The Star Wars: TIE Fighter wiki last edited by Deathawk on 07/13/13 04:01PM View full history

Overview

The sequel to 1993's Star Wars: X-Wing, Star Wars: TIE Fighter is a space combat simulation developed by Totally Games and published by LucasArts in 1994. Trading the X-Wings and Y-Wings of the Rebel Alliance for the TIE spacecraft of the Imperial Navy, players are tasked with defending the Galactic Empire against various hostile forces, from the clear and present threat of the Rebels, to other less obvious dangers such as pirates and Imperial turncoats. While the gameplay is very much in keeping with X-Wing and its expansions, the shift in focus toward Imperial activities yields more than just thematic and cosmetic changes, as many of the Empire's basic ships are completely unshielded and thus much more fragile than their Alliance counterparts. Despite these less durable ships, the sequel's difficulty was eased somewhat by the inclusion of new features such as changeable difficulty settings and more detailed mission briefings.

While it uses the same flight engine as its forebear, TIE Fighter adds additional embellishments such as Gouraud shading while also allowing many of these new options to be scaled back in order to run the game on more modest systems. The player's ship interface was also upgraded significantly with additional tools such as an enhanced three-dimensional in-flight map and a number of new in-game logs.

Story

The popular EU character Thrawn makes his first official game appearance.

While the final expansion of Star Wars: X-Wing ends just before the establishment of the Rebel base on Hoth, TIE Fighter picks up shortly after the base's destruction at Darth Vader's hands, with the events of the game taking place mainly in the time frame of Episodes V and VI. The player assumes the role of Maarek Stele (though this is never revealed in-game), an Imperial pilot tasked with increasingly important missions protecting the Emperor's interests throughout the galaxy.

In addition to the normal commendations the player earns over the course of their struggles against the Empire's enemies, occasionally Maarek will be approached by an agent of Palpatine himself who will task them with special secondary objectives to be completed during missions which, if consistently carried out, can eventually lead the player to be invited into the Emperor's Inner Circle, a position reserved for only his most trusted subordinates. In time the opportunity even arises to protect the Emperor's life directly by thwarting an assassination attempt, which further cements the player's position as on of the Imperial Starfleet's most valuable weapons.

Battle I: Aftermath of Hoth

  • Track down the remaining Rebel forces attempting to flee the destruction of Hoth base.

Battle II: The Sepan Civil War

  • Attempt to deescalate a prolonged civil war in the Sepan system.

Battle III: Battle on the Frontier

  • Aid in the establishment of a new Imperial base in the Pakuuni system.

Battle IV: Conflict at Mylok IV

  • Put an end to pirate activities in the outer rim territories.

Battle V: Battle for Honor

  • Pursue and capture the traitorous Admiral Harkov.

Battle VI: Arms Race

  • Assist in the development of an advanced Imperial starship.

Battle VII: Treachery at Ottega

  • Put a stop to an anti-Imperial plot led by former members of the Empire.

Gameplay

Non-combat objectives, such as escorting these freighters, lend missions a fair amount of variety.

Drawing from the foundation of the previous game, TIE Fighter focuses primarily on one-on-one starship combat, with occasional non-combat objectives as well as attacks on larger capital starships with heavier weaponry. The biggest change in gameplay comes from the inclusion of unshielded TIE fighter craft, which are vastly underpowered compared to the Alliance's basic fighters. Dealing with this mismatch in firepower and durability is one of the primary challenges early on. Later on, once more advanced ships equivalent or superior to their Rebel counterparts become available, the experience of playing TIE Fighter is much more akin to that of X-Wing. With the exception of TIE Fighters and TIE Interceptors, which are short range only, all craft have both laser weaponry and long range warhead launchers, the latter of which has limited ammunition; when using later craft, prioritizing targets and being able to determine the best situations in which to use one's warheads is crucial to success.

In addition to managing targeting systems and keeping track of mission objectives, players are required to properly distribute their ship's energy supply. In more basic vessels, this is limited to determining laser recharge rates, with higher rates of recharge decreasing power to the ship's engines, thus limiting its speed. Energy can also be diverted to recharge shields in any craft that possesses them, which further decreases engine power. Finally, available in only the most advanced of vessels, a fourth system dedicated to beam weaponry is introduced, which determines a starship's Tractor Beam recharge rate. As in X-Wing, pilots can also choose to sacrifice shields in order to immediately boost laser energy, and vice versa.

Before engaging in missions, players create a profile to track their progress throughout the game's many modes. Once done, the central hub allows quick access to all available activities. The Tech Room and Film Room return in order to give players a means to examine the game's various starships and review previous mission performances respectively. The remaining modes have been renamed since X-Wing, though they are similar in practice.

