- This article is about the DOS/Windows game. For the Imperial starfighter, see Empire starfighters.
Tie Fighter along with Defender Of The Empire, its expansion disk, formed the sequel to X-wing and is still considered one of the best computer space-sims three decades after it's original release.
The Rebel Squadrons Mission Database currently holds 99 custom missions for download. A number of historical mission can be counted toward each months Leaderboard but can only be reported on once. Thirty years after its original release the Rebel Squadrons still have mission builders who's hard work grants our pilots the opportunity of continuing to use the game with new missions following the RS Storyline.
TIE Fighter places the pilot in the role of one of the many fighter pilots flying for the Empire in the years following the destruction of the first Death Star. Though the missions involve simple civil unrest on the Outer Rim, later missions are fought against the Rebellion and even a splinter Imperial faction which attempts a coup d'etat against the Emperor. Many notable Star Wars characters make appearances, including Grand Admiral Thrawn and Darth Vader.
An upgraded version built around the XvT graphics engine was released in 1998 but was later found to have severe issues when combined with 3D Accelerators under Windows XP. Fortunately a compatibility patch for XP users was created by fans, and can be found in the links section below.
Star Wars: TIE Fighter
The 1994 space flight simulator/space combat computer game, is the sequel to Star Wars: X-Wing. It places the player in the role of an Imperial starfighter pilot during events that occur between Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
Lawrence Holland and Edward Kilham's Totally Games studio, which released X-Wing the year before, designed TIE Fighter. Based on X-Wing's game engine, TIE Fighter supports Gouraud shading and adds gameplay features and craft not available in X-Wing. TIE Fighter was updated and re-released several times, and it was a critical success.
The game's plot begins soon after the Empire's victory on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back. As with X-Wing, the player's character is unnamed in the game; however, an included novella and Prima Publishing's strategy guide name the character Maarek Stele and provide a background narrative. In addition to fighting Rebel Alliance forces, the player flies against pirates, combatants in a civil war, and traitorous Imperial forces. The original game ends with the player preventing a coup against Emperor Palpatine and being personally rewarded during a large ceremony. Subsequent expansions focus on Admiral Thrawn's efforts to stop an Imperial traitor; the final mission of the second expansion concludes just before the climactic battle at the end of Return of the Jedi. Despite playing on the side of the Star Wars saga's villain, the game presents Imperial forces as maintainers of peace and order in a tumultuous galaxy.
The storyline is divided across several battles, each of which has four to eight missions. Although some of the battles can be played out of order, individual missions within each battle are played linearly. Mission briefings and debriefings, cutscenes, and in-flight communication advance the story.
After selecting a pilot file, the player views the "concourse", a hub with doors to different features of the game. While the main focus of gameplay is completing battles, the concourse also offers several other areas. The training simulator lets the player fly each of the pilotable Imperial craft through a complex obstacle course. The combat chamber offers four extra missions for each craft, ranging from training scenarios to historical reenactments of important missions. There is also a room to view mission recordings, and a tech room to view information about every spacecraft that appears in the game. When the player selects a mission, he or she is given a briefing, consisting of a dialog describing the mission and an animated map illustrating vessel positions and basic flight patterns. The player may optionally read a list questions and answers about the mission.
In addition to the standard mission briefing covering primary objectives, there is often another briefing given by a mysterious figure who belongs to the Emperor's Inner Circle. This person informs the pilot of optional secondary objectives and provides additional plot information. Completing the primary objectives allows the player to progress to the next mission and earn Imperial military promotion; completing secondary and secret objectives garners additional medals and promotions within the inner circle.
In-flight gameplay is similar to X-Wing, played primarily in first-person but with the option to switch to third person. All flight takes place in space; the player does not encounter gravity or atmospheric effects. Mission roles including dogfighting, escorting or disabling other craft, inspecting vehicles, and attacking capital ships and space stations. Initial missions place the player in unshielded TIE fighter variants; as the game progresses, the player gains access to advanced fighters with shields and better armaments.
Laser cannons and ion cannons serve as short range weapons, damaging or disabling targets respectively. Some starfighters carry limited warheads for additional range/firepower. As with X-Wing, the player needs to balance power allocation between weapons, engines, and shields (when available); some craft also require the player to further balance power for a beam weapon. The player can also change the firing modes of his or her fighter's weapons (for example, having a pair of laser cannons fire together or alternately). If the ship possesses shields, the player chooses the shield balance between front and rear.
