Elite / Frontier Elite Legend - ZX Spectrum 2021 - best 8-bit Elite?

It would appear my Christmas has arrived a week early!

I was about to scratch my recurring 8-bit itch with another go at the modded ZX Spectrum version of Elite - the "Elite 3 THD D" version - but I was a bit hmmmm about the new radar scanner, so I had a quick trawl of the internets to see if there was a classic radar version of the modded game when I came across this:
...and when I translated the page: :eek:
  • five new stations
  • more than twenty new products
  • more than fifteen new ships
  • new equipment and weapons
  • freight / passenger transportation market
  • the ability to change the ship
  • several new missions
  • and much more
I've only had a quick muck around so far, but Leesti Station is now a DODO :eek: (something the posh kids with BBC's previously had) and there's even a version of FAoff flying!
Source: https://youtu.be/6YUIbdO_MqU

Very, very cool stuff - kudos to creator PLM - I've now got it running on my Android via "Speccy Deluxe" with controls mapped to a bluetooth controller. I'm proper happy with this - it's exactly what I was after, plus more 😄
 
Another short video, this time a successful ( 😅 ) docking using the new FAoff-style function and a brief look at the new things available at Stations - the shipyard, the increased market, and the courier mission screen:

Source: https://youtu.be/UovkkcavZQc


Next I'm going to try and capture footage of combat and general flying - so far I've been engaged by an Anaconda that dropped off two Vipers (which then blatted me in my starter Cobra), seen a Cobra Mk3 swoop in to scoop up the cargo of a ship I'd just destroyed, and seen several ships entering WitchSpace after launching from the local Station. Cool stuff!
 
Another short video, this time a successful ( 😅 ) docking using the new FAoff-style function and a brief look at the new things available at Stations - the shipyard, the increased market, and the courier mission screen:

Source: https://youtu.be/UovkkcavZQc


Next I'm going to try and capture footage of combat and general flying - so far I've been engaged by an Anaconda that dropped off two Vipers (which then blatted me in my starter Cobra), seen a Cobra Mk3 swoop in to scoop up the cargo of a ship I'd just destroyed, and seen several ships entering WitchSpace after launching from the local Station. Cool stuff!

So you made me look at the first video only to fumble the docking? 😂
 
I've been seeing a few more interesting "scenarios" beyond what the original Speccy version had:
  • An Anaconda escorted by several Vipers
  • A Fer-de-Lance departing a debris cloud (wonder what happened there? 😄)
  • A lone Thargoid that swooped in, shot me a couple of times, then hyperspaced away
  • Ships travelling towards the planet (they're always going the opposite direction to you in the original)
  • In "Safe" space, two Vipers headed towards the station with me, looped it a few times, then docked!
I'm getting to the stage now where I can afford some equipment, so I thought I'd check out the helpfile - unfortunately only available in Russian 😅 A quick Google Translation (and a bit of a tidy-up from me) and here we are:
Elite Legend

Orbital stations. Orbiting each planet.


Coriolis

The first Coriolis-type space station entered service in Lave orbit in 2752. It served as the standard for the GalCop space ports for many years to come. Because the previous station models proved to be much more vulnerable, the widespread adoption of the Coriolis was unprecedentedly rapid - they were built in all corners of the galaxy and became the basis of the economic potential of GalCop. Orbital stations are considered to be politically neutral territories. As the oldest model of an orbital station, the Coriolis is usually inhabited by humanoids of a wide variety of cultures and origins, but they all prefer gravity and an atmosphere close to that of Earth.

Dodo (Dodecahedron Station)

Abbreviated as "Dodo", these stations have become no less common in the Galaxy than the Coriolis. Mostly they can be seen in systems with a high level of technical development. The first prototype developed by GASEC was built in orbit at Leesti in 3180, after the former Coriolis station was critically damaged by a collision with the comet Hal 9001. The new model, the Dodo, had a reinforced hull.

Octo (Truncated Octahedron)

The fourteen-sided station, or "Octo", appeared in 3356 after the order of GalCop for more spacious orbital stations. Due to the high cost and the need for highly qualified maintenance, they can be found on rich planets with a very high level of technical development.

Hermit Asteroids

In planetary systems with multi-government rule, free trade zones are located at a distance from the planet. Usually hermits choose for their purposes large asteroids that remain after mining operations. Equipped to resemble orbital stations, hermit asteroids are a welcome find for space traders and warriors. They have small markets where you can make profitable trading operations, incl. with illegal goods. Luxury goods, food and alcohol are in great demand here. Gems, gold and platinum can often be bought here at bargain prices. It is one of the few places where you can buy artifacts from alien civilizations.

