Star Wars TIE Fighter: Total Conversion (TFTC)

Star Wars TIE Fighter: Total Conversion (TFTC)
Star Wars TIE Fighter: Total Conversion (TFTC)

This Star Wars TIE Fighter: Total Conversion (TFTC) of the classic game looks incredible! While I am hesitant to download everything I need for it due to time constraints, I am severely tempted. The mod itself is over seven gigabytes of data and required a few things to run it. Worth it? The proof is in the video…

TIE Fighter: Total Conversion (TFTC)

From the TIE Fighter: Total Conversion (TFTC) website. The TIE Fighter Total Conversion (TFTC) project is aimed at porting 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 project, this is a complete overhaul of the game from graphics to gameplay. All 13 battle campaigns and their training missions have been ported over along with 8 Reimagined battle campaigns, taking advantage of the much better XWA engine and imagining how TIE Fighter could’ve been had the technology of the time not limited it. But here’s a general breakdown of what you can expect from this mod!

The Comfort of the 36th Chamber of Shaolin

The Comfort of the 36th Chamber of Shaolin

From time to time we all seek to return to places that comfort us. The old saying of “You can never go home” is true in a physical sense, but I am a creature of memories. My “home” lies within my mind. Often this can be a random jumble so I use flavors, audio or visual aids to take me to a specific point or feeling in my life. Several times a year I yearn for the comfort of the 36th chamber of Shaolin. It takes me back to a time at my Grandparents’ home and getting a San Francisco channel in the late 70’s. The a few years later it was a solid connection between my training in real life to my nerdy obsessions.

It is a constant reminder that you can achieve things larger than your own desires if you just step out side of your own comfort zone. Isn’t that ironic? I find comfort in something that I feel is telling me to not be bogged down in comfort.

Seasonal Viewing Habits

I have very specific seasonal viewing habits. In the Spring my entertainment skews heavily toward Star Wars while in the late nineties it began to delve mostly into sword and sorcery fantasy in Autumn. That morphed into being primarily Tolkien based media after Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy became readily available. It is still Autumn, and in the cold and increasingly miserable days marching into Winter, I find hope and comfort in a warm drink and watching the Fellowship overcome enemies and the elements.

While I enjoyed reading the Tolkien books, I enjoy them even more as audio books as narrated by Rob Inglis. There are parts of the Peter Jackson films that I miss, such as the Barrow Whites and the invasion of the Shire, but all in all the extend version of the films are well done and very entertaining. I actually favor the flow of the story and the additions of the filmmakers more than I do the original texts.

My very first introduction to the works of Tolkien was a puppet show in a local park when I was eight years old. It captured my attention. A little later that year I was treated to a CBS Special presentation of the Rankin:Bass production of the Hobbit. It’s my go-to show when I am feeling like I need to escape the everyday “goblins” that we all face. The book is one of my all-time favorite reads and I prefer it over the Peter Jack version. While I thought the films were entertaining, they were really too heavy for my liking. I’ve only watched that trilogy all the way through twice.

A sketch of my Elven Ranger from Dark Age of Camelot. Ihn’tl Zha, Ranger of Hibernia.

While this post has been more of a testament to my love of Tolkien media in its many forms, my question to you is… Are there any genres, or franchises, that you really prefer to focus on at a certain time of year, or seasonally? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Revisiting Star Wars Rebels

Recently I found myself wanting to revisit Star Wars Rebels. Easily dismissable as a “kid’s show”, Rebels begins small but establishes a feel of Star Wars almost immediately. Utilizing much of the original concept material by Ralph McQuarrie and Joe Johnston, the atmosphere feels original and familiar at the same time.

When I say the show begins small, it quite literally begins with the young protagonist Ezra and how he both helps others, and himself. It quickly escalates to include the crew of the Ghost and speeds up from there. While there are some moments of violence, both physical and weaponry, they are not excessive. This program has deaths, mainly imperials, but also brutality that one would expect from an oppressive government. Violence for a reason, is an ongoing theme in Star Wars as an undertone… I wish it was addressed far more openly.

The mission to rescue Wookiee slaves from their fate on Kessel was a perfect setting for character development and growth, plus the reveal of a Jedi from within the crew of the Ghost. This is where the self-centered, and self reliant Ezra discovers the worth of self sacrifice for something bigger than himself.

I am very excited to dive back into this series. Next to the Mandalorian, and Rogue One, Rebels is one of my favorite post original trilogy Star Wars stories. It has heart, philosophy, and the stakes are high as the birth of the rebellion against the Empire begins in this program.

I cannot recomend Star Wars Rebels enough. It’s entertaining, and it, personally, gives me that feel of the era of Star Wars between “A New Hope” and the “Empire Strikes Back”. It’s great storytelling, fun and so entertaining. Watch it!

The Star Wars Battle Pod, Where is it Today?

So I was looking through the archives here at the lair, and I ran across this video from 2015. It was extolling the virtues of the Star Wars Battle Pod by Bandai / Namco, and it was unveiled at the New York Comic-Con on October 8, 2014. Being the fan of Combat Flight Sims that I am, and veteran of many trench runs from the original Atari arcade Star Wars game through the last version of X-Wing vs TIE Fighter, this appealed to be as both a Star Wars adventure and a full on Sim.

The Maker playing Star Wars

Ever since the day I discovered my first sit-down style version of the original polygon Star Wars game I dreamed of climbing into a full enveloping cockpit experience. Sure, now we can put on a set of VR goggles and get the same visual feel, but I want the sensation of climbing into a cockpit, grabbing the flight yoke & throttle and flying my first sortie. I’d image that combining this with a VR headset would bump up the immersive gaming experience even more. These Pods are still available today and will set you back $31,000 (USD). It’s no wonder why I have never seen one in person.

The website hasn’t been updated in 4 years but it’s still worth a look-see.

Star Wars has a long history of both bad to great games, while I can only judge this one via video clips, it seems like a worthy successor to the first X-Wing game for the PC that was, and still is, a delightful play. With the news about a new sim coming out in October, Star Wars: Squadron, there is no sign of slowing down by the corporate machine that is Disney / Lucasfilm om cranking out games that allow us to live out our fantasy of defending the Empire or resitting fascism in the Rebel Alliance.

Pre-Order Star Wars: Squadrons on Amazon