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Victory Lap – TIE Fighter’s Rerelease: A Surprising Disappointment

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I feel sort of bad about this review — it’s apparently one of the most popular articles on this website, and it gives the impression that GOG’s TIE Fighter release was subpar. Everything I wrote when this was published is accurate, but since then, GOG has listened to its customers and has added (at no extra cost) the TIE Fighter Collector’s CD to the GOG.com release. This brings the number of versions of TIE Fighter included to three: the original 1994 floppy disk release, the 1995 collector’s CD, and the 1997 Windows “remastered” edition.

As I mentioned in the original review, the floppy disk release has incredible music but no voiced dialogue and rather awful graphics. The remastered edition has improved 3D graphics, voiced dialogue (though poorly digitized), and really bland movie music. The 1995 collector’s CD really was the ideal middle ground: it had the incredibly responsive and well-composed music of the original release, with voiced dialogue that isn’t poorly compressed, and with a higher resolution (and less painful) version of the original release’s polygonal graphics. The 1995 TIE Fighter Collector’s CD is the ideal version of TIE Fighter, and it’s the version I fell in love with. It’s the version of TIE Fighter that had such an impact on me that I became a fan of the Empire and to this day play a role as an Imperial Colbert on the internet.

So if my original TIE Fighter review made you hesitate to get the TIE Fighter release on GOG, let that hesitation be banished. GOG has listened, and we now have the best possible version of TIE Fighter available to play (along with all the previous supplemental materials). In my heart of hearts, I wish it were possible to get the original music and dialogue along with the 3D graphics of the Windows release… but wishes aside, I can enthusiastically and without reservation recommend the GOG.com release.

(And if you’re feeling really bold, I can recommend getting high quality MIDI soundfonts to run with the GOG TIE Fighter release that make the game’s instrumental music sound positively orchestral).

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