The LucasArts computer game TIE Fighter is a classic, and fourteen years after it was released, it still retains its playability. Unfortunately, the game was written for DOS, and tends not to run on Windows 7. Fortunately, the marvelous DOSBox emulator provides a way to run old DOS games, and I will show you the steps it took to get the CD-ROM version of TIE Fighter running in DOSBox on Windows 7.
1.) First, you’ll need a USB joystick. I frankly suggest that you obtain the cheapest joystick possible, since it seems the simpler the joystick, the more likely it is that it will work. I’ve been using a Logitech Attack 3 USB joystick, and it seems to work just fine. Before running DOSBox, make sure that your joystick is connected and functional.
2.) Next, create a directory to serve as a virtual C drive during your DOSBox session. I usually just create a directory named ‘dos’ and stick it in the root folder of my hard drive. You can stash the folder in your user profile, of course, but typing C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\Dos every time you want to play TIE Fighter rapidly gets tiresome.
(Note that you will want to set DOSBox to run as an administrator, which you can do by right-clicking the DOSBox icon and selecting Run As Administrator.)
4.) Put your TIE Fighter CD-ROM in your drive, and start DOSBox.
5.) Use the following command to mount your dos directory (assuming you followed the example above) as your hard drive:
mount c c:\dos
6.) Mount your computer’s CD/DVD drive in DOSBox with this command:
mount d D:\ -t cdrom
Obviously, if your CD/DVD drive has a different letter than D:\, you’ll need to change it (mount d E:\ -t cdrom, for instance). It’s possible to use an ISO image in lieu of the actual cdrom, but I’ve had the best luck with the actual disc.
7.) To install TIE Fighter, first change to the D drive:
And then type:
This will bring you to the TIE Fighter installation program.
8.) The full install of TIE Fighter only takes 90 megs of space, a negligible amount nowadays, so I’d go ahead and do the Maximum install. Follow the default prompts until you get to the Sound Setup screen.
9.) Your specific audio configuration may require custom settings, of course, but I’ve had the most success with the following settings:
-Sound Blaster, Port 220, IRQ 7, DMA 1
The install program helpfully includes a built-in test, so I’d suggest that you test your sound settings before you exit the installation program. Once your settings are correct, save your settings and exit the installer.
10.) Start up TIE Fighter by changing to the game directory (assuming you used the default install settings):
Then start the game by typing:
The game will ask you to calibrate your joystick. Follow the prompts, and soon you should have TIE Fighter functioning just right in DOSBox.
UPDATE: Commentator Chris Irish has found a fix for the joystick problem that has been plaguing some users.