summer, working my way through the Defender of the Empire expansion and looping back to the beginning again. Eventually I bought a PlayStation, went to college, and moved to Japan. Nevertheless, TIE Fighter has remained an indelible part of my experience as a gamer in a way that few other games have. Even now, nearly 20 years later, little has changed.

In the Cockpit

TIE Fighter hooked me right away. Its splendid opening cutscene still ranks as one of the best I've ever seen.

Like most Star Wars openings, it begins with the familiar "A long time ago..." and an opening crawl. Yet here instead of the usual soaring Star Wars theme, it uses a variant of the Imperial March rendered in LucasArts' iMuse engine. The piece starts off menacing and bombastic like the one from the movies, then changes into more of a heroic-sounding naval fanfare. After the text fades away, the scene shifts to a handful of Star Destroyers taking up orbit around the planet Coruscant, where the Emperor delivers his assurances that the rebels will soon be destroyed. We then see Darth Vader and Admiral Thrawn launch an attack on a rebel platform, the battle culminating in a pair of TIE Interceptors chasing down and destroying and X-wing and A-wing as the music swells.

As cutscenes go, it's distinctive, succinct, and masterfully executed. Watching it, you immediately want to hop into a TIE Interceptor and start blasting X-wings, regardless of how much you might have liked Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. As a cutscene, it does exactly what it needs to: It puts you on the side of the Empire while retaining the novelty of flying with the bad guys, thus setting the stage for what's to follow. It's easy to envision playing as the Empire now with reams of source material, movies, and books to draw from; but back in 1994, when TIE Fighter first came out, the Empire was still relatively faceless. TIE Fighter's opening cutscene gives them a cause: To maintain law and order throughout the galaxy.

The idea of taking the role of the Empire really crystallizes the first time you see an X-wing as an enemy. The first time I saw Red Squadron pop in, I was overcome with an almost immediate desire to fly over and start shooting at them, despite the fact that I had my hands full with Y-wings. It felt wonderfully cathartic to be the bad guy; doubly so when those beautiful X-shaped wings snapped off like pieces on a plastic model and flew off into the void.

One of TIE Fighter's chief strengths came from the distinctive natures of its ships. X-wings are the Marios of the Star Wars universe, solid multi-role fighters capable of both dogfighting and bombing missions. A-wings are the pesky gnats, tiny, difficult to hit, and exceedingly dangerous in a dogfight. Y-wings and B-wings play the bullet sponges, while fragile Z-95s comparatively appear to be made of tissue paper. On the Imperial side, the TIE Advance and TIE Interceptor are by far the most fun to fly, while the pig slow and unshielded TIE Bomber inevitably elicits groans.

The flight mechanics can best be described as deliberate. Especially compared to more frenetic games like Rogue Squadron and Freespace, the battles feel like they have a rhyme and a reason to them. Every single shot counts; and when your attacks hit home, the punchy sound effects make for a satisfying reward. The reality, of course, is that for all of its pretensions toward energy management and the like, TIE Fighter is basically an arcade shooter. In any given mission, you can collect a dozen or more kills; if you're really dedicated, you can eventually wear down and destroy an enemy capital ship all by yourself. But as they say, it's realistic enough for a Star Wars game. It doesn't exactly need to be Falcon 4.0 in space.

I find myself surprised by how well the game holds up even now. TIE Fighter's ships may be constructed from smooth, textureless shapes, with only a few details interspersed here and there to help differentiate them, but this gives it a uniquely minimalist look. Even for the time, the ship models looked quite simple, especially when compared to the likes of Wing Commander; but the relatively spartan graphics also ensured that TIE Fighter could run on a wide variety of machines (including my old 486). Looking at them now, something about TIE Fighter's flat gouraud-shaded ships manages to be charming. They're almost artistic in a way.

Much like the movies upon which its based, TIE Fighter gets the majority of its punch from its sound effects and its music. The audio cues, of course, all come directly from the films. Many, like the whoosh of the X-wing's engines as its sweeps by, sound as if they've been lifted directly from the films. Others are unique to TIE Fighter, like the rich (and rather terrifying) blast of a rebel turbolaser if you get too close to one of their capital ships.

