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Old 10-07-2007, 03:31 PM   #1
MudMann
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The greastest computer game lives again

I must share... I have been playing home computer games since the introduction of the lowely ZX81 (Monster Maze).. but I was there at the major evolution of games.. when something special happened, that special something was Elite

Wiki Link

Forget your text adventure games, which I loved, (Sphinx Adventure was the first I played.. took a lot from Colossal caves, including use of XYZZY as a magic word), your platformers, and arcade conversations (BBC version of pacman was still the best of the time)... Elite was something else, the next generation and I still remember the effect it had on me at the time.

It was released on every platform going, and spawned some technologically impressive sequals (Frontier which fit on ONE Amiga Floppy and yet had a galazy of 64000 planets which you could fly down to building level on).. but Elite still was the one I remember fondly.

There have been many attempt to recreate, but I had to accept through many retries that Elite was dead, and if I wanted similar.. it would have to be something like X2 or Freelance or Eve online.. but none of them held my attention for very long..

Well all this weekend I have been lost in Oolite (Oolite - Retro space gaming with modern technology) and its BRILLIANT. The original game with top notch modern technology. Addons galore, AI, proper planets.. whole ARMIES of ships on screen, tons of new stuff but it still has the heart of the old game. Flying through space watching a horde of pirates chasing a lone trader, and then blink in shock as he radios you for help.. Asteroid fields, Thargoid assaults on Space Stations, and ships that have access to ALL the technoology you have

Elite lives again, trust me, if you like EVE, Freelancer, or X2.. play the original game that sparked off the 3d genre.. try OOLITE and feel born again like me! and its FREE.

There is a wiki and about 10 pages of addons on the site.

Excuse me, I have to deliver 28 tonnes of Furs to Ensoreus so I can afford a nuclear missile.. I have a hankering to take on a Thargoid battle cruiser!!!!
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Old 10-07-2007, 04:53 PM   #2
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Re: The greastest computer game lives again

Showing our ages now. I loved Elite, it was my favorite game for years and is still the game I've "finished" (as much as it was possible on Elite) on more platforms than any other: Spectrum, BBC, Amiga and the PC.

The other open-ended game I really loved was an Amiga game called "Captive".
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Old 10-07-2007, 06:39 PM   #3
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Re: The greastest computer game lives again

That's awesome about Elite.

Loved that game. Also loved Trade Wars, which I played as a BBS "door" game back in THE DAY<TM>.
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Old 10-07-2007, 06:50 PM   #4
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Re: The greastest computer game lives again

Captive was pretty spectacular, and another that I did complete (freed guy only to watch him get snatched).. I loved using the doors to kill the bad guys.. BOY did those doors slam shut.. but it suffered from 'sequel complexity' with CAptive 2 like Elite (Frontier).. but this one (OOlite) keeps the original concept and feel of the game and just breathes life into it.

It actually has the generation ships (hard to find) and Rock Hermits that where 'urban myths' in the original

Also a few new piece of kit, like one that allows a deeper scan of ships (see legal status) and a 'witch fuel' injector that allows rapid space travel if you need a burst of speed, but cant use the 'J' button (speed up time) when ships are near.

Of course, I think three ships was the most that attacked in Old Elite.. just wait till you get an alert when you see a cluster of 6 coming at ya!!!
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Old 10-07-2007, 07:54 PM   #5
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Re: The greastest computer game lives again

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Originally Posted by MudMann View Post

It actually has the generation ships (hard to find) and Rock Hermits that where 'urban myths' in the original

Also a few new piece of kit, like one that allows a deeper scan of ships (see legal status) and a 'witch fuel' injector that allows rapid space travel if you need a burst of speed, but cant use the 'J' button (speed up time) when ships are near.

Of course, I think three ships was the most that attacked in Old Elite.. just wait till you get an alert when you see a cluster of 6 coming at ya!!!
I don't remember the exact name of it, but does this version have "thargoid space" or something like that where you could warp into the aliens territory and if you could handle the fight it was a much quicker way to rack up points for the missions? There were much more than 3 in there too.

I'll definitely check this version out but not until I finish a project I'm on, otherwise it will never get done
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:33 PM   #6
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Re: The greastest computer game lives again

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Originally Posted by Lasher View Post
I don't remember the exact name of it, but does this version have "thargoid space" or something like that...
Ahhhh Witch Space... Many was the time when I made a normal jump only to have my POS hyperdrive mis-jump and land me in Witch Space, desperately trying to last long enough against that Thargoid horde to get out again with my paltry beam laser...

You could force a mis-jump and land yourself in there too, which was great fun with a military laser and a bunch of missiles. I played so much Elite on the C64 and Atari ST. That, along with Sid Meiers Pirates! was one of my favourite games as a child and both of those are the only ones I've played across platforms. Oh, and Populous 2.

I shall have to check out this OOlite.
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Old 10-17-2007, 12:10 AM   #7
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Re: The greastest computer game lives again

Thanks for pointing this out! I downloaded it last week after seeing your post, and I don't think I've let a day go by yet without some retro indulgence. I even went as far as putting back the original Elite theme music, which I happened to have on cassette (kids, that's a kind of magnetic media that looks like a car audio adapter) and digitized about a month ago. Makes the experience more complete.

I'm not sure how long I can keep playing... I mean, as great as Elite was in 1985 it's a bit like a bad fetch and carry quest now. But the flashback value is superlative.
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Old 10-17-2007, 11:37 AM   #8
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Re: The greastest computer game lives again

Ah, I remember Elite. I had the original BBC Model B version on floppy disc, complete with no less than two missions. Hunting down the stolen Constrictor was a blast. ("Son of a bitch ship shot me up at Ausar. My lasers didn't even scratch the whoreson beetle headflap-ear'd knave.")

Did anyone else abuse the "bitstick toggle" to get the ship down to zero forward velocity, then hang outside a space station shooting vipers for about half an hour?

I also played the Acorn Archimedes version of the game, which I suspect was a little less popular, owing to the comparative scarcity of Archimedes hardware. It was (I think) the first version of Elite to use solidly-coloured polygons rather than just lines (although even the BBC version had hidden line removal, which was pretty cool in those days). The Arch version actually had rock hermits in it (although not dredgers or generation ships, as I recall), and asteroid mining that worked, plus quite a number of interesting missions. It was also sophisticated enough to support other ships shooting at each other rather than only at you; you could follow a squadron of vipers flying in formation and after a while they would detect a pirate and then all peel off to engage or destroy it. Sometimes they would even come and rescue you from pirate attack.

I don't know what happened to the whole space trading genre. The last decent space trader that I can recall was Privateer 2: The Darkening (with high budget interactive movie sequences featuring quite well known actors - Clive Owen, Christopher Walken, David Warner, and many others). X: Beyond The Frontier I never got into, and Freelancer was curiously dissapointing too, for reasons I couldn't quite put my finger on. Are there any good examples I've missed?
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Old 10-18-2007, 06:07 AM   #9
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Re: The greastest computer game lives again

Bah, I have no respect for games like these. I don't think the video game generation even really started until the 90s. But that's because I was born in 84...
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