Retro Let's Play: "Elite" (1984)

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by power, May 14, 2019.

  1. power

    power Member

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    Community Retro Let's Play for mid May 2019.

    Thanks elvis for another fantastic opportunity to highlight and play together a retro classic that we all may have never experienced or may already be fans of. I was watching an Amiga video recently about an accelerator upgrade (modern vintage gamers ultimate amiga 2018) and the time to show off the power of the higher clockspeed of the Amiga was really highlighted by "Elite II" this game pushed the boundaries and the imagination of gamers everywhere (and 80's home computers) from the minds of the amazing David Braben and Ian Bell. With several sequels and a modern version in Elite Dangerous, to say this 35 year old game is influential is an understatement.


    ElectronBoxFront.jpg



    To find out what this is and why we're doing it, click here.

    You are given a basic ship, some credits and let loose on your local galaxy to fight, trade and explore and everything is produced proceduraly long before No Mans Sky made it cool.

    More info

    http://wiki.alioth.net/index.php/Main_Page
    https://fanlore.org/wiki/Elite

    History

    Playing the game.

    The game was released on a multitude of platforms, all fairly easy to emulate however many may be less desirable versions of the title. They are all published and completely free on Ian Bell's website below. However you will be playing on a classic machine or on emulation as there was only one console version on the NES although all reports are this is a solid version.

    http://www.elitehomepage.org/game.htm

    However many consider Elite The New Kind the best way to experience Elite today and it is based on the Acorn version widely considered the best one, although I know I will play on the Amiga just to get that authentic CRT experience. :)

    https://www.new-kind.com/

    For those who don't wanna do all that, there are also browser versions here!

    https://archive.org/details/Elite_1985_Firebird_Software_ZX_Spectrum

    http://torinak.com/qaop#!elite

    http://www.iancgbell.clara.net/elite/thirty/index.htm
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
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  2. samus

    samus Member

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    Thanks power. I play oolite almost exclusively, but have very fond memories of playing this on the school computers, 286's with almost no ram. My brother-in-law was a master at selling all the startup gear, buying a scoop, and crashing into ships, and collecting gear that way.

    I actually pulled out my pandora console because of the other thread, and loaded up oolite on the go.
     
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  3. Sphinx2000

    Sphinx2000 Member

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    You can buy the official Elite (1984) game for BBC Micro for free from the Frontier Store here:
    https://www.frontierstore.net/games/elite-dangerous-cat/elite1984.html
    Also, from the Elite community:

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Dave Braben is one of those "quietly influential" names across so many industries.

    Elite is such an important game for so many reasons. Not only is it an astonishing technical work (wireframe 3D on such early CPUs was an incredible feat, not to mention the sheer size of the universe you can travel within), but even more interesting is the platform it first got coded on, and by whom.

    The game was originally published by AcornSoft for the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron. The BBC Micro was a fascinating computer, co-designed by Acorn Computers and the British Broadcasting Corporation (akin to our own ABC here in Australia), as a nation-wide push for computer and digital literacy in the UK. Braben just 20 years old when Elite was released, and the Acorn systems he used inspired his love of programming and hardware greatly.

    Over the years Braben would become saddened by the UK's ever shrinking technology industry, as the US, Japan and more recently India and China all out-scaled and out-smarted the UK.

    In parallel, Acorn would go on to develop what they called the "Acorn RISC Machine", or ARM. Eventually Acorn would stop making CPUs all together, and go "fabless" - changing to "ARM Holdings" and only designing CPUs and selling the designs and rights to other companies who would make them. The ARM processor is today renowned for it's amazing CPU grunt relative to it's power requirements, making it the go-to device for mobile, handheld and mini computers everywhere (existing in everything from the Nintendo Gameboy Advance and DS through to our iPhones, Android devices, and such, and even in the newest Playstation 4 Pro as the low power CPU that takes over when your PS4 goes to sleep).

    Braben, dissatisfied with the state of technical education in the UK, co-chaired a design group looking to make a low-cost computer (similar to the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron of his youth) focused mostly on education and tinkerers. Braben was familiar with ARM both as a platform and a company, and being low cost and light weight, it was a great concept for a small, credit-card sized computer.