The music, like the graphics, proves to be simple yet effective. Rendered entirely in the iMuse engine, it's really only a half step above the MIDI tunes you would have heard on a MySpace page back in the day, but its subtle derivations of the Imperial March nevertheless manage to be quite catchy. It finds its real strength in its dynamism, as every meaningful event is accompanied by some sort of musical sting, which lends the action a good deal of energy. When TIE Fighter was remade with Redbook Audio a few years later, the quality of the tunes substantially improved, yet I dearly missed the original dynamic music.

Taken together, TIE Fighter comprises an elegant package that worked well within the limitations of its time period. It lacked the bombast and the FMV video cutscenes of Wing Commander, but it looked very good in its own way. More importantly, it remained faithful to its source material, thus helping to pave the way for a resurgence of interest in Star Wars and the rise of a new generation of fans.

The First Step into a Larger World

I completely missed the cloaked Secret Order member sitting behind briefing officer the first time he appeared in TIE Fighter. Focused as I was on the next mission, I just plowed right through to the hangar and completely failed to notice the shadowy figure hanging around in the background. But in so doing, I inadvertently missed out on one of TIE Fighter's more interesting elements.

The Secret Order, as I later discovered, served to offer a glimpse of the bigger picture. In the very first campaign, they have you inspect fleeing shuttles and cargo transports, darkly hinting that something may be amiss. And as it turns out, they're right. At the conclusion of the first battle, an Imperial Admiral is shown offering up his fleet to the rebellion ("For a price," he growls), and the stage is set for the traitor arc that dominates the latter half of the game.

The Secret Order perfectly embodies TIE Fighter's storytelling, which (like much of the rest of the game) has a decidedly minimalistic quality. In an era in which PC game developers experimented heavily with FMV cutscenes, TIE Fighter opted to use in-game messages, briefings, and the odd cutscene to get its message across. At no point does it feature the sort of sprawling cinematic sequences that came to characterize Wing Commander, and most of the background information is compartmentalized in the source material that comes with the game — this being when games still had manuals. For the most part, TIE Fighter prefers to let its actual missions do the talking.

Nevertheless, the story looms heavy with a sense of intrigue, which is largely down to the Secret Order. Their missions represent a totally optional element to the game, but if you happen to complete them, you get to hear a tiny bit more about what's actually going on. As an added bonus, they induct you into the order, giving you a nifty arm tattoo in the process. This aspect of the game does a fantastic job of evoking the Dark Side of the Force without actually making the pilot a Jedi — an approach that might have tempted lesser developers. It left me without a shadow of a doubt that I was flying for the Empire.

As a side effect of TIE Fighter's economic approach to storytelling, I found myself drawn further into the Star Wars universe as a whole. I began braving the humidity and biking down to the local Book Mobile so I could check out Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire trilogy of novels, a series that introduced many elements that eventually made their way into TIE Fighter, including the planet Coruscant and Admiral Thrawn. I also devoured the Stele Chronicles, which came packed in with every copy of TIE Fighter. Ostensibly the story of TIE Fighter's anonymous pilot, its ulterior motive was to tease the official strategy guide, where the story continued. I'll admit, it worked. I ended up reading the guide to the point that the binding came off.

In retrospect, I suppose this was LucasArts' way of reacquainting people with the Star Wars universe, which had been on something of a hiatus up to that point. At that point, there was no Wookiepedia to reference, nor even much of an Expanded Universe. The Empire was a blank slate, and the world of Star Wars offered an exciting tabula rasa on which to tell a story. TIE Fighter did its part to feed that excitement, even if it did waste far too much time on its various traitor plots*. Protagonist Maarek Stele even made it into the Expanded Universe proper at one point, as did other LucasArts heroes like Keyan Farlander and Kyle Katarn. Back when they were at the top of their game, LucasArts could spin a yarn in the Star Wars universe as well as anyone.