Military stations

In democratic systems and in systems with corporate governance, you can often find military stations that enforce order in their sector. Some weapons can be purchased there a little cheaper than at regular stations.

Service stations

Service stations allow you to refuel the tank inexpensively without resorting to refueling from the stars. In addition, only here you can patch up the ship's hull and repair equipment damaged in battles. Found in systems with a level of development 4 or more, with the exception of anarchic and feudal planets.

Gates

In systems with a technical level of 8 and with a stable political system (starting from communism), gates are installed, flying through which, you can instantly find yourself in orbit. However, this is not a charity facility and one such flight will cost 250 credits. Will be very useful for heavy carriers.

WEAPON / EQUIPMENT

Missile

The cheapest and weakest missile available. Destroyed by any anti-missile system.

ECM Hardened Missile

It is more powerful than a conventional homing missile and is protected against a standard anti-missile system. Can be destroyed by the Navy's anti-missile system.

Extra Passenger Cabin

Additional passenger cabin. Transportation of people can be very profitable and requires a separate cabin for each passenger. Each cabin installed on the ship reduces the cargo hold by 5 tons.

Fuel tank

Fuel tank. One way to increase your fuel supply. On planets with a technical development level of 10 and above, you can purchase an additional tank for 1 light-year (10,000 cr.) or 4 light-years (50,000 cr.) which is refueled along with the usual one. When there is not enough fuel in the main tank, it can be pumped over from the reserve one.

Pulse Laser

The lightest and weakest laser available. It takes a lot of skill and patience to destroy anything with this laser. The only advantage is that it does not overheat.

Pulse Laser MK-2

This laser is a good choice for a small ship. Not as deadly as beam lasers, it can nevertheless destroy a small ship in a few hits. Weapon for marksmen.

Beam Laser

Although the beam laser is not as powerful as the pulsed MK-2, however, being simpler to operate, it may prove to be more efficient. A good weapon for small and medium fighters.

Beam Laser MK-2

The most common laser. In experienced hands, it is as effective as more powerful lasers. Ideal weapon for large fighters and turrets. Requires cooling for effective use.

Military laser

Powerful enough to vaporize most ships in seconds. Ideal for large fighters and dreadnoughts. You can fly with ease with this laser. It is ineffective without a cooling system.

Naval Military laser

The most powerful of human lasers. Recommended for use on any ship. But there is one drawback, it is not easy to acquire.

Thargoid Laser

The perfect weapon to destroy... your ship. Any pilot would be delighted to install one on his ship. Only this laser is capable of piercing the shields of the latest Thargoid cruisers. But there is one problem - this laser cannot be bought.

Mining Laser

Mainly used for asteroid mining. Due to its low rate of fire, it is ineffective as a weapon against maneuverable targets, but due to its high destructive power, it is well suited against heavy ships. If you have a roomy ship, you should put it on the rear carriage, and then you can use it if you are lucky enough to find at least one asteroid.

Large cargo bay

Expansion of the cargo compartment. Cannot be installed on all ships. Increases cargo capacity by 15 tons.

Advanced space compass

Modified Compass. An add-on for a standard compass that allows you to select the required operating mode (change the mode with the V key).

Target Locking Device

Targeting system. Highlights a captured target.

Hull Auto-Repair System

Automatic repair system. A complex system made up of miniature nanobots. Nanobots slowly repair damaged armor and equipment. A must-have device for large ships, as it can cost a pretty penny to fix the plating in a shipyard for a large starship.

Cargo Bay Life Support

Hold life support system. Essential if you intend to transport live cargo such as slaves and animals. If you try to transport animals without this device, they will die and you can only sell them as meat, which is not very profitable. Slaves without this device will turn into fertilizers. In addition, the presence of this the system is a necessary condition for the transportation of people and other non-humanoid races to cargo compartment (not to be confused with passenger cabins, then luxury transportation).

Advanced Navigational Array

Navigational Planning Device. Allows you to accurately calculate the time of flight between the planets.

Experimental Navigational Array

Experimental Navigational Planning Device. Allows you to roughly calculate the time that will be spent on a flight between two planets within the galaxy.

Energy unit

Additional power generator. An optional generator can be added to the basic energy storage units on your ship, which will increase the rate at which they can be recharged in the event of energy consumption. First of all, it helps to quickly restore energy protection in battle. Not a single "Iron " is complete without such a generator.

Naval Energy Unit

Navy power generator. A special improved power generator, significantly increases the charging speed of power batteries. It is used on the ships of the Navy. Not available for sale.

Thargoid Energy Unit

Power generator used on Thargon ships. Little is known about it; only a few specimens were found research labs.

