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ELITE (1984) - The Retro Gaming Classic space trading game! FREE @ Frontier (Original BBC Computer Programme)
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Posted 17th Apr 2020Posted 17th Apr 2020
ELITE (1984) - The Retro Gaming Classic space trading game! FREE @ Frontier (Original BBC Computer Programme)
Experience the Retro Gaming Classic space trading game, Elite! As released on the BBC Model B in 1984, by Ian Bell and David Braben. (Original BBC Computer Programme) which can be … Read more

Mr Ee was a classic. A mate of mine had Microvitec monitor and it looked superb on that. I’ve spent a good few hours playing Dangerous and it is good but only in single player mode. Like you multiplayer does nothing for me at all. It was a great scene then as well. We used to knock about with the Gremlin and Alligata guys in Sheffield. If I remember Alligata we’re above Superior Systems on West Steer and Gremlin was upstairs on Carver Street. A mate of mine worked in Datron over the road. Had some proper laughs in those days.


It was probably TL:DR for most people (I kept adding stuff to it after the initial post, which didn't help!). Loved the BBC Micro and Archimedes - probably the two finest machines to exist in the 1980's, even if they were both overpriced (but worth it, IMHO). It was the fact that they didn't have anything "naff" about them like so many of their contemporaries did (the ZX Spectrum being the worst - literally everything about it was awful and yet it sold in bucketloads because it was cheap). Actually, all this talk of disk protection reminded me of a commercial disk copier progam for the BBC Micro that would display a picture of a pirate if you tried to use it to copy itself. Rather than bother cracking the protection (which I'm sure I could have done), I think I just worked out that if you write protected the disk with a protection label mid-way through it loading, it wouldn't detect its own copy protection and would let you copy itself :-) Hey, no point in wasting time cracking it if a sticky label does the job for you! Getting back to Elite, I did play it for a quite a long time to get my £14.95's worth, but I never became "Elite". I think I did try it on or two other platforms later on and, no, I haven't bought Elite Dangerous before you ask (would be nice if they had a Linux version since I consider Linux the sort of successor spiritual home where ex-BBC/Archimedes owners would end up at) - I just don't like multi-player games (so Steam Proton works well for me in Linux - anti-cheat for multi-player is the last major hurdle and I don't care :-) ). Another BBC Micro story from me: I wrote code to "ROM-ise" any BBC Micro game - you could then run it with a star command and it would display the game name on boot (like Disc Doctor and others did). I got an EPROM blown of Mr Ee! (what a great game that was) and could just run it with *mree and it would instantly start. Linux users can reminisce with xmris of course, which actually looks more like a conversion of Mr Ee! than of Mr Do! :-)


Haha fantastic memories I really enjoyed reading that thank you... Took me right back yes the Captain Pugwash was Frak! and it was a great rendition too ! What did he say he would do whip and do nasty things to whoever copied the game ? ! My time with the beeb set me up for a life time working in IT but I wish I could go back to those times. They were special, magical even. Seriously I was disappointed when I had finished your post ever though of making your memories more permanent ? I would pay to read them :-)