My own dalliance with the Expanded Universe was comparatively short-lived. I stopped reading around the time that the Yuuzhan Vong showed up, which in retrospect was probably about the right time to get out. My interest did manage to push me into the mission-building community though, which profoundly impacted my understanding of TIE Fighter — and gaming— as a whole.

Perspective

I first came into TIE Fighter's mission building community via the Emperor's Hammer — a then-burgeoning online gaming club in which players roleplayed as Imperial Officers (it's actually still around... sort of). Playing custom missions for high scores was a key component of the EH, which boasted a compendium that ran more than a hundred missions deep. The prospect of designing my own missions piqued my sense of creativity, so I decided to give it a try.

Upon downloading the TIE Fighter Editor, I decided that I would try and make the mission that every novice editor attempts to create before they eventually wise up: The Battle of Endor. Having never really appeared in a Star Wars game up until that point (unless you count the thoroughly average Return of the Jedi arcade game), it seemed an enticing subject for a mission. But without a Death Star — or even a Super Star Destroyer — to serve as a centerpiece, it was unfortunately a bit of a non-starter.

My aborted attempt to build the full Battle of Endor gave me an appreciation for the limitations that the developers worked under. As I soon discovered, TIE Fighter can only support a handful of flight groups at any one time. Suffice it to say, my take on the Battle of Endor looked quite puny in comparison to the real thing.

As time went on, I became better about cycling in and out flight groups and generally keeping the battle dynamic enough that no one would notice how few ships were on the screen at any given time. I eventually learned that I had my greatest successes when I split missions into multiple parts comprising an introduction, rising action, and a climax. My favorite missions were the ones that started as one thing before morphing into something else entirely. The constantly shifting battle made it that much easier to keep the scope as large as possible.

I eventually made some pretty good missions, my favorites being the ones in which I could create the sense that the player was a solitary pilot just trying to survive. I was still an amateur though, and my desire for control over the story tended to get the better of me. In one battle in particular, I tried to create a squadron of rival aces; but no matter how hard I tried, the setpiece duels just never quite came off. In TIE Fighter, the only ace is Darth Vader. Everyone else is cannon fodder.

In the years that followed, I also experimented with X-wing vs. TIE Fighter and X-wing Alliance, but my familiarity with TIE Fighter usually brought me back. Ultimately, though, I suspect I tried too hard to make something truly epic. Lawrence Holland and his team had scarcely more tools at their disposal than I did, but by comparison their missions are far more elegant than mine. One of my recent favorites is the sixth mission of the first campaign, which pits you against the CRL Lusla. Having been largely stripped of its fighter screen, its only defense is a handful of fighters and a minefield. Nevertheless, between clearing out mines, covering transports on their bombing runs, and disabling fleeing rebel shuttles, the battle becomes sheer chaos. TIE Fighter features plenty of missions like that, actually: Battles in which situational awareness becomes every bit as important as raw skill, because you never know when a group of Y-wings will jump in to kill your mission objective while you're not looking.


Regarding the Collector's Editions

TIE Fighter through the years.

Though TIE Fighter was first released on July 17, 1994, the Collector's CD-ROM released a year later is more fondly remembered among fans. Sporting higher-resolution graphics, fully-voiced mission messages, and a complete expansion that concluded the original story, "TIE95" was quickly embraced as the game's definitive edition. The Collector's Series release, which replaced the trademark iMuse engine with Redbook Audio, wasn't remembered nearly as fondly. Unfortunately, it was also the only version that reliably ran on later versions of Windows until DOSBox came around.


What's more impressive is how effectively the designers balanced most of those missions. Rarely have I ever said, "Oh, c'mon, that's BS," in TIE Fighter. I know that more than a few people have said that about my own missions, like the one in which I required them to destroy four jamming transmitters solo while under the guns of multiple enemy starfighters and a capital ship. Let's just say that mission wasn't too popular.

It's been a long time now since I last made any missions; and sadly, most of them have long since been scrubbed clean from the Internet (probably for the best). I'm glad I had the experience, though. I took awat a lot of lessons that I still find valuable eve now. Over the weekend, I found myself admiring the open-ended nature of Destiny's encounters, which generally put an obstacle (like a bad guy) in your way and leave you to figure out how to get past it. I know how hard it can be to pull off even without terrain to worry about, so I admire the ease with which Bungie is able to craft their encounters.