Galaxy Hyperdrive

Galactic hyperdrive. A device that allows a ship to hyperjump a significant distance, from one galaxy to another. Such a hyperdrive does not use fuel from the fuel tank - it is contained in the very structure of the engine, which is disposable. By purchasing a galactic hyperdrive, you can at any time, while in open space, make a hyperjump to the next region of the galaxy.

Military Galaxy Hyperdrive

Navy galactic hyperdrive. A more advanced reusable version, used mainly by the military. Allows you to jump a much greater distance.

Experimental Galaxy Hyperdrive

It is rumored that this experimental model, created in secret laboratories, is based on technologies gleaned from completely different civilizations. It allows you to jump into any area of the known universe. Some pilots believe that only with this device can the mysterious and legendary Raxxla be found.

ECM System

Electronic anti-missile system. It is one of the first necessary acquisitions if you have a desire to survive on space routes. The ECM transmits a self-destruct impulse to all launched missiles in sight. It is worth remembering, however, that some types of military missiles are protected from the impact of ECM, and in this case the best way out is to get away from them with afterburner or even make a hyperjump. It should be noted that the operation of the ECM requires energy consumption and each time during its operation, energy from the energy stores of your vessel will be used. The ECM action is not constant, the activation and impulse to suppress missiles occur within a few seconds - to eliminate all missiles fired after, you will have to activate the system again, which will again lead to a waste of energy in the storage devices.

Naval ECM System

Navy electronic anti-missile system. More advanced than the standard anti-missile system, it destroys all types of missiles. In addition, in some cases, it is capable of generating interference, blocking the launch of enemy anti-missile systems.

Fuel Injectors
Military Fuel Injectors


Fuel injectors perform only one function - they allow you to significantly accelerate the vessel. This extremely useful property can be used in a normal situation, for example, for the passage of areas with a congestion of large objects - ships, asteroids, where the ship's jump system is blocked due to the danger of a collision, or for quickly moving from the orbital station to the point where it is possible to make a hypertransition. It is also used in battle when it is necessary to pursue the enemy or, on the contrary, to evade pursuit or missile. Unlike the jump system, the operation of the fuel injector is associated with high fuel consumption, so you need to be very careful when using it in combat, because at the decisive moment, you may not have enough fuel to get to the nearest system, if a battle occurs, for example, with thargoids in interstellar space. The military version differs from the standard in lower fuel consumption.

Energy bomb

Energy bomb. A very useful device that overloads the engines of all nearby ships (except yours, of course), destroying or severely damaging them. A great way to get rid of a lot of annoying small ships. You can only use it once, so take care of it as a last resort.

Q-Bomb

A powerful single-use device that, when activated, emits a powerful electromagnetic pulse, destroying the plasma containment devices in the engines of nearby ships. This results in catastrophic damage. Also affects large, well-protected ships. In battles with a large number of Thargons, this is the last hope.

Auto ECM

Automatically activates an anti-missile system when missiles are fired at a player.

Auto eject

Sometimes, in the heat of battle, you may not notice that things are bad and death is inevitable. An automatic catapult will work when the ship has no chance, saving the life of its Commander.

Ship Capture System

Boarding system. A vessel abandoned by the crew is a tasty morsel for any pilot. No matter what state it is in, you can sell it for quite good money, and if you're lucky, after a little repair, you can sit at the helm of such a trophy yourself.

Naval Ship Capture System

Boarding system. Navy modification. In improving the software of the drone boarding system, the military left the civilian version far behind. Drones launched by the Navy system have a much better chance of successfully hacking the ship's control system.

Shield Generator

Protective field energy generator. As soon as the shields covering the ship begin to lose energy, the generator immediately goes into action and starts feeding them.

Military shields enhancement

Military shields. In the face of regular battles, ships need effective protection. That is why these shields were created. Such shields will not seem superfluous on any ship.

Laser Cooling Booster

Laser cooling system. Essential equipment. Cools the laser, allowing more shots to be fired. Powerful lasers are useless without it.


Cloaking Device

The GalCop Navy is constantly developing special equipment for its needs. The Cloaking Device is a top-secret powerful energy field generator that covers the ship not only from enemy scanners, but also from visual observation. In the state of "invisibility" the ship disappears from the screens, while retaining all its navigation and combat characteristics. The only drawback of the device is that it consumes an enormous amount of energy during operation. Not available for sale.

Alien Computer

The Thargoid computer. Allows the use of Thargoid Fighter Drones. In battle, these former enemies will serve you faithfully. They are launched in the same way as a missile is launched. After the battle, the surviving drones will automatically return to your ship. To collect them, it is necessary that the ship has Fuel Scoops and free space in the hold.

