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> X-Wing & Tie Fighter
post Nov 14 2016, 01:53 AM
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From: Between The Worlds

I have been playing the old X-Wing and Tie Fighter games, and thought I might as well create a topic about them. Given how old they are, there are some tricks you have to use to get them to play on modern systems. The plethora of versions of each game only makes it even more confusing.

Each game had three versions. The original (that came on floppy discs back in the day), the Collectors CD version from 1994, and the Special Edition from 1998. Each is a little different.

There is really no point even bothering with the originals.

The Collector's CD versions had slightly improved graphics over the originals, and got their music tracks from the cds. This was good in that it was better quality than the original music. It was bad in that every time the game changed tracks it literally stopped the game for a second, and when it started up again you would find yourself flying off in a completely different direction that before. Which could cause collisions that killed you instantly if you were not lucky. But the best thing was the iMuse system, which dynamically changed the music to coincide with new things happening in the game. For example, if new Imperial ships came on the scene, the Imperial March would play, etc... When playing on a modern system you will also get a lot of visual artifacts in the 2d screens between missions, as the game cannot correctly display colors.

The Special Edition had graphics updated even further, up to the same specs as X-Wing Alliance. But the iMuse system was scrapped, and instead tracks from the John Williams movie score plays when you fly missions. The good thing is that there is none of that hitching and skipping that stops the game every time the music changes. The bad is that the music does not give you cues on the situation as it changes. However, that said the music does change to the Star Wars victory music when you meet your mission objectives. You also don't get the odd colors in screens between missions, as these versions were made for Windows, so it can render the colors correctly.

Having played both the Collectors CD and Special Editions, and find I don't miss iMuse at all. The graphic improvements that the SEs bring are negligible these days. But that hitching of the game every time the music changed drove me nuts. You also don't have to deal with digging out your cds and putting them in the cd-rom drive whenever you want to play.

The versions on Gog.com are perhaps the simplest. When you buy either game, you get all the versions made for it. Being Gog, there are no cds to deal with. The downside is the Gog versions are all set to run in 2d video by default. To get them working in 3d you have to do some tweaking and get some 3rd party programs.

After you have installed any of the game versions, download XW+TIE+XvT_HW3D.zip. Within the zip file are three separate patchers, one for Tie Fighter, one for X-Wing, and one for X-Wing vs Tie Fighter Balance of Power. It is hosted here but I found the post is misleading. It is better to ignore it and follow my instructions below:

Unzip the appropriate .exe anywhere and run it. Click on the Patch button, and an Explorer window will pop up. Navigate to your game's base folder and select its executable. TIE95.exe for Tie Fighter, etc... It will tell you it was successfully patched, and afterward you can close the patcher. You can delete the patcher if you want, as you won't need it again. But it is a good idea to keep a backup of it somewhere in case you need to reinstall.

That is only halfway there however.

Next you need to get dgVoodoo2. Download the latest version and unzip it to your hard drive. Don't worry about the Compilers or Spash.dll files. All you need is dgVoodoo v2.53 (or whatever the version number happens to be when you go there). I never use Program Files because of how Windows Vista and beyond does tricky things with programs within it. Instead I create a folder named Programs and put everything in there. This one is a keeper, so remember where you put it. There is no special installation for it. Just copy the files to your hard drive.

Now go into that dgVoodoo folder, and into the MS subfolder. Within will be two files -> D3DImm.dll and DDraw.dll. Copy them and paste them in your game's base folder. If prompted, overwrite the originals.

Back in your dgVoodoo folder there is a file called dgVoodooSetup.exe. Run that, and it will start the dgVoodoo program. At the very top is a Config Folder / Running Instance box. Click on the Add button to the right of that, and select your game folder. That will create a new ini for dgVoodoo to use just for that game. For the X-wing and Tie games ignore the Glide button. You are going to be using Direct X. You can tweak the settings how you want. I found that selecting my video card as dgVoodoo Virtual 3d Accelerated Card works fine, and have the resolution set to 1920 x 1080. The same with most of the other options. If you have the dgVoodoo Watermark box checked you will see a little dgVoodoo logo in the lower right corner when you play the game. This can be handy at first, to let you know that it is really working! I also upped the color intensity to 150% in the General tab, as it seems to wash out the colors in my games. Don't use MSAA or any anti-aliasing, as I found it makes objects in the game vanish. When you are done, click Apply or Ok.

From now on whenever you run dgVoodoo, you can click on that Config Folder box and you will find a line for every game you are using it for. This makes it easy when you are trying out dgVoodoo settings and going back and forth between it and the game to test. Note that you do not have to run the dgVoodoo.setup every time you play the game, or have it on the background when you play. You only have to run it to get it set up. The game will automatically use its ini and dll files without you doing anything special.

Now it is time to start your game for the first time. Don't use the shortcut that Gog gives you, because it bypasses the launcher and goes straight to the game. Instead go to your game folder, and find the TIESTART.EXE or XWINGTIE.EXE (if it is for Tie Fighter or X-Wing respectively). These start the game launcher, where you can change settings under Advanced Options. First check the box next to Use Software Cursor. If you do not, you might not have a mouse cursor in the game, making it impossible to play. Then go to Change 3d Video Card. You should see dgVoodoo listed there. Select it if it is not already. Click Done to go back to the main launcher screen. Then start the actual game with Play X-Wing (or Play Tie Fighter).

Once you are in the game you have to set the video options again to play in 3d. Hit the escape button, look for the video options, and select 3d Hardware.

At this point you should be fine. Have fun blasting Impies or Rebel scum!

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Nov 14 2016, 04:22 AM

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post Nov 14 2016, 02:53 AM
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Joined: 14-March 10
From: Las Vegas

I don't see myself going there, but I must compliment you (again) for so courteously detailing the nuts and bolts of some (especially older) games to get them up and running well. Your diligent efforts form a wonderful resource for anyone at Chorrol seeking to optimize the games in question.

Thank you! smile.gif

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haute ecole rider
post Nov 14 2016, 04:07 AM
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Joined: 16-March 10
From: The place where the Witchhorses play

Agreed with the Paladin over there.

Not likely to play either of those games, but still, as someone whose first FPS was Star Wars Dark Forces (that game inspired what is likely my first fan fic, which languishes unfinished to this day . . .), I appreciate the sense of nostalgia that may prompt one to revisit these wonderful old games.

Your technical expertise shines here, and I for one appreciate it!

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