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Headscratchers / TIE Fighter

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  • Considering the overall effectiveness of ion cannons in virtually every scenario, why do both sides ignore them for more lasers (weak) and missiles (which can be shot down)?
    • Ion cannons are weaker against shields than laser cannon. The bolt is also slower moving and harder to use against fast-moving targets like starfighters, so they're best utilized against large targets that aren't particularly maneuverable.
  • In the final mission of the original game, how is it that the bad guys managed to capture the Emperor, yet when their shuttle is disabled they do nothing to kill him off (it is not like they had anything to lose)?
    • See the Wild Mass Guessing theory that this was Just as Planned. Anyway, the canon explanation is Palpatine was briefly incapacitated by Arden Lyn, an ancient Proto-Sith that was serving as his Hand. It's possible that Zaarin could have gotten hold of ysalamiri or a Universal Energy Cage as well.
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    • As for the second part of that question (why not off him?), he may have been messing with the shuttle crew even if this wasn't Just as Planned, either through the Force or just by being a Manipulative Bastard.
    • Who's to say they didn't try? Palpatine, being one of the most powerful Sith Lord ever to have lived, would be pretty tough to trounce. It's entirely possible he was allowing himself to be captured so as to be taken to Zaarin and deal with his treachery personally. When Stele disabled the shuttle, Palpatine probably decided to just slaughter everyone onboard to kill some time while he was waiting for the Mescue to arrive.
  • What really bugs this troper most is his inability to get this game to run under Windows XP.
    • DOSBox lists the game as supported.
    • You can also use the backwards compatibility setting to run X-Wing or TIE Fighter using the latest XP updates.
  • What really bugs this troper is that despite this series (along with X-Wing) being the best of all space-oriented Star Wars games, they never bothered to re-release it or make new versions on the same engine. Nope, all we get instead are games that basically treat space as though it is a 2d plane. What is the reasoning for that? It could be assumed that the devs are trying to reach a larger audience by making the game easier than breathing, but because of that nobody wants to play it as it's easier than breathing.
    • They did make a couple of sequels to TIE Fighter. The simple fact is that the space simulation genre, along with the 'Mech simulation genre, is effectively dead. The space shooter genre (treating space as a 2d plane) isn't dead. So naturally, when you want to make a Star Wars space game, you go to the genre that isn't dead.
      • What is the sequel? (X-Wing vs TIE Fighter is more of a multi-player variant than sequel really, is there even a sequel to that?)
      • There is, if I remember correctly, an expansion to XWvsTF that adds a single-player campaign. Then there's X-Wing Alliance.
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    • Notable: Prior to Lucasarts going down, they were supposedly working on a sequel called "Wingman." Various development pictures/videos of it are available online. As to why it was never remade, Lucasarts went on record as saying they did not want to spend more resources on "legacy" titles (which was the reason a Day of the Tentacle remake was shelved).
  • Something that always drove this troper up the wall was the speed of most non-fighter ships in that game. Remember the Star Destroyers closing in on the Falcon in the first two movies? Those things are fast. But in TIE Fighter, they move like a cow with its legs cut off! Not to mention that a heavy number of missions and secondary objectives require a specific ship to move to a certain point. TIE Fighter was ahead of their time: the Windows XP "time remaining" counter was based off of the one that tugs used....
    • I believe there was an option to speed the game up to like x8; useful for when you had destroyed all hostiles and just needed the bloody transports to finish capturing everything.
  • Why does T-4a lambda-class shuttle appear as a Rebel spaceship? I thought it was exclusively Imperial!
    • It was, until some Rebels stole it.
  • The super-advanced ships (the Defender and the Missile Gunboat) don't appear in the Thrawn trilogy because the books pre-date the game (I can accept that, although it begs the question of why the game designers didn't make an effort to avoid that Plot Hole.) But it's rather startling that all the Imperial remnants in all the (seemingly) dozens of post-Thrawn books never resorted to pulling these ludicrously overpowered ships out of deep storage. Lord knows it's what they did with every other superweapon that Palpatine came up with. What, did the software company own the names and likenesses?
    • The Defender does appear in some of the novels but it is used rarely because one costs more than an entire flight group of TIE Interceptors; and by that point upgraded Interceptors with shields were far more practical. The Empire's resources were constantly dwindling during this time period and they didn't have the resources to deploy them that often. Plus it went against established military doctrine (and was tainted by Zaarin's treason) and the Imperial Navy was nothing if not conservative. The number of surviving Missile Boats was probably in the single digit range, the production line was completely destroyed, and they were even more expensive to build and arm (concussion missiles cost thousands of credits each and this thing can carry 80) so it's understandable why the Remnant kept them mothballed.
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    • They may also have been Too Awesome to Use. By the time the Empire was reduced to the level of the Remnant, they would have lacked the production facilities and technical knowledge to keep the starfighters in operational condition. As such, their deployment would have been a huge gamble, as any losses - or even damage - would have been all but irreplaceable. It's also possible that the Empire simply lost control of the worlds where the TIE Defenders were being stored.
  • Why did Harkov choose the plan with the lowest possible probability of success to try and kill off Maarek Stele? He sticks Stele in a reasonably fast, maneuverable ship (albeit one with no shields), then sends... a whopping two TIE Interceptors to kill him while he's sweeping a minefield. This is an ace pilot who has destroyed dozens of rebel starfighters, most of which are - ship for ship - objectively better than a TIE Interceptor, and once used a TIE Bomber - aka, the slowest, most vulnerable starfighter in the game - as an escort ship when no Fighters or Interceptors were available, and Harkov thinks two Interceptors are going to be enough to deal with him? Why not send him out as the leader of a squadron of twelve to make sure? More to the point, why send him out at all? Stele is in his element in space AND he has the means to contact the Empire. Instead of tossing him into a machine where he is all but unkillable, why not have some Stormtroopers murder him while he's sleeping in his quarters? Frame it as a suicide or a fight with another pilot or whatever other excuse you choose to come up with. If you truly must send him into space, sabotage his ship beforehand or plant a bomb in it and blame the resulting explosion on mechanical error.
    • Harkov was just not good at his job. Given how ocrrupt he was, I'd wager that he probably bribed his way to his rank in the Empire. The idea to send a larger force does occur to him once it's clear the two fake wingmen will fail, though.
  • How did the Vorknkx jump into hyperspace while the Interdictor Corvus was still in-system?
    • Gravity well generators shut down or damaged. Other EU sources state they have to be directed and aren't a general area of effect, so the mission could be using that as an explanation, as well.
  • While it makes at least some sense for the Emperor's special envoy to be assigned to Maarek Stele personally, particularly as he's supposed to be Force sensitive, why does the briefing officer evidently follow him to all of his duty assignments?
    • Possibly because this briefing officer is just as skilled at briefing as Stele is as being a pilot? Considering their origins from the first battle, this unnamed officer was also probably assigned to some backwater Imperial station and his daily routine involved telling rookie TIE Fighter pilots how to inspect passerby craft. Then due to the urgency of the situation with the Rebels and Mugarii attacking the Imperial Outpost he started moving up his game, informing Stele adequately of the situation and what threats awaited him. After a time it would not have escaped notice that him and Stele were an incredible asset to the Empire when kept together, the Officer doing enough background work so that he's able to inform Stele of everything he needs to know about increasingly difficult missions for him to survive and succeed, all the way to the final showdown against Zaarin.


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