Ore Processor

The dream of any pilot involved in the mining of deposits on planets and asteroids. It allows you to automatically select rare and expensive materials from the entire volume of mined mineral ore.

Escape Pod

An Escape Pod is essentially a small vessel - a lifeboat. It consists of a cockpit and adjacent compartments for crew accommodation and small engines (with a fuel supply), capable of delivering the capsule to the nearest orbital station. In a critical situation, when the question of life or death is being decided every second, the ship's commander just needs to press the emergency button and the pod will be activated. As a rule, along with the purchase of an Escape Pod, you pay an insurance policy which in the event of a loss of the vessel allows you to receive a new one in return, including all installed equipment - however, insurance does not apply to the cargo.

Fuel collector

The device was originally designed for warships hovering in hyperspace during a battle with Thargoids, but since the Thargoid fuel did not fit, it is used to automatically refill the tank. The fuel is collected simply during the flight.

Fuel scoops

The equipment known as the Fuel Collector actually has a dual purpose, sometimes known as the Cargo Scoops. Its design includes atomic sensors, a powerful generator of electromagnetic fields that can capture solar wind by vacuum converters, as well as space fuel capacitors. In addition, the collector is capable of capturing small objects such as shipping containers, debris, space debris, etc. No self-respecting space pilot can do without a fuel collector. This equipment allows you to quickly and without any financial costs refuel your fuel tanks, obtaining hydrogen in the crown of the star and purifying it so that it can be used as hydrogen fuel used in civilian ships. The collector's advantage lies in the fact that the procedure for obtaining fuel does not cause radiation pollution of the ship, as is the case with military ships, the operation of engines of which is based on the process of nuclear decay and for which something else is used, the so-called "military fuel".

Docking Computers

It may seem that by the time rookie pilots have earned enough credits to buy a docking computer, they do not need it - since they have already made enough manual dockings to no longer need special equipment... however, the docking computer is a useful tool that greatly simplifies the routine and time-consuming docking process. In addition, the docking computer will protect you from accidental collisions that could be caused by other pilots and various accidents.

Auto Cargo Device

Automatic container collection device. It is enough to lock the target with the missile guidance system (<T>), if you need to transfer control to the device (<D>), and activate (<F>). After that, all the worry of taking on board the container is not your problem. The only requirement is that the ship has Fuel Scoops.

System Discard Cargo

There are situations when your hold is full of cheap goods, and in front of you is a battlefield with many containers in which goods are more valuable than yours. Now is the time to dump unnecessary goods and collect the tasty loot.

TRANSPORTATION MARKET


Pressing the "5" key brings up the Carrier Market page. If you have a roomy boat or have several passenger cabins, you can try to compete with the big shipping companies. In the transportation market, you can conclude a contract for the delivery of passengers, cargo or parcels.

The advertisement includes for passenger transportation - the passenger's name (Name), destination (Dest.), the desired journey time (Within), the amount of advance payment that will be paid to you upon boarding the passenger (Advance) and the amount due to you after the passenger has been delivered (Fee).

For carrying out cargo transportation, the requirements are stricter, because, firstly, you must have a large ship - as a rule, the cargo is calculated in tens and hundreds of tons, and secondly, some cash amount in order to pay the client a deposit for his goods in case something happens to it on the way. The advertisement of the hiring of such a vessel includes information about the cargo and its quantity (Goods), destination (Dest.), the desired journey time (Within), the amount of the deposit (Deposit) and the amount of the fee for delivery (Fee).

Try to deliver passengers and cargo within the contractual deadlines - save your reputation and money. To navigate the concluded contracts, use the information from the ship's log (press "5" again), where, in addition to the destination of delivery, the number of days and hours remaining until the expiration of the contract is indicated. Be careful, long distance jumps take significantly longer. To keep within the framework of the contract, make small jumps, 5-7 light years each.

MISSIONS

Nova mission

One bad day, you will find yourself in a system whose star is about to go supernova. This threatens the inhabited planet with disaster. Most of the residents have already left the system, but there is not enough transport to evacuate all the refugees. You will be offered a mission to help. To do this, you will have to completely empty the cargo compartments and, having taken off from the orbital station, urgently make a jump, otherwise you will die along with your live cargo. Having taken refugees out to a safe system, you will find out that they have nothing to pay you for the assistance provided, because they spent their last money on delivery to the orbital station. However, from now on you will be honoured as a hero!