It was many, many years ago, so my memory's a bit hazy on this! Computer Concepts' Disc Doctor ROM was an essential toolkit (I loaded it into sideways RAM) - a 6502 disassembler, a memory editor and a disk editor were all helpful. If a game checked for a bad sector, I'd patch the code to skip that check. If it actually loaded data from a "special" sector (formatted differently from normal to prevent copying), I'd let it load the data, patch it to return control and the *SAVE the data out to another disk. I'd then patch the loading code to load from a normal file instead. I suspect one of these 2 methods is what I'd have done with Elite. I will point out that The BBC Micro Advanced User Guide was a mandatory book to buy at the time - excellent documentation on the OS that proved invaluable when patching games and writing 6502 on the machine in general. I had a 6502 programming reference book (I forget its title - black cover with orange heading on the front) and "The BBC Micro Compendium" (Jeremy Ruston's "banned book" where he naughtily documented an entire disassembly of the BBC BASIC ROM - talk about copyright infringement!). Didn't really need any other books on the BBC Micro at the time. You might like to know that Jeremy's documentation of how the BBC BASIC expression evaluator worked was used as a template for a C-based version I wrote for UNIX/Linux systems called calc (which I didn't realise at the time was also the name of a GNU program...slaps forehead). My funniest experience was with Acornsoft Revs - the author had written a sophisticated way of intercepting *LOAD to load from special sectors. I was worried about patching it until I realise that you could just patch to return control and literally type a *SAVE command to save the chunk of memory loaded to by the custom *LOAD! Once I'd then removed his interception of *LOAD, everything loaded from normal files and I was done. I often found that tape protection was more sophisticated than disk protection, even though you were often paying a lot more for the latter and 99% of the time the disk version of the game was identical to the tape version (Elite was indeed one of the rare exceptions to this). Authors would load (or just check for) extra data on tape that wasn't copyable via *LOAD/*SAVE - you'd just patch that load/check out in most cases. I even used that technique in a slightly ironic way in a commercial tape copier I wrote, so that one of the few things it couldn't copy was itself :-) The most interesting tape protection by far was used by Ultimate's Knight Lore - it used precise timings of the 6522 VIA chip to decrypt data. I had the code for the crack completed in a matter of hours, but unbeknownst to me, one line of it was wrong and this messed up the decryption. After many code reviews on and off, 2 weeks later I found the fix and all was good. I was excited to see what new tape protection Ultimate would come up with in their next game (I think it was Atic Atac) and was massively disappointed that *exactly* the same code I wrote to crack Knight Lore worked on the sequel too, so it was literally a 10 minute crack. Biggest letdown ever! As you can probably guess, many BBC Micro games (outside of the much quoted "classics") were more fun to crack than actually play. I was never defeated by any BBC Micro copy protection and this trend continued for a while with the Archimedes I had (I cracked Zarch quickly, wrote a modder that could give me infnite everything and got to see the end screen probably way before the guy who a won a prize for that! Was tempted to enter the competition for that as a cheat laugh, but was worried they might expect me to play it at expert level!). It only stopped when the first compiled stuff came out for the Archimedes - I think it was a Magnetic Scrolls adventure. It used one of those "type this word from a page in a manual" protections and the ARM code the (presumably C) compiler generated was so bloaty/spaghetti to follow (yes, text compression was involved too) that I gave up on it. A good job the game wasn't much cop anyway! BTW, I suspect I was only person to "pirate" (ha!) the Captain Pugwash theme tune from one of Orlando's games (was it Frak or Zalaga I dunno) that he'd buried in a BASIC game loader as an Easter egg for copy protection crackers, convert it to 6502, make it interrupt-driven in the background and then have it optionally play in the background on a tape to disk copier I wrote :-) What a payback that was and it made me chuckle...


Being a bit of a beeb nerd .. I thought myself Beeb BASIC and then onto 6502 Assembler. Interested to know how you went about cracking the protection on Elite.

ELITE (1984) PC/Mac Free @ Frontier Shop
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Posted 22nd Sep 2019Posted 22nd Sep 2019
ELITE (1984) PC/Mac Free @ Frontier ShopFREE£0.01
This is one for the old timers here - sheer nostalgia. On the occasion of the publication 35 years ago, the classic ELITE is available for free in the Frontier Shop! For… Read more

(lol) Damn autocorrect


Too much effort to sign up for another account which will remain unused just to harvest my data to send me emails that I'll block anyway. Can just get it from ROM/Abandonware sites instead.


I could never get the Elite tape to load (Amstrad 464


Ah the Lenslok Used to do the adjustments so you could read the test OK, but when you went onto the actual protection the letters weren't clear. At least with Elite they dropped it when the updated Elite which was compatible with the Spectrum 128 came out


For BBC fans, its also worth watching Micro Men! :)

Elite  (1984) - the original bbc version download for free on pc and mac
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Posted 21st Jan 2019Posted 21st Jan 2019
Elite (1984) - the original bbc version download for free on pc and macFREE£0.01
Spend your weekend getting retro with Elite 1984! Download it for PC and Mac, free on the Frontier Store!

I still have nightmares about Harkonnen missiles in Dune II.


