Elite by Firebird


elite_01Publisher: Firebird Software
Developer: Firebird Software
Release Date: 1985
Code: David Braben, Ian Bell
GFX: David Braben, Ian Bell
Music: David Dunn, Aidan Bell
ZZAP64 Game Rating: 95%
Our Game Rating: 89%
Completed & Reviewed by Neil Collins

> CLICK HERE to Download emu file
> CLICK HERE to view the YouTube ending video

Elite by Firebird is one of the greatest games of all time. Originally released on the BBC Micro, this space trading game is regarded as the daddy of all space simulation games. It featured some of the first wireframe vector graphics and introduced true open ended game play. It’s not particularly fast on the C64, but it still plays very well. It’s also not much to look at, but the depth of game play is immense. Your aim is to gain elite status – which will take quite a lot of playing to do so. You will need to increase your wealth in order to better your spaceship which is critical for space battles. You need to win a lot of these in order to clock up kills which will ultimately lead to elite status. You can increase your wealth through legitimate trade, piracy, military missions, bounty hunting or asteroid mining. The universe is also pretty big, with eight galaxies – each containing 256 planets, all with their own characteristics and markets. I really love this game and I’m still blown away by it’s genius today. I never reached elite status back in the day, but I loved every moment of playing. A truly amazing game.

elite1
“Right on Commander!” – said Rik from The Young Ones!
elite2
The End.
HOW WAS IT COMPLETED?: I was never going to clock up the kills I needed to make elite status without putting in months of gaming so I decided to cheat. I poked about in the code to find the values that affected the ranking system. I needed to clock up 256 x 25 kills to trigger the final ranking. I poked the code so that I needed only one more kill to trigger it. I then found the nearest pirate and blew him to bits.
SO WHAT HAPPENS?: Once the final ship is blown up, you get the ‘RIGHT ON COMMANDER‘ message on the screen which happens after every 256 kills. If you then check your status (press ‘9’) you can see that your ranking changes from ‘DEADLY’ to ‘ELITE’. That’s all I’m afraid.
COMMENTS:
Neil: There’s not a lot to see after all that hard work, but that’s not what this game is about. Poor ending, but a fantastic game. I not that bothered that there’s not a good ending to this one. 1/10.
Vinny: Hmmm… it’s a tough one to judge as this really isn’t a game ending. It’s unfortunate that there really isn’t a ‘proper’ game ending in there, but I am assuming that the programmer’s had lots more important programming issues to deal with, and the idea of a game ending probably didn’t fit into their plans. It would be great to be able to find out from the programmers themselves 🙂 Saying that, it is one of those games where you would expect to see some reward at the ending of it.
Andrew Fisher: In truth, Elite has two endings – reaching Elite status, and completing the missions.
Brendan Phoenix: Going to be in the minority here, but I never really rated Elite. maybe I was just too young a game player when it came out to understand it and because of that, it is a game I have never revisited (never liked flight sim’s, RPG’s, etc even when I was older and still don’t now).
I accept it was a massive game though, both in size and sales units.
The end though is very disappointing given the epic status of the game. The score is about right.
Kungfufurby: I wish there were something more special than “RIGHT ON COMMANDER”. Maybe… “YOU ARE NOW AN ELITE COMMANDER”. That would at least be unique.
Andy Vaisey: This didn’t really need an ending because I always saw it as an ongoing game that never really ended.
I’m not disappointed as a result.
Gaz SPence: Great game, but docking was a major headache! The game’s open-ended so it’s nice to get quite an acknowledgement, albeit small, of making ‘Elite’ status. Right on Commander Jameson!
FINAL SAY: Not very exciting, but I really couldn’t imagine an end sequence being squeezed into this game.

G.E. RATING: 1 / 10

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One Response to Elite by Firebird

  1. darkborn says:

    As it’s been said before, Elite status is not a real ending: Any of 3 missions before has it’s very own ending. Trumbles had to be fried at sun and it is really funny (and annoying at same time) when they appear and start to squirm around. Hunt on Constrictor is a game-in-game, I really did enoy it. However, I missed somehow “delivering of Targoid battle blueprints”, but it has specific ending also. IMHO, banal “ending” at Elite status is made in purpose: if you really deserve it, it does not matter anymore are you Elite or not. After killing of 9720 (!) ships, you proved to yourself that you’re l33t anyway. And you’ll continue to play it, regardless of status.
    OR: it will be substantially wrong of open-ending game to provide – ending.

    Like

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