Cloaking Device

Skirmish with a vessel equipped with a cloaking device. Quite unexpectedly, you will be attacked by several ships, among which there will be an Asp Mk-2. This attack can be interpreted in any way - from the assumption that Imperial Intelligence has decided to eliminate you, to the opinion that a secret ship with the latest equipment was hijacked again and you were lucky enough to meet it in the vast expanses of space. In any case, history will be silent about these details. One of the attacking ships will be equipped with a cloaking device and it will be extremely difficult to determine its location in battle - it is only visible if it fires at you. Be guided by the laser beam and you may be able to destroy the enemy. The cloaking device is in a cargo container which you can find among the wreckage of the enemy ship. Once you pick up the container with the cargo collector, the Cloak will be installed on your ship automatically. You are now ready to take on the most dangerous missions.

Constrictor hunt

Pursuit of a Constrictor, stolen from a military research base, will require at least 800 confirmed victories. You will be asked for help. The newest model of the spacecraft, the Constrictor, equipped with a top-secret generator of energy shields, was stolen from the shipyard several months ago. The Constrictor should be destroyed if possible. In the process of your search, you have to collect rumors about the whereabouts of the Constrictor from orbital stations. Please note that it is not always possible to receive such news at every station. Once the ill-fated Constrictor is found, it can be destroyed in a variety of ways, from lasers to energy bombs. The only major obstacle could be the high speed of the experimental vessel.

Thargoid plans

Having earned a good reputation (successfully completing the mission to destroy the Constrictor), you can get the next mission. The only condition here is to have 1280 downed opponents. The mission is nothing special. For a long time, the Galactic Fleet only held back the onslaught of the Thargoids, but now the situation has changed. The squadron is ready to raid the home worlds of the Thargoids. Agents managed to obtain plans for the defense of their Hive. The Thargoids realize that something is being planned against them, but they do not know what exactly. Therefore, it is dangerous to transmit plans via normal communication channels - the Thargoids can easily intercept them. You are assigned to deliver the plans to the headquarters of the fleet in your own ship. During the flight, your ship will most likely be intercepted by Thargoids, and from your own experience you will be convinced that they have managed to master GalCop language.

LEGENDS

Generation Ships

Before hyperdrive was invented, humanity traveled to the stars on huge and majestic ships, where more than one generation changed during the flight. Some are still listed as missing, and if the bodies of their pilots and crew for a thousand years have not crumbled to dust, then, according to preliminary estimates, up to 30 generations could have been replaced by them. The possibility of finding such a ship in interstellar space still exists. The punishment for attacking such a ship is universal contempt and total banishment (Outlaw legal status).

Space platforms

These ships can be found in areas where there has been war or natural disaster. These are giant ship-yards. They are tens of miles long. People who survived the disaster live on them. They have heavy weaponry and fighter fleets. Avoid them at all costs.

Raxxla

Raxxla is a legend as old as the history of space travel. At her mention, conversations cease and only meaningful glances remain. Parents from an early age tell their children fairy tales about a ghostly planet, somewhere in the depths of space. The story of Raxxla can inspire young pilots, but experienced people are always ready to cool this ardor with a rational remark. Its very existence raises doubts, since rumors about her come from border worlds, trading posts and other places far from civilization. Many expeditions were undertaken to establish the location of Raxxla. Some researchers suggest that the path to the planet runs through a portal, possibly of alien origin. In addition, one can hear statements that it is guarded by a certain secret society - a corps of ruthless, completely crazy pilots with a combat rating of at least "Elite".
Some veeeeery interesting things there :D

I'll be trying out those fuel injectors - I like the sound of not being "mass locked" by various things, which is where most of the game's dead-time lies. As for the "Legends" section - are those just a tease or are they actually in the game...?
 
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In C64 version you got Vipers escorting you all the way from witchspace exit to the station, if you were offender and carried contraband.
Aye - Police Vipers intercepted you in the original Speccy version as well, but with a bit more laser fire than I’m seeing in Legend 😁
 
The fuel injectors turned out to be a bit like boosting in ED - not much of an increase, but definitely faster (but not as much as my emulator FFWD function 😄). Eats fuel like it's going out of fashion though, so I'll have to search out the more economical Military version now that I've got an Advanced Space Compass that allows me to search out the other stations within a system - like this Service Station that gives cheap fuel and a few other bits&bobs:
ServiceStation.jpg

I'm also having to adjust to the new, speedier combat - without the inherent "slow-mo" combat of the original Speccy version, things are certainly a lot hotter 😅 It's a bit like the combat step-up from FE2 to FFE - things are swifter and much more deadly now. I think I might have to experiment with the FAoff style flight to see if that helps me stay on target more. Here's a short demo vid of my less-than-stellar skillz and a quick look at NPCs around a station:
Source: https://youtu.be/Mk43NobNBTs
 
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