Game Modes

Training Simulator

Replacing the first game's Pilot Proving Ground, the Training Simulator is a closed tunnel with the objective simply being to reach the end of the course before time expires. With each new tier the amount of time alloted is decreased, and additional obstacles are inserted to impede the player. On later levels, the time limit is stringent enough that the player is required to destroy targets around the course (which impart time bonuses) in order to complete their run.

Combat Chamber

In lieu of X-Wing's Historical Combat mode, TIE Fighter introduces the Combat Chamber, which doubles as both a training mode and a means of reliving important historical battles. In either case, the Combat Chamber is didactic in nature. Though missions can be tackled in any sequence, the difficulty progression makes it much easier to complete them in the order they are presented.

New Battle

Entering New Battle allows players to choose from several campaigns, referred to as battles, and play through a series of missions with a particular focus. As in the previous game's Tour of Duty mode, the player may leave a particular battle at any time in favor of another, though each set of missions must be played sequentially. There are a larger number of campaigns on offering than in X-Wing, though each one comes with a smaller number of missions, making playtime roughly analogous between the two.

Starfighters

The starfighters of the Imperial Navy represent a wide range of different ship types. While some are mass-produced and can be easily destroyed by any decent Rebel pilot, others leverage the near-limitless resources of the Empire to create truly impressive vessels far beyond the means of what the Alliance could create. Players will start out with fairly basic ships, and gradually gain access to better ones as they progress through their battles.

TIE Fighter

TIE Fighter

Top Speed: 100 MGLT
Shield Strength / Hull Rating: No Shields / 15 RU
Classification: Superiority Fighter
Weaponry:
  • 2 Laser Cannons

Due to the ease and inexpensiveness of producing it, the TIE Fighter is one of the most numerous ships of the Imperial fleet. Unfortunately, the time and money saved in its creation comes directly at the pilot's expense, as the ship has no hyperdrive, shields, long range weaponry, or even life support. Thankfully, its spartan design makes it very fast, which a TIE Fighter pilot must be able to properly leverage, as even a glancing blow to the fragile craft can be potentially disastrous.
TIE Interceptor

TIE Interceptor

Top Speed: 110 MGLT
Shield Strength / Hull Rating: No Shields / 20 RU
Classification: Interceptor
Weaponry:
  • 4 Laser Cannons

With a smaller profile, greater speed, and twice the firepower of its predecessor, the Interceptor is a quick and deadly fighter craft, capable of competing even with the maneuverable A-Wing flown by Rebel pilots. Like the TIE Fighter, however, there is still almost nothing protecting its pilot from certain death in the case of a direct hit. Despite this shortcoming, a squadron of skilled Interceptor pilots will strike fear in the heart of any Alliance pilot.
TIE Bomber

TIE Bomber

Top Speed: 80 MGLT
Shield Strength / Hull Rating: No Shields / 50 RU
Classification: Assault Bomber
Weaponry:
  • 2 Laser Cannons
  • 2 Warhead Launchers

With heavier plating than the Fighter and Interceptor models, the TIE Bomber can take a few more hits before giving up the ghost, though it can also take foes down before they have the chance to strike thanks to the addition of dual warhead launchers. The Bomber's signature second hull is used to house the pilot's payload of choice, and this additional mass makes it slower and less suitable for dogfighting, with its main purpose being to assault larger starships and stationary targets.
TIE Advanced

TIE Advanced

Top Speed: 145 MGLT
Shield Strength / Hull Rating: 100 SBD / 20 RU
Classification: Superiority Fighter
Weaponry:
  • 4 Laser Cannons
  • 2 Warhead Launchers

The TIE Advanced depicted in TIE Fighter is commonly known as the TIE Avenger in order to avoid being confused with the earlier TIE Advanced prototype flown by Darth Vader during the Battle of Yavin. It is even more advanced than the prototype model, containing all the features one would expect from a fighter piloted by the Emperor's personal enforcer. With a full suite of laser weaponry, warhead launchers, and heavy deflector shielding (not to mention its speed), the TIE Advanced is more than a match for any of the Rebel Alliance's shielded vessels.
TIE Defender

TIE Defender

Top Speed: 155 MGLT
Shield Strength / Hull Rating: 200 SBD / 20 RU
Classification: Superiority Fighter
Weaponry:
  • 4 Laser Cannons
  • 2 Ion Cannons
  • 2 Warhead Launchers