Building missions in TIE Fighter didn't exactly make me a pro-level designer overnight, but it did have a pretty big impact on the way that I came to view A.I., objective design, and verticality. More importantly, it gave me a new perspective on the truly thoughtful design lurking beneath TIE Fighter's minimalist exterior.

I ended up playing TIE Fighter for the better part of a decade, installing it across multiple computers as I fell in and out of the Emperor's Hammer. I've modded it, built custom missions, and generally played it into the ground. My current run, which started with my recent stream, is actually the first time I've played the proper campaign in quite a long while.

If anything, I've found TIE Fighter to be better than I'd remembered. Over the past week, I've been periodically jumping in to play a few missions, shoot down some X-wings, and just soak it all in again. On more than one occasion, I've found myself thinking, "Yikes, this is a lot harder than I remembered." But by and large, it's been a pleasant stroll down memory lane.

Sadly, nostalgia is all I really have now. Though the original TIE Fighter holds up better than you might think, it's still 20 years old; and as of right now, there are no new Star Wars flight sims in the offing. Totally Games — the outfit that developed the X-wing series under the LucasArts umbrella — appears to be long gone. In putting together this article, I've attempted to contact Larry Holland and his team; but inquiries over email, Facebook, and LinkedIn, as well as multiple phone calls, went unanswered. As best as I can tell, Totally Games is now a one-person outfit based out of a condo in Santa Cruz. Any sequel would almost certainly have to be developed at EA; and barring a sudden space combat renaissance (c'mon, Star Citizen!), I don't see that happening.

Twenty years ago though, TIE Fighter gave me a lasting appreciation for both Star Wars and good game design. Sequel or not, they represent memories that will last a lifetime.

* As a sidenote, how in the world did Admiral Zaarin manage to kidnap the Emperor? The guy could fly and shoot lightning bolts. I maintain that it was all part of the Emperor's plan to unmask Zaarin as a traitor.

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Comments 35

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  • Avatar for bullet656 #1 bullet656 4 years ago
    Great article. Having already been a big fan of LucasArts as well as anything Star Wars related, I was very excited when X-Wing came out. Although I was never really into flight/space simulators, I loved it and Tie Fighter was even better.

    I was into the Star Wars expanded universe at the time, so I thought it was really cool that they included Thrawn. The fact that they also included an original story/mini-novel in the packaging was awesome.

    It's funny that you mention how odd it was that the emperor gets kidnapped in the game. I can remember thinking how strange that was even way back then when I first played it.
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  • Avatar for DiscordInc #2 DiscordInc 4 years ago
    I picked up a copy of the CD Version of X-Wing when I was a kid, but I sadly never got to play TIE Fighter. I do wish they that if they weren't going to make a new game that they could at least put the originals on Steam or GOG.
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  • Avatar for hal9k #3 hal9k 4 years ago
    Great piece, Kat! I really feel like I missed out by never playing this game, it's the only one of the series I missed. I got into space sims through the SNES port of Wing Commander, of all things. As you said, it was inferior to the PC version - you could only engage one enemy at a time (the rest would hover right at the edge of laser range and take pot shots, since they couldn't be rendered), and of course flying with the D-pad wasn't ideal. The developers were able to cram an insane amount of keyboard commands onto the SNES controller (I think they used the L & R bumpers as sort of shift and alt keys), so that was awkward. Still, I was really drawn into the cinematics and the atmosphere - a big part of that was the dynamic music, so I'm glad to see you mention that in TIE as well.

    Although I started off as an exclusive WC fan, I got on board the X-Wing series with XvT (I went back later to try the original X-Wing, and I just couldn't finish it). Both are great and I think would hold up well now, and both series have their own distinct feels. X-Wing had the energy management mechanic which added a bit of strategy, while WC had afterburners with limited fuel (later games also threw in stuff like strafing and cloaks). X-Wing fighters, both friendly and enemy, tended to be less durable than in WC, and turning rates were more dependant on speed, so flight felt different than in WC. Really, both series were great and deserve to be continued!