Can't agree that STC was the best game for Amiga. There were so many greats! A few that I preferred, Hired Guns, Chaos Engine, Civ and Dune II. As for Elite, it's a classic, wish they'd make a FAITHFUL recreation of Carrier Command though!


I wasted a lot of time on Elite! I wonder if it is still as much fun ... Thanks OP. (y)


That’s not elite though. That’s Alite


I have wondered that myself on occasion

Planet coaster (steam) £12 Frontier Developments
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Posted 22nd Nov 2018Posted 22nd Nov 2018
Planet coaster (steam) £12 Frontier Developments£12£29.9960% off
Celebrate a year of Planet Coaster with the free 1.4 Anniversary Update! The update brings the scenario editor, five new rides, new scenery items, management and UI improvements an… Read more

has been £11.99 at humble bundle for a while too, plus 50p credit back ;)


Brilliant game with some awesome expansion packs!


Cracking good game - got it almost a couple years ago now and sank like 100+ hours into it in the first month (while working full time) without even realising. Worth it for the price all day long.


Same price in the steam store. good price for a good game

Elite Dangerous available at half price again £9 at Frontier Developments
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Posted 31st Aug 2018Posted 31st Aug 2018
Elite Dangerous available at half price again £9 at Frontier Developments£9
Great game, if you can deal with the relatively steep learning curve. HOTAS recommended, but not essential.

nice article and I stand corrected, it was the authors of thrust (another favourite game) not elite that were behind it.


There was a retrospective article about Exile and the BBC Micro a while ago on Eurogamer. In praise of a BBC Micro classic: Forever playing in Exile


thanks. No I've still got my old bbc and it works fine. I never got that much into this game it was quite difficult but technically impressive. Preferred exile which I believe one of the elite co authors was responsible for.


Maybe I'm just being too cheap, but it annoys me that Horizons expansion is £11.99 (40% off) on a sale, but earlier on it used to go down to £9.99 (50% off) always ends up ruining decreased discounts for me.


If you have fond memories of the original Elite, you can download this for free: ELITE (1984) (Mac Edition) And quoting their web page: "Package includes a disk image of the original Elite for BBC Micro B; BeebEm, a BBC Micro and Master 128 emulator that enables you to run BBC Micro software on your PC; and instructions for getting started with both BeebEm and Elite."

Elite Dangerous (PC) £9 / Horizons £11.99 / CMDR Deluxe Ed. (£21.19) - Frontier
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Posted 30th Mar 2018Posted 30th Mar 2018
Elite Dangerous (PC) £9 / Horizons £11.99 / CMDR Deluxe Ed. (£21.19) - Frontier£9
Not as good as previous deals for Elite, but the current offering from the Frontier store for the PC version of Elite Dangerous is: £9 base game £11.99 Horizons season pass (requi… Read more

However... Please note: The keys you generate will add your games to any Steam library but WILL NOT GRANT ACCESS TO ELITE: DANGEROUS/HORIZONS. For this reason, please do not give your Steam key away to a friend! They won’t be able to play without having already bought the game from Steam or from the Frontier Store.


So because you don't like it, nobody else will. Okay, got it. And this will come with a Steam key when buying through the Frontier store, follow this


Or you could buy it via Steam (same price currently) and gift it?


Seeing that you need Steam AND a Frontier account to play, there is a chance that the purchase will get linked to your Frontier account. I'm only guessing, but I imagine they then also give you a Steam code for it to appear in Steam.


Will you get a key from them ? Or its some kind of link that is tied with your account ? I want to buy and send this to my family in usa, so would buy it if its a code what you get. Thanks for answer.

Elite Dangerous £10 Horizons £13.39 CMDR edition £23.19
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Posted 27th Oct 2017Posted 27th Oct 2017
Elite Dangerous £10 Horizons £13.39 CMDR edition £23.19£10
Elite Dangerous on sale for half price. Also on sale at steam but if you buy direct you get a steam key and an oculus key so great if you picked up a rift and have been waiting for… Read more

just to make clear... you dont get ALL the up and coming expansions........ (that would be the lifetime pass you need which is not currently available).


its a space game set within a galaxy sim if that makes sense. I love the game and think it is a steal at this price... but it is not a game for everyone!. out of vr i would say its a great, but flawed title in VR, i would say nothing can touch it - if you like the sort of game that ED is!..... which is a long drawn out debate and you are better off looking at obsidian ants videos on youtube for that answer.