The pinnacle of TIE starfighter technology, the TIE Defender is a staggering Imperial achievement, with twice the shield strength and even more speed and firepower than the TIE Advanced (an already impressive vessel). This superior design unfortunately made the Defender extremely expensive to produce, and for this reason it was never seen in very large numbers despite its obvious benefits. Even without numbers, however, in the right hands the TIE Defender is capable of utterly devastating entire enemy squadrons.
Assault Gunboat

Assault Gunboat

Top Speed: 90 MGLT
Shield Strength / Hull Rating: 100 SBD / 50 RU
Classification: Assault Fighter
Weapons:
  • 2 Laser Cannons
  • 2 Ion Cannons
  • 2 Warhead Launchers

Also known as the Star Wing, the Assault Gunboat is a general-purpose Imperial fighter craft capable of disabling or destroying a wide variety of different ship types with its diverse arsenal while also withstanding heavy fire with its generous shields and reinforced hull. The Star Wing's biggest limitation is its maneuverability, as it is neither particularly fast nor quick to change course, especially when compared to other Imperial vessels of its type.
Missile Boat

Missile Boat

Top Speed: 125 MGLT
Shield Strength / Hull Rating: 120 SBD / 20 RU
Classification: Assault Bomber
Weapons:
  • 1 Laser Cannon
  • 4 Warhead Launchers

Designed by Grand Admiral Thrawn himself, the Missile Boat is a long range beast designed to carry and deliver a massive number of warheads while evading incoming fire with its SubLight Acceleration Motor (or SLAM). It is capable of not only storing several dozen proton torpedoes and concussion missiles but also delivering them quicker than other ships. While it was instrumental in allowing Thrawn to counteract the significant threat of the traitorous Grand Admiral Zaarin's and his squads of TIE Defenders, it has not seen significant use outside of this campaign.

Versions

In the years after its release, the success TIE Fighter and of the X-Wing series in general led to several re-releases and compilations. Rather than a mere repackaging, LucasArts made an effort on more than one occasion to add significant new content to the game, which has resulted in several versions with distinct differences, both in terms of visuals as well as the game content itself.

Original Release

  • MS-DOS, Floppy Disk, TIE Fighter Engine (320x200)
Released in 1994 on floppy disk using a modified version of the X-Wing engine, TIE Fighter not only featured more detailed graphics than its predecessor, but also allowed greater graphics scaling by allowing polygon and texture detail among other things to be adjusted in-game. While TIE Fighter would eventually receive two expansion in the same manner as X-Wing, only Defender of the Empire would be released on floppy disk for use with the initial version of the game.
Original Title
TIE Engine (320x200)

Collector's CD-ROM

  • MS-DOS, CD-ROM, TIE Fighter Engine (640x480)
While technically identical to the engine used in its first release, the Collector's CD-ROM edition of TIE Fighter can be played in 640x480 resolution in addition to the original 320x200 resolution. New voice overs were added as with the X-Wing Collector's CD-ROM, and certain non-interactive elements of the presentation such as cutscenes were reworked as well. It came also with two expansions to the main game, most notably the Enemies of the Empire expansion, which had not been previously released.
Collector's CD-ROM Title
TIE Engine (640x480)

Collector Series

  • Windows 95/98, CD-ROM, XvT Engine
The final update to TIE Fighter came in 1998 with the release of the Collector Series, which gave the game a new hardware accelerated graphics engine (the X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter engine) and replaced the previous versions' MIDI music with Red Book audio of John Williams' score. Once again, many of the game's non-interactive elements were changed, with the most clearly noticeable change being the pre-mission GUI, which was completely redone.
Collector Series Title
XvT Engine

Expansions

Like Star Wars: X-Wing, TIE Fighter would receive two mission packs in the months after its release, expanding the scope of its campaign mode with new scenarios. The first, Defender of the Empire, was released as a stand-alone retail product like previous expansions, while the second, Enemies of the Empire, would be included as part of the TIE Fighter Collector's CD-ROM. Unlike X-Wing's expansions, which were lengthy singlular campaigns, TIE FIghter's new missions are organized into smaller "Battles" comprise of six to eight missions each, much like the main game.

Defender of the Empire

Battle VIII: Strategic Warfare

  • Fight back against Zaarin as he attempts to cripple the Empire's capabilities.

Battle IX: T/D Technology

  • Thwart Zaarin's bid to prevent the Empire from obtaining TIE Defender technology.

Battle X: New Threats

  • Strike back against Grand Admiral Zaarin's forces.

Enemies of the Empire

Battle XI: Hunt for Zaarin

  • Find and apprehend the traitor Zaarin.

Battle XII: Prelude to Endor

  • Discover the extent of the Bothan's collaboration with the Alliance.

Battle XIII: The Emporor's Will

  • Lend support to the Death Star II as it nears completion.

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