Last Updated on July 22, 2023
Star Wars TIE Fighter was a genuine classic of the 1990s PC era, essentially a TIE fighter combat flight simulator. While its graphics have looked dated by today’s standards for a good 20 years, it has been given a considerable overhaul thanks to the TIE Fighter Total Conversion project (TFTC).
With an important new update just released, the TFTC brings a number of upgrades to the original game, which runs courtesy of the Star Wars X-Wing Alliance game engine. (While that game was released in 1999, just 5 years after TIE Fighter, X-Wing Alliance has been the focus of considerable development for these titles.)
The project page states:
The TIE Fighter Total Conversion (TFTC) project is a free, fan-made port of the original classic 1994 LucasArts game TIE Fighter, into the 1999 X-Wing Alliance (XWA) engine. Based on the original TFTC from 2005 and built upon the X-Wing Alliance Upgrade (XWAU) project, this is a complete overhaul of the game from graphics to gameplay.
All 13 original Tour of Duty campaigns and their training missions have been ported over, including all original voiceovers, cutscenes and even most of the original medals and Secret Order tattoo awards.
In addition, TFTC includes 9 reimagined Tour of Duty campaigns, expanding scale and scope, with added VR support. To summarise:
- The complete, original TIE Fighter experience with all 13 tour of duty campaigns and expansions (Defenders of the Empire and Enemies of the Empire), all 28 training missions and even the old demo mission!
- A reimagined campaign experience with currently 9 tour of duty campaigns available to play. The remaining battle campaigns are still being worked on but ultimately the aim is to have a complete reimagined experience of the entire TIE Fighter campaign.
- This currently makes for just over 150 unique missions total across both TFTC Classic and Reimagined!
- A complete visual overhaul and upgrade of the X-Wing Alliance (XWA) engine thanks to the X-Wing Alliance Upgrade (XWAU) project. The XWA engine now looks almost comparable to modern day games and new features and upgrades are continually being worked on. TFTC uses and requires the XWAU project as its foundations for the visual overhaul of TIE Fighter.
- Not only that, but there is also VR support. Yes you can play the entire TIE Fighter experience through your VR headset!
- A fully remastered TIE Fighter soundtrack along with three original MIDI soundtracks available to choose from when installing. The MIDI soundtrack versions included are the Roland SC-55, Gravis Ultrasound (GUS) or the Sound Blaster AWE32.
- Rank up your pilot, collect memorabilia and earn medals in your Pilot’s room accessible through the main Concourse hangar. Don’t forget to check your e-mails too!
- Join the Secret Order of the Emperor as you play through and rank up those tattoos, just like the original.
As you may have worked out, to play the TIE Fighter Total Conversion, you’ll need the X-Wing Alliance game. This is available on GOG or Steam, or you can use the original CD version. You’ll also need the XWAU 2020 Mega Patch.
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine and MakeUseOf.com.