The Trivia Page

    As with any great game, there are lots of facts, legends, and space lore about them.  Here are a few items to pique your interest...

The were four laser sounds programmed into FFE. However, only three were activated in the game (beam and plasma are identical).   Here are my WAV versions of the way the sounds "should have played".
Pulse Pulse Beam Beam Plasma Plasma Mining Mining
The original Elite, written by Ian Bell and David Braben for the U.K. BBC Micro computer, was written as a hobby while they were attending the University of Cambridge.
Before Elite, Ian Bell wrote Freefall for the BBC Micro (published by Acornsoft). The game was set inside an octagonal space station like the Elite Coriolis stations.
In Korean, Elite literally means, "endless monsoon".
In 1985 and 1986 Firebird Software in the U.K. held an Elite Tournament. The player started from scratch, and had 2.5 hours to reach the highest combat rating, and most number of credits possible. Thousands of players participated from many countries around the world.
Except for Archimedes Elite, Sinclair Spectrum, and BBC Micro versions <3> which did not have music, Strauss's Blue Danube is the music used for the docking and landing sequences.  The idea came from the docking sequence in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The original Elite Theme was written by Aiden Bell, Ian Bell's brother. Aiden is a composer, actor, and theatrical producer.
The Cobra Mark III got its name from the concept of designing the ship to resemble the head of a cobra snake.  The asp names for the other ships were an expansion of the original idea.
The shape for the Cobra Mark III was actually created before the Cobra Mark I. <1>
Commander Jameson was in homage to Jamison, the character from Traveller, a favorite RPG board game of Ian's, which also inspired elements of Elite such as the government and economic planetary types.
Elite has eight galaxies to explore. However, a ninth galaxy is mentioned in the coding. Ian Bell put this in as a surprise for any one who got there by hacking the code. The galaxy is identical to the first.
The Amiga version of Elite included a built-in Hex Editor.
The Amiga version of Frontier First Encounters was never completed. It had been planned for a summer 1995 release for the Amiga A1200, A4000, and CD32 systems.
The IBM version of Elite Plus displayed a great graphic for obtaining the Elite rating.
The space stations on the IBM version of Elite Plus rotate in the opposite direction to those in most of the other 8 bit versions of the game. <2>
The "Trumbles" mission in Elite was added to pay homage to the Star Trek TV episode The Trouble with Tribbles. It was also to Douglas Trumbull, creator of the special video effects in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. In 1972 Mr. Trumbull went on to direct the classic space movie, Silent Running, starring Bruce Dern.
The 16 bit versions of the game included a "Cloaking Device" (masking device in Elite Plus), which rendered your ship invisible for a short period. A program address was alloted in the Frontier versions, but the item was not included in the games.
Contrary to the manual, Elite never had "Space Dredgers" in any versions of the game.
Frontier Elite II included coding for the buying/selling of ship hulls and insurance, and escort duty for convoys. They were not completed, and never activated in the final release.
The Energy Booster Unit description, "The Coppertop. No other looks like it, or lasts like it.", came from a popular Duracell commercial in the 1970s. The graphic for the Energy Booster Unit in Elite Plus even looks like two Duracell AA Batteries.
The Pulse and Beam laser descriptions made reference to "Ingram", a weapons manufacturer. Their machine gun gained world-wide popularity in the movie Mc-Q starring John Wayne.
The planetary descriptions "Froody", Hoopy, and Zero G Cricket" came from the novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas N. Adams. <2>
"Surgical Spares" was under consideration as one of the trading commodities in Elite. It was rejected by the publisher as being too grim for the final release of the game.
The NES Elite Slaves was changed to Robot Slaves to meet strict Nintendo content restrictions.
The "local area" of the Frontier version's universe is very accurate, and has been used by students at a college of astronomy for their studies.
The E.C.M. system in Arc Elite is manufactured by "Brell & Baben", in reference to the authors, Bell and Braben. Years later, people are still referring to Braben as Baben in newsgroup messages. <1>
The Elite Boa description "Largely developed out of the recommendations left by Commodore Monty, a Python Captain of 40 years experience" refers to the BBC TV show Monty Python's Flying Circus. <2>
Warren Burch, a programmer for Arc Elite, was very upset with the pink coloured Boa II ship. He tried, and failed, to get away with not coding it into the game. The datacard for the ship says that "Berch Industries on Birera will respray any Boa." <1>
The Copperhead ship in Arc Elite is the same as the player ship in Zarch Virus I. <1>
In Frontier the farthest known populated system from Sol is Adaqu at coordinates [-4709, -4424], a distance of 51,869.71 light years. It is an Independent Corporate mining state with starport Lee located on O'Rourke's Legacy.
Finally, a little personal Frontier First Encounters trivia. See the graphic below. Imagine my surprise as I check into a station BBS, only to find someone actually looking for me! Note that the background is one of the custom designs you can download on my Utilities page.
That's my name!
<1>    submitted by Graham Thurwell.
<2>    submitted by Ian Gillman.
<3>    submitted by Damien Guard.

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