    It's cool that Kat mentioned fan communities that are still active for this series. WC is the same. There's a fan site that started in '98 that I checked daily back then. I drop in every few years (including last week, after Kat's TIE stream!) and they're still updating several times a week - the devotion is pretty amazing. I doubt it'll ever happen, but I'd love to see the stories of Alliance and WC Prophecy resolved, I've been waiting 15 years! Mega Man fans think they have it bad...
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #4 VotesForCows 4 years ago
    I haven't played any of these, as I tend to avoid Star Wars stuff. They sound like good games though! Interesting article.
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  • Avatar for Daryoon #5 Daryoon 4 years ago
    "The key command screen alone — loaded as it was with wingmate commands and targeting instructions — made it clear that TIE Fighter could never work on a simple gamepad. This was well and truly a PC game."

    And I fear that's why we'll never see it's like again - at least not outside of indie circles - which is depressing!

    I first played X-wing when I went to visit my then soon-to-be step-dad at his air force barracks. He refused to let me play the actual missions until I'd cleared the training courses (I blame being in the RAF for this). Thankfully, I discovered that you could skip the training courses - these long, repetitive courses comprised of floating gates - by turning the ship around and flying through the finishing marker...
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  • Avatar for hal9k #6 hal9k 4 years ago
    I wonder what people who got into gaming after 2000 would think of these games - the genre has been pretty dead. The cancellation of the Babylon 5 game back then felt like the last nail in the coffin. Still, the point & click adventure seemed pretty dead to me too until Telltale brought back Sam & Max, so there's always hope.

    Also, those Timothy Zahn "Heir to the Empire" books were great. Thrawn was a memorable character, so it's very cool that he's included in TIE. I read that trilogy and said, "Star Wars books are awesome!" - then I read Shadows of the Empire and said, "Forget it!". I've tried one of the other Zahn books a couple of times (where someone was impersonating Thrawn, I think?), but I just can't get into it. So are there any other good EU books?
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  • Avatar for hal9k #7 hal9k 4 years ago
    Hi Daryoon, great post, but I do think that a space sim could work on a gamepad. Although WC was unwieldy on the SNES, modern gamepads have a few more buttons and, most importantly, analog sticks. As for wingmate commands, a few other options might work. Voice commands are a possibility, although I think we all know how that would go...

    I think something like the gambit system from Final Fantasy 12 might work. Program your own situational AI before a mission, and maybe pause the game to make changes in single player. You could even unlock more commands as your pilot gains ranks, sort of like FF12. Honestly, I never found the wingmen very useful anyway - AI wasn't great back then. XvT let you do cool things with formations, but that seemed mostly for show - and that's something else that could be preset before a mission.
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  • Avatar for secularsage #8 secularsage 4 years ago
    X-Wing and TIE Fighter were two of my favorite simulators as a kid. The other Larry Holland games (the WWII shooters) were a bit over my head, and the Wing Commander games, while great, featured bitmapped ships and a quite arcadey feel rather than polygonal ships that controlled more realistically.

    What was interesting was how much TIE Fighter upped the ante on X-Wing; the game went from being a competent space flight sim with Star Wars trappings to a storied successor where you were caught up in a web of mysteries, deceptions and betrayals in the service of the empire. The core gameplay didn't change at all beyond some upgrades to what you could do, but wow, did the shift in context make TIE Fighter memorable.

    There are tons of Star Wars games from the 1990s, and most are completely forgettable. TIE Fighter, on the other hand, stood out as not just a great Star Wars game, but as one of the best PC games of the era. It will probably never get the remake or update it deserves, either, because it was just complicated enough that casual gamers wouldn't want to take the time to learn to love it.
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  • Avatar for metalangel #9 metalangel 4 years ago
    See if you can find a copy of the X-Wing and TIE Fighter Collector Series. The stupid name belies its importance: It's all the CD editions of the games (so full voice acting and Redbook audio) with the missions ported into the high res, textured goodness of the X-Wing vs TIE Fighter engine. It should have been called The Definitive or something, because it darn well is.

