Elite from Acornsoft was written by Ian Bell and David Braben using an Acorn Atom and BBC Micro. Elite contains many industry firsts and is the seminal 3D space trading and combat game. The game itself is quite simple. Trade goods to make money to upgrade your ship, defend yourself against pirates and increase your combat status with the aim of the game being to progress from a standing of Harmless to ELITE. I lost many, many hours to this game and it's huge eight galaxy game world. The game was produced for many 8, 16 and 32-bit platforms and the BBC Micro itself had several different versions all for itself, with BBC B, BBC Master and 6502 Second processor editions being produced. 

Acornsoft Elite case - front cover

The box itself contained so many items that added to the Elite mythology including an extensIIIe Flight Training Manual and a novella by Robert Holdstock called "The Dark Wheel"


You can see from the screenshots several aspects of the game, from the loading screen...

Elite screenshot

... to the introduction screen showing the cyan/white colour scheme instead of the green/yellow screen which indicated that you'd fitted an escape capsule to your Cobra Mk III...

Elite screenshot

... followed by your status screen detailing your Elite rating, location, bank account balance and the equipment fitted to your Cobra Mk III.

Elite screenshot

... and finally, watching a space station and getting farther away in the rear view of the Cobra Mk III. Docking was the tricky bit though, the idea was to match the rotation of your Cobra Mk III with the rotation of the central docking bay doors as you made your approach to the station. Slow and steady was the order of the day!

Elite screenshot

A period cartoon advert for Elite

Running Elite on the Raspberry Pi

With the first official releases of the RISC OS operating system for the Raspberry Pi, the possibility of running emulated versions of the original Acornsoft Elite on cheap modern hardware on an "almost native" platform has become a reality and I've successfully played both the BBC Micro and Acorn Archimedes versions of Elite using !BeebIt and !ArcEm to run the original releases of this seminal game in computing history.

BBC Micro Elite using !BeebIt

The BBC Micro version of Elite running on my Raspberry Pi

Archimedes Elite running on !ArcEm

Archimedes Elite running on !ArcEm on the Raspberry Pi

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