Shields are rechargeable; they protect from damage but are depleted when absorbing damage. When the player's craft is unshielded, enemy fire will damage the player's hull. Hull damage can disable systems, such as the engines or targeting computer. Disabled systems will slowly be repaired; TIE Fighter allows the player to choose the order in which systems are repaired. Hull damage may also cause cockpit displays to break, rendering them useless for the remainder of the mission. Heavy hull damage will destroy the player's spacecraft. When the player's craft is destroyed before completing a mission, or the mission is otherwise a failure, the player can attempt the mission again.
Despite the similarities to X-Wing, TIE Fighter does introduce several gameplay changes. The targeting system allows players to target capital ships' and space stations' components, such as shield generators and weapons. Additionally, the targting display shows a 3D model and relative orientation of the player's target. Mission objective status is accessible in-game, as is a log of in-flight messages.
Awards and legacy
Computer Games Magazine Strategy Plus awarded the game "Best Game of the Year". TIE Fighter became the second Lawrence Holland game to be inducted into Computer Gaming World's "Hall of Fame" and was inducted into GameSpot's "Greatest Games of All Time" in July 2004 and IGN's "Hall of Fame" in 2007.
PC Gamer ranked the Collector's CD-ROM Edition #1 in its "Top 50 Greatest Games of All Time" list in May 1997. It was ranked #3 on IGN's list of the top 25 PC games of all time in 2007 and #2 in 2009. The game was recognized again by IGN in 2010 when it was named the "best Star Wars game ever made"
Installing the game
The game was originally released in 1994 and it's install program worked like a dream for the computers of the day. However modern day PC's based around 64bit architecture present a problem for the original 16bit installation program which simply will refuse to work. Fortunately a workaround has been provided my Markus Egger.
Markus has created custom installer programs for many of the old Lucasarts games, enabling them to be installed on PC's with 64bit CPU's.
Visit his page here to download a custom installer for the 'Star Wars: X-Wing Collector Series' version of Tie fighter (under CD2 - Tie Fighter 95) from the list of those available.
You can also find all the instructions on how to use the installer for the game HERE.
Instructions for playing custom missions in Tie Fighter
For missions WITHOUT a BATTLE1.LFD file included.
All versions of Tie Fighter will use this same method.
Goto where you installed your copy of Tie Fighter, and navigate to the mission folder. Rename B1M1FM.TIE to B1M1FM.ORG. This will save the origional mission so you can fly it again later. You just have to rename it back to B1M1FM.TIE.
To install a custom mission, download the mission you wish to fly and rename it as B1M1FM.TIE and place it in your Mission folder. Now you can create a new pilot file and fly the first mission in the first tour of duty. This will now allow you to play the new custom mission.
For missions WITH a custom BATTLE1.LFD file included
If your custom mission has a BATTLE1.LFD File included, follow the instructions below.
Navigate to where you installed TIE Fighter, and select the RESCOURCE folder. There find and rename BATTLE1.LFD to BATTLE1.ORG. Copy the new custom BATTLE1>LFD into this folder
The new custom mission will have a different filename (eg. R2F905.tie). DO NOT RENAME IT. Leave it as is and copy that file into your MISSION folder.
After you complete those steps, start the game and create a new pilot and play the first mission of the first tour of duty in game, there you begin the custom mission.
XP compatibility accelerator patch http://www.lucasfiles.com/index.php?action=file&id=653
Screenshots, hints, tips: http://members.tripod.com/~stanislavs/games/tie.htm
Extensive reviews of TIE Fighter http://www.ibiblio.org/GameBytes/issue20/greviews/tie.html http://www.ibiblio.org/GameBytes/issue21/editor/tierev.html
All versions of the X-Wing trilogy http://www.totallygames.com/games/xwing.htm
Two Custom missions http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/chalex/Tiefight.htm <currently down>
TIE Fighter Game Builder: http://www.winwins.com/tgb/
Special Operations Squadron (many editors): http://membres.lycos.fr/sosleader/links.htm <currently down>
Library files (missions and editors): http://www.benimar.com/black_knights/library.htm <currently down>
Gamers' Workshop: http://grafix.tripod.com/cheat.htm
Omega Squadron: http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Vault/1945/hq.htm <No longer available>
Several custom missions: http://softlyspokenmagicspells.com/tie.html