    Some years later, with the combined brains of several of the UKs best hardware engineers (including Braben), and the versatile-but-cheap ARM CPU, the Raspberry Pi was born.

    So, if you're really keen for a dose of full circle nostalgia, consider running RiscOS on your Raspberry Pi, a copy of ArcEm for RiscOS, and playing Elite that way. Dave would be proud. :)

    [edit]
    Another comprehensive guide here:
    http://blogs.arcsoftwareconsultancy.com/pi/2012/11/13/archimedes_elite/
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  5. OP
    OP
    power

    power Member

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    One name I forgot to mention and he rarely gets mentioned in association with this game is the amazing David Whittaker - probably THE music maker of the 8 and 16 bit home computer era.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
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  6. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    This bare game, I'll reference as "Elite!" From now on, cemented the C-64 in my mind forever. Completely and utterly blown away by the shear scale of the game and the excellent wire frame graphics, unheard of at the time of productions. I never had a disk drive in those days and had to put up with the black tape with white "Elite!" Print on it from Firebird. Chucked it in the tape drive, "Press play on tape" and then go make a cuppa tea, or go play outside for a bit..

    Upon return, the game would have loaded (took at least 20 mins) and then it would start..

    Just amazing!! First credits always spent on a docking computer. Always.. soo many time after gathering lots of stuff crashing into the fucking space station(TM)

    Lol.. I just loved this game, and for me it was the c-64 version was the go to event, I had it later on the Ami, but never quite captivated me the same. Though the plague of Trumble's.. lol..
    Amazing game..

    [​IMG]
    Probably the computer world's first Easter egg.. (though that credit probably went out to Adventure on the VCS) that and the docking computer song, I still sometimes humm when I am docking the B777 at the gate..lol

     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  7. ShaggyMoose

    ShaggyMoose Member

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    I spent a ridiculous amount of time playing this on the Amiga. Sad story though; I wasn't able to back up the original disk due to some copy protection and eventually it was corrupted. The store I bought it from offered to help, but what they actually did was copy a cracked version onto it. This version didn't work quite right and caused odd behaviours, including preventing all of the missions from working. To this this day, I never made it past Deadly. :(

    Elite 2 was extremely ambitious, but was a slideshow on my 68000 Amiga 2000. I don't know how I put up with the frequent drops to 1 FPS; these days I give up on a game if it drops below 30 FPS!
     
  8. OP
    OP
    power

    power Member

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    watch this then.... skip to 7:47

     
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  9. Sphinx2000

    Sphinx2000 Member

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    Here you go:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A lot more here:
    https://imgur.com/a/C95sv#vmmW5g7
     
  10. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    Holy shit!! You wrote in the log!!! :D
    Haha. I had about a gazillion pieces of paper with costages for narcotics for all the planets I'd been to. Sadly enough all trashed by my older brother after he continuesly asked me to clean my shit up in our room. Lol

    That lens thing though, mine didn't have that.. ?? So you put that thing on the TV screen? I can't really remember..
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  11. Sphinx2000

    Sphinx2000 Member

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    Not mine, never had a Spectrum/C64. Not sure on the lens, possible used to answer copy protection questions?
    I played on a 286 PC circa ~1988 with 5.25" floppies and a monochrome screen, but you needed to keep the turbo button off.
     
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  12. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    Awesome, never got into peecees untill the 386 33..
    Freaking ageless game!!. Didn't bell and braham have a huge shit fight over Elite ages ago?
     
  13. mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    This is making me want to whip the old 286 out of storage. ( I need to set it up again anyway)

    Never played before..

    EGA graphcis on PC?
     
  14. OP
    OP
    power

    power Member

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    i didn't get a chance to jump on the Amiga but did manage to load "Alite" on Android, wow so cool.
     
  15. Grant

    Grant Member

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    I was another youngster that only got into this on the hugely expanded sequel on the Amiga, and never really got the feel of the original. I played a bit of the browser version (bbc.godbolt.org was the best one that worked for me, though I didn't get saving going), and managed to dock a couple of times, which is further than I'd gotten before :lol:

    I died in my first battle though. Overall, I can see how the addiction builds in a game like this, might give Oolite a go for a more modern version.

    (although I DO have Elite: Dangerous sitting relatively unplayed in my Steam collection...)
     

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