While rummaging through some PC stuff at a retro game store, I stumbled upon something curious. I found a pile of floppy disks, which the store owner gave me because he didn’t think he could sell them (he was likely right). In that pile of disks was a Tie Fighter Dodge Neon demo, which is a rare copy of the marketing collaboration between Dodge and Lucasarts.
It’s strange, and it’s fascinating that it exists at all. Upon running the demo you’re presented with an elaborate marketing piece for the Dodge Neon automobile. You can click through that and get to the actual demo of the game.
So, what’s the deal with this?
There are a few details in the Tie Fighter demo that are historically interesting. The logo at the beginning is the pre-release version which differs from the one found in the final game. The intro sequence features still images from the final games intro, more or less. The tie fighter cockpit is different. The sound effects (particularly the tie fighter lasers) are weird and different. The music is recycled from X-Wing.
I inquired as to where people acquired this demo in the video linked above. Some people got it directly from Dodge dealerships. A forum post on Nintendo Age says it came in Computer Gaming World Magazine. One viewer said he got it at Software ETC. Another said he got it at Radio Shack. So, it appears that the demo was widely available, but it would seem that not many copies survived.
The demo originally had a paper envelope, and it had a coupon for $10 off Tie Fighter from participating retailers.
You can download the Tie Fighter Dodge Neon demo here if you would like to try it out. If you find a copy be sure to grab it, because it’s not super easy to find these days. It’s an interesting piece that I’m glad I found, if maybe a little strange.