October 28, 2014
X-Wing was one of my favorite games when I was a kid.
I played it on my family’s rather old 386. It didn’t have a CD-ROM drive, and didn’t really have a “gaming” sound card, which meant the sounds were primarily bleeps and bloops. Doom ran if you shrank the screen size down to postage stamp dimensions. I was able to reduce the graphics quality of X-Wing enough to make it playable.
And play it I did. I didn’t have a joystick, but managed to get along well enough with the mouse1. At one point I decided that I would kill every single enemy in the game that was killable. This meant hanging around after missions ended to attack the additional TIE Fighters/Bombers/Interceptors they would send after you to “encourage” you to wrap it up. It also meant attacking the Frigates and Star Destroyers, usually by myself. I managed to pull it off in the first campaign but gave up shortly after that.
At some point I realized that you could have multiple accounts in the game. And those other accounts could be your wingmen in missions. So I took my best pilot, copied it several times over, then added them back to the game so that every wingman I had was at the Top Ace level.
TIE Fighter was also an important game for me, though by the time I got it (and a computer that would run it) I was getting ready for college and wasn’t as obsessive as only a 14 year old Star Wars fanatic could be.
1. A friend marveled at this. "I don't know how you got through the Death Star with a mouse".
Written by Scott Williams who lives and works in sunny Phoenix, AZ. Twitter is also a place.