    I remember X-Wing vs TIE getting rave reviews in magazines, and I got a copy. Then I realized they all had an office full of gaming PCs on a LAN, so of course it seemed awesome to them. Jerks.

    The Sega CD port of Wing Commander is almost definitive, except it's missing to the two Secret Ops mission disks. EA lavished it with a new, orchestral soundtrack and full voice acting throughout. With the six-button controller, it was perfectly playable and a ton of fun, even for me who had the X-Wing and TIE games on their PC as well as had played the PC original to death.
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  • Avatar for Aleryn #10 Aleryn 4 years ago
    Loved the article. That was easily my #2 on my list of favorite PC games, right after Daggerfall.
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  • Avatar for Aleryn #11 Aleryn 4 years ago
    @metalangel Yup that port to Windows was very nice. Unfortunately it lacked the iMuse music system and only had audio CD tracks. Great otherwise though.
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  • Avatar for pdubb #12 pdubb 4 years ago
    Late to the article, but you have to admit the mission at the start of chapter 4/5? where you are hung out to dry against Zaarin's men is one of the best and controller throwing hardest missions out there.

    "Here, let's put you in a lone tie interceptor in a tie advanced squad, put you in a minefield, have everyone turn against you so that you have like 90 billion lasers shooting you, and you have to hold out til help arrives."

    Oh and if you wanna get all of the "achievements" for that level have fun blowing up a frigate in a tie interceptor.

    God what a great game.
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  • Avatar for metalangel #13 metalangel 4 years ago
    @pdubb There were a few equally ridiculous missions in X-Wing, though I don't remember any offhand. One of the criticisms TIE addressed was the completely uneven difficulty.

    The Wing Commander mission that sticks out for me, incidentally, is one where you have to save a captured Kilrathi destroyer from several heavy fighters. The only sure way I found was to attack every enemy that's not attacking you until they all are, and then hold their interest until you can wear them down.
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  • Avatar for pdubb #14 pdubb 4 years ago
    @metalangel Yeah xwing had the mission where you had to save the medical frigate and a few of the collector missions where it was an onslaught of assualt gunboats and transports to kill.

    To be fair though, TIE fighter gave you the missile boat as a gift for dealing with all the really tough missions. The game then turned into a version of can you single handedly kill these three fleets without running out of missiles.
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  • Avatar for hal9k #15 hal9k 4 years ago
    Ha, escort missions are always the worst in every space sim. The one I never beat was the 2nd to last mission in Starlancer, I think. Your carrier is up against an enemy carrier and has several of those lovely cloaking device missiles targeting it. Chris Roberts carried those over from WC - they skip in and out of cloak so that you can only see and target them for a few seconds, and you only get a few chances at each before they hit your carrier. I always got through it in the WC games, but that one in Starlancer was mean enough to make me quit without finishing the game.

    As for X-Wing, there was a tough mission in Alliance where you had to escort a shuttle as it steals the "it's a trap!" plans for the 2nd Death Star. One of my fondest gaming memories is finally beating that one by the skin of my teeth after several tries. Many a Bothan died. I actually bumped into a gunboat with my X-Wing just to distract it from the shuttle, and I think that was the most busted-up I ever got a fighter and still won, but I still remember how great that felt 15 years later.
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  • Avatar for Gabelvampir #16 Gabelvampir 4 years ago
    Thanks for the great article, I also loved Tie Fighter and still love it. Although I played it a few year later because it may have run on your 486, but it did not run on our 486 33 MHz DX2.
    Boy I'm really itching to play that game again for some years now, I should really get around to finally buying a joystick again and play old games like that and Wing Commander again that can only be really enjoying when played with a joystick.
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  • Avatar for metalangel #17 metalangel 4 years ago
    @hal9k There as a sprite-based space shooty game where the cloaking device just meant the sprite itself turned black. That meant you could thwart it by turning up the brightness on your monitor. It was either WC or Star Trek: 25th Anniversary.
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  • Avatar for hal9k #18 hal9k 4 years ago
    @metalangel It's been a while, but if I remember right you could still see the shadows of cloaked ships in WC - the problem was more that you couldn't target them or see them on radar, which made finding tiny missiles tough even when you knew about where they'd be coming from. Still, the nice thing about cloaking devices in WC was that they followed Star Trek rules - shields drop when the cloak comes on. An enemy dumb enough to cloak right in front of you would go down with a lucky shot or two.

