As with the BBC and Electron versions, and in no small way because it is has a similar processor, the Commodore 64 version was programmed by Ian Bell and David Braben.
The game found a new publisher in Firebird, a division of British Telecom.
The game retains all the elements from the original Acorn versions. it is a space exploration/trading game, where the player buys goods to sell on other planets, learning what merchandise sells best on which type of planet. There are five galaxies, each with hundreds of planets to visit.
Some are quite safe, but others are of a more anarchic nature, and space pirates are rife. to be avoided at first, the player can purchase better shields and weapons with profits from sales, and then can become a bounty hunter if they so wish.
These elements make Elite one of the first and best remembered sandbox games, the player can decide how they are going to play the game, whether to play it in a more action oriented way, or focus more on the trading elements.
The game retains all the gameplay of the original, but has a couple of exclusive missions, the best of which is the players ship becoming infected with Trumbels, little creatures that eventually obscure the entire view screen. The only way to kill them off is to fly to a sun and get as close as possible without burning up the ship.
This level is no doubt inspired by the Tribbles, little furry creatures that invade the USS Enterprise in an episode of Star Trek. Initially welcomed as pets by the crew, it is soon realised they pose a serious danger to the vessel.
The unofficial versions for the Commodore Plus 4 machine are based on this code, the most widespread version is by Pigmysoft. They were Hungarian developers, just one of the companies who would convert C64 software to the 264 machines, as official software was hard to come by.
Other Software by Firebird:
Information About Firebird:
This exhibit has a reference ID of CH11520. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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