• Publisher: Firebird Software
David Braben, Ian Bell
David Braben, Ian Bell
David Dunn, Aidan Bell
ZZAP64 Game Rating:
Our Game Rating:
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by Firebird Software
& Reviewed by Neil Collins
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.
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
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.
- 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
I accept it was a massive game though, both in size and
The end though is very disappointing given the epic
status of the game. The score is about right.
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
Not very exciting, but I really couldn't imagine an end
sequence being squeezed into this game.
HERE to view more endings.