    I never played that Star Trek game, but there was another with some space sim elements that I liked. I think it was called Academy? If I remember right, it was by Interplay and it also had an SNES port. The combat was a bit like X-Wing (unrealistic for a ship as big as the Enterprise I guess, but whatever, it was still fun), and it included some cool dialogue trees and elements of diplomacy. For example, flying around under red alert would offend some species who would see you as overly aggressive. Maybe this is nostalgia, but it was a fun game - I should look into 25th Anniversary too.
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  • Avatar for metalangel #19 metalangel 4 years ago
    @hal9k You are indeed thinking of Starfleet Academy.

    25th Anniversary is part space combat and part point and click adventure. The full talkie version (with the original cast) is highly recommended, as is the sequel, Judgement Rites.

    Don't confuse it with Wing Commander Academy, which is the equivalent of those tedious 'arena' DLC you get for too many games nowadays: pointless simulated battles against a selection of enemies.
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  • Avatar for hal9k #20 hal9k 4 years ago
    @metalangel Sounds pretty fun, thanks for the info. I had forgotten about WC Academy, that might be the only one I never picked up (not counting that awful-sounding one that came out a couple years ago on XBLA or something). However, I kinda liked WC Armada, and I definitely liked the first Star Trek Armada - lots of TNG fan service in that one.

    By the way, if anyone else is still reading this thread, thanks again to Kat for this outstanding article. Very few people I knew were into these types of games, and I don't think I ever met another person in real life who played a space sim later than TIE Fighter or WC3. If I'm carrying on a bit in the comments, it's because I'm thrilled to be discussing this genre!
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  • Avatar for Wessmaniac #21 Wessmaniac 3 years ago
    @pdubb That was one of my missions, too. Glad you liked it! ;-)
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #22 SatelliteOfLove 3 years ago
    @Daryoon

    It's not 2006 any more, we're in a better place, friend.
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  • Avatar for sipaikka573 #23 sipaikka573 A year ago
    If you get on a low-bandwidth network then showbox Locate the install button or download switch on the display and faucet on it.
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  • Avatar for Mildredmeredith #24 Mildredmeredith A year ago
    There are various online word and Education diversions that players can discover on the web. Few of these incorporate Pictionary and Sudoku. outstanding and profoundly authorize instructive amusement is Scrabble. With the arrival of these diversions on the web, players will now have the capacity to contend in multiplayer occasions with different gamers around the globe.
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  • Avatar for Milla589 #25 Milla589 A year ago
    you should pay as a whole for downloading. So should have Tutu Helper applications like flick streaming apps that every user would want to have but.
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  • Avatar for katherinemartina #26 katherinemartina A year ago
    This truly relies upon the gamers. Some gamers are quite recently completely dependent on gaming while some different gamers will accomplish something beyond gaming. Unquestionably I am an expert gamer and I'm on the ps3 about six hours consistently. Be that as it may, I am one of the toppers in gaming education and love to coursework writing. But still I am not spellbound to it and I can live devoid of my ps3.
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  • Avatar for aliamiri19 #27 aliamiri19 10 months ago
    در صورتیکه نیاز به مشاوره در مورد طلاق توافقیدارید میتوانید به صورت رایگان مورد حقوقی خود را از طریق تلفن با همکاران ما مطرح کنیدEdited January 2018 by aliamiri19
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  • Avatar for mp23 #28 mp23 9 months ago
    سلام
    یکی از مهم ترین نکات در تجارت موارد حقوقی و وکیل متخصص برای تمامی امور مثل وکیل ملکی وکیل ملکیاست.
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  • Avatar for bryanparker #34 bryanparker 4 months ago
    To get rid of this security issue, Norton has come up with a range of security software for both consumers and business PCs. Life Experience Degrees
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