Elite on MSX.

Elite logo as displayed on an Atari
I have always had a love/hate relation with this game. It is probably one of the rare real 3D games you'll find on MSX and technically it is a great thing, you even have a radar which fulfills you with a kind of 3D amazemend. The only music, played during the intro is a very good renedering of the icewalls on a PSG, through the game you will hear nothing but the obligeatoir spacy bleeps.

I was thinking about make a great page about this game, but the greatest page you'll find about it is from one of the original authors,Ian Bell.
His page, Ian Bell's Elite Home Page is rather nice.You can download the MSX version there as well.

For the freaks (like me :-) you can find the original BBC sources on his page and some c-reverse enginered sources can be found here.  Ofcourse I have mirrored the reverse enginered code.
I also have the original BCC code mirored here. Note that this code is like most of the MSX basic code I wrote, before the time that I got convinced that sometimes it is a "good thing (tm)" to program in a more modular fashion, and making sure that it is maintenable at a source level. It had to be stored on a small disk, so if spaces weren't needed, they were removed. Also a ":"-sign takes up lesser space in memory than starting a new line so the lines are verry long. And comments also take up to much space !
The result is ofcourse a completely unmaintainable, unportable and human-unreadable source. Anyway you can always have a look at them. here are the seven files : elitea.txt eliteb.txt elitec.txt elited.txt elitee.txt elitef.txt eliteg.txt Enjoy !

Here you can find the Dark Wheel novel that came with the Gold version of the game. I didn't need some OCR program and a scanner, I just found it on the Net.
The SHIP IDENTIFICATION CHART however, that one I've scanned myself. Since the original was an poster in A3 format and the scanner was A4 sized, there are some glitches in the reconstructed image.
You can always visit the Elite FAQ to find an answer to most of the questions you may still have

Box front Box back

The text on the back reads as follows

Command your Cobra space ship in a fantastic voyage of discovery and adventure, a supreme test of your combat, navigational and entrepreneurial skills.
Trade between countless planets, using the proceeds to equip your ship with heat-seeking missiles, beam lasers and other weapons  - corporate states can be approached without risk, but unruly anarchies may be swarming with space pirates.
Black market trading can be lucrative but could result in skirmishes with local police and a price on your head.
However you make your money, by fair means or foul, you must blast onwards through space annihilating pirate ships and hostile aliens as you strive to earn your reputation as one of the Elite!
Now, if that doesn't sounds promissing, what does ?

The people who already own the original game on MSX will probably notice the fact that the screenshot on the back of the box is'nt of the real MSX version. A lot of MSX'ers noticed this already with a lot of Japanese products that were developped for multiple platforms. Illusion City for example, had screenshots of the x68000 version printed on its cover. So the box producers had to make only one backpaper and only the front had to be redone according to the system it was intended for. But in this case there is an even more simple explication. The MSX box isn't really meant for MSX at all !!
I scanned to title on the box again and manually altered the filter settings. After running some color enhance filters in the GIMP over it you can see clearly that the MSX ticket is simply glued over the old Spectrum 48K that was really printed on the box.

You can see the underlying text

After using a edge detection algorithm it is very clear.
a clear spectrum text shows