What means "TOBI" in the WC menus?

Luke

Captain
Hi all

It is too long ago and my memories have a few gaps. ;)

Currently i update some of the elements in the WCS menu interface and revamp a few screens. In the menu interface of the original WC titles and also in WCS there is the text "TOBI" on some menu screens. What exactly is meant with this? I searched here in the Wing Commander Encyclopedia and in other resources in the Net, but i don't found any explanation. As example one screen from WC3 and one from WCS.

wc3_600x338.jpg 2_TechData.jpg
 
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Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
TOBI was the computer system on the TCS Victory. They don't make a big deal in the game, but it's implied to be some sort of Mother-style shipboard AI: if you play through the training simulator missions, "Tobi" can show up as a wingman.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
I'm not sure we're ever told what TOBI stands for, or even if we're told whether or not's it's an acronym. It would make sense if it was some kind of acronym (because the military NEVER makes use of the damn things), but as for what it means, your guess is as good as mine.

So I guess we could all play a round of Acrophobia...
 

Luke

Captain
@LOAF & capi

Thx for your answers. Yes i know it is some kind of computer system/AI, but i thought TOBI is a acronym. I wanted to describe "TOBI".

But i found nothing for what it stands for. So i tried to find a explanation by myself for it. Maybe "TO" stands for "Tactical Operations" and maybe "I" stands for "Interface", but i have no idea for "B".

Okay, this is too much "maybe" for me. Then i leave it simple like it is.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
  • Theatre of Operations Battlefield Intelligence
  • Tactical Online Battle Interface
  • Truly Ominously Bitchin' Info
  • Totally Obvious - Backwards Into
  • Tanks Often, Built Ignobly
  • Think Outside Box, Idiot
  • Triumphant Orange Blackbelt Infidel - that last one could be taken as racist and at this point I'm obviously just making up crap, so I'll stop there...
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
Moreover, I'd be curious what the "real world" meaning is behind the acronym is (because you know those kids at Origin had to have a joke behind it...)
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I'm confident that TOBI meant something to someone in 1994... but whatever that was, it seems to be a victim of Wing Commander III's development process. I can't find any reference to it in the budgets or other behind-the-scenes material relating to the film shoot here, which suggests that it was something added by the team in Austin... likely the UI designer responsible for the shipboard menus. There seems to have been a lot of creative that didn't transition from place to place: Victory Streak, for instance, doesn't reference TOBI despite ostensibly being a log of your interactions with the Victory's computer. You seem to get some creative silos with the project in general: Creative Services did their own thing, the devs did their own thing and the guys responsible for the film shoot did theirs. Another example: the 'Combined Forces' logo that had a very specific backstory behind it when it was created by Chris Douglas... but it's never referenced in any of the supporting material in any way. (Not that I'm criticizing the development process! It's pretty cool having creative come from multiple sources at once, and Chris Roberts is certainly someone willing to include a good idea when he hears it... but it must have been insanely hard to organize with the tools in 1994.)
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
  • Theatre of Operations Battlefield Intelligence
  • Tactical Online Battle Interface
  • Truly Ominously Bitchin' Info
  • Totally Obvious - Backwards Into
  • Tanks Often, Built Ignobly
  • Think Outside Box, Idiot
  • Triumphant Orange Blackbelt Infidel - that last one could be taken as racist and at this point I'm obviously just making up crap, so I'll stop there...

Good calls.

When I was a kid, I used to pretend it was "Terran OnBoard Interface"
 

Luke

Captain
@LOAF

Ok, it seems there is no explanation for this word. So i have nothing about this word i can explain in our german GUI translation.

Btw why i asked: we replace a few TOBI terminals with "real looking" rooms and there will be left one menu screen with this TOBI computer system and so i wanted to explain TOBI in the help screen.

Thx to all.
 

Mindcrime

Commodore
Loaf, did you ever ask Chris Roberts about this? Does he even remember what it stood for? I'm still curious lol.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Loaf, did you ever ask Chris Roberts about this? Does he even remember what it stood for? I'm still curious lol.

I would be pretty surprisesd if Chris Roberts had any recollection whatsoever that the word "TOBI" anywhere in Wing Commander.

As with everything, it was probably an in-joke or reference created by the artists who created that interface, and it may never have been something anyone inquired about - it may have only ever existed in the head of the person who made it...
 
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