There is literally just too much to play :-/ Just started Project Cars in VR. Well, about 6/7 hours in and still on tier 8! Too many sales, too many games, not enough time... might have to start slashing the wishlist...


weathers a bit cold this time of year ;)


Maybe so but nothing wrong with making conversation.

Elite Dangerous: Horizons (£13.39) / Commander Edition (£26.79) - 33% off - PC (Steam)
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Posted 27th Aug 2017Posted 27th Aug 2017
Elite Dangerous: Horizons (£13.39) / Commander Edition (£26.79) - 33% off - PC (Steam)£13.39
Offer looks to be back until 29th August for 33% off Elite Dangerous, Elite Dangerous Horizons and the Commander Edition. Great game, only just started to get into it myself but a… Read more

I tried a few days ago and also got this. Was amazing other than that, but a shame the game is grindy


Was cheaper in the summer sale.


This blows your mind ;)


Any good guides for Oculus? Tried ED on mine, ultra everything and wasn't really impressed at all. Had a really annoying issue also where if I leaned back slightly my head would pass through the chair and I'd be left staring at the back of it, annoying AF. No idea why the seat can't be a physical wall.


Be Warned!, once you let the Elite Dangerous VR Genie out of the bottle you won't be able to put it back in, so be warned. ;)

Elite Dangerous: CMDR Deluxe Edition PC £23.19 @ Frontier Developments
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Posted 22nd Jun 2017Posted 22nd Jun 2017
Elite Dangerous: CMDR Deluxe Edition PC £23.19 @ Frontier Developments£23.19
Elite Dangerous: CMDR Deluxe Edition can be had for £23.19 for the Deluxe edition on PC on the Frontier store.......but here is the good part, once bought you can claim a key that … Read more

¹ Fine with controller, better with HOTAS/HOSAS.


I bought this without buying a HOTAS yet. Is it worth starting off with Xbox One controller and voice commands first or is it generally unplayable that way? Normally use keyboard/mouse for space sims but this will be in VR only.


Ok following. We'll see if we can get on the same server by 3.0 and i'll give you and your noq a lift to the planets/moons.


I might grab a Cutlass and also call it done, it's easy to get in too deep, and right now I probably play it less than 2-3 games that have cost me 1/4 of the amount to play. Especially given I banged £95 on a TM FCS HOTAS mostly for SC. I'll drop you my player name, can hook up.


I wish ED actually had space legs, not just some avatar of me and the ability to magically jump in to other people's ships - destroys the immersion for me. I need to control my character, jump in my ship using the door, be able to socialise with people in communal areas and so on. Being a player that is effectively just a ship just didn't compute after playing SC. As a social gamer I just struggled with the solitude and always seeing NPC and crappy AI.

[PC] Planet Coaster Pre-Order - £19.99 - Frontier Store (Steam Key)
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Posted 24th Aug 2016Posted 24th Aug 2016
[PC] Planet Coaster Pre-Order - £19.99 - Frontier Store (Steam Key)£19.99
Shaping up to be a safer investment than RTW if you're into theme park games. Last chance to pre-order via the Frontier store today and pay £19.99 for a steam key, saving £7 on t… Read more

I pre ordered this ages ago, something I rarely do these days. This one however looks very good indeed and may finally be a replacement to my trusty old copy of RCT3.


Various tiers were available: The Standard pre-order only included beta access (Oct). Early Bird+ were more expensive and provided access to the alpha builds too. They all include a full Steam copy of the final game in Nov. There may have been a low-cost supporter option but that was basically a donation towards development. The official Steam page is now live but I don't think it includes beta access for pre-orders.


I thought this was Alpha access only and expires when the full version is launched. you then have to buy the full game?


Yeah appears to have expired. Strange time to end the offer, thought they would let it run til midnight.


Am i missing somethign this has already gone up in price? :(