Elite / Frontier Elite Plus

Elite Promotion - Elite Commander (Picture).png

ELITE PLUS

Original DOS version (EGA/MCGA) for PC programmed by Chris Sawyer, developed in 1991 by Microplay Software, and published by Realtime Software Games Ltd.

I decided to start new thread for this often ridiculed, undervalued and underestimated version of Elite as it seems there are still many unfinished businesses and unanswered questions concerning the version and newer generations of EP/E+ commanders can find it useful if information and FAQs are gathered to the same thread. It seems information about specifics of EP is scattered around various sites and forum threads. Somehow I feel personally responsible to do that as I am deeply addicted (using it as a method of meditation, particularly killing sprees in Anarchies) to the Elite Plus with over 20 years more or less continuous and serious gaming experience.

Elite Plus is considered a 'Lite' pseudo-sequel version of classical PC Elite which flight dynamics, speed, user interface, graphics and enemy pilots' AI etc. caused serious complains. However, it is also most fast paced version of Elite with lowered requirements for achieving Combat ratings (Elite: 1000 or more Hits) Which makes it optimal for different kind competitive efforts and for breaking records. It takes only about 3 hours game play to achieve Elite rating from start of the game if playing seriously with decent piloting skills. Indeed, you don't have to spend months for achieving Elite status and it is very well possible accumulate over 1000 Hit Points in a single anarchist system during single playing session (takes about 2h 15mins - 2h 25 mins to do). This fact makes it optimal version for speed runs and competition between old school Elite commanders whom doesn't hesitate or prejudice its in-built faults, but value its possibilities and fast action it can give to them. EP can be the version where it is really possible develop higher and higher level of skill, with faster and faster game playing speeds. Nevertheless, but still there is that same spirit and feeling which can be reached only by after hundreds of hours of flying all around the galaxies, common for all versions of The Master Piece and Forerunner of open ended sand box universes... ;)

Elite Plus is downloadable for example here: http://www.iancgbell.clara.net/elite/ and here http://www.myabandonware.com/game/elite-plus-155 (Copy protection cracked)
Elite manual (.pdf): http://www.oldgames.sk/en/game/elite-plus/download/698/

This thread is intended to be the place where all kind things related to ELITE PLUS can be discussed, hopefully constructively. The game is what it is and you can like it or you can hate it, but still it is there among other versions and at least someone can find it entertaining to play. :cool:

First things First!

Combat Ratings
Unofficial Archangelic Overflow Ratings:
'Double Elite': 66535+ Hit Points
'Double Deadly': 65690 Hit points
'Double Dangerous': 65625 Hit points
'Double Competent': 65570 Hit points
'Double Above Average': 65555 Hit points
'Double Average': 65544 Hit points
'Double Poor': 65539 Hit points
'Double Mostly Harmless': 65537+ Hit points
'Double Harmless': 65535+ Hit Points (16 bit hit counter floating point 65535/zero)


Officially Unofficial 60K+ ratings:
'Elite Plus Level 3': ~65000 Hit Points (Promotion message confirmed at 65111 Hits)
'Elite Plus Level 2': ~64000 Hit points (Promotion message confirmed at 64014 Hits)
'Elite Plus': 60000+ Hit points (Promotion message confirmed at 60081 hits and 60005 Hits)

Official Ratings:
Elite: 1000 Hit points
Deadly: 155 Hit points
Dangerous: 90 Hit points
Competent: 35 Hit points
Above Average: 20 Hit points
Average: 9 Hit points
Poor: 4 Hit points
Mostly Harmless: 2 Hit points
Harmless: 0 Hit points
Missions implemented to Elite Plus


TRIBBLE


Buy a nice pet... and burn thousands of them in a star when you decide that it was not wise economic decision spend 5000 Credits...!


SUPERNOVA REFUGEES
There will occur FUEL LEAK before this mission. If you want stay in same galaxy you should scoop some fuel from a star as after emergency message this is not possible anymore because the star is REALLY going to supernova. Other option is then make a galactic hyperspace jump to next galaxy.



If you say: "YES!"



If you say: "NO!"



MASK DEVICE


Jump to a system. Destroy 3 masked Asp Mk II and scoop cargo capsule to get the Device. Until that, turkey shoot maximum 3 Cougars and/or Constrictors attacking you as long as any of those Asps are still flying in one piece. Boring.



THARGOID INVASION




Jump to a system (Random nearby system with a Coriolis Station in same galaxy)...and shoot everything. There will occur FUEL LEAK when you arrive to the system under alien invasion. Destroy a station first if you don't want struggle with hordes of Thargoids and Thargons. Straightforward, nice, moderately challenging (if fighting those Thargoids) and entertaining. Not that boring.



STOLEN POLICE SHIP


Travel to a system (Random system in same galaxy)...



...and shoot The Ship (Viper, Wolf). Boring.



THARGOID PLANS


Travel to a system (Random system in same galaxy). You are occasionally attacked by Thargoids during your journey. Boring.



ASTEROID BOMBARDMENT


Travel a system (Random system in same galaxy). Shoot some asteroids. When shooting few in a stations shield perimeter the task is done. Boring, but it is easy conduct some asteroid mining there and potentially accumulate easily more Hit points.



"CONSTRICTOR"
You'll realize that either your copy of Elite Plus is broken and corrupted or that this mission is not fully implemented to this version of game. Beyond 60000 Hits you'll get weird and buggy promotion messages effectually losing your combat rating, meanwhile you could occasionally see strange message about "ew ship" at Errius (Who has seen it?!... NO! there are no such ship), and overflow in your Cobra Mk III's fully automatic and modern high tech Riedquat Systems UnLtd. 16Bit IronAss Head&BodyCount© Hit Points Counter (Only possible to buy from Tech Level 17+ systems :p) will eventually occur at 65536 hits. After that you start get 'normal' promotion messages again...

to be ELITE Commander again. :cool:



An Identified Flying Objects of Elite Plus
• Adder (Hunter) - Bounty 4.0 Credits
• Anaconda (Trader) - No Bounty
• Asp MkII (Wolf) - Bounty 20.0 Credits (Masked Ship in a Mask Device mission)
• Asteroid (Debris/Hermit) - Bounty 0.5 Credits / If shot, releases a Krait, Mine for Minerals, Gems etc.
• Boa Class Cruiser (Trader) - No Bounty
• Boulder (Depris) - Bounty 0.1 Credits
• Cargo Canister - 1 Ton Random Cargo if Scooped
• Cobra MkI (Trader/Hunter) - No Bounty/Bounty 7.5 Credits
• Cobra MkIII (Trader/Wolf) - No Bounty/Bounty 17.5 Credits
• Constrictor (Wolf) - Bounty 20.0 Credits (Only in Mask Device Mission)
• Coriolis Space Station (Station)
• Cougar (Wolf) - Bounty 20.0 Credits (Only in Mask Device Mission)
• Dodecahedron Space Station (Station)
• Escape Capsule - No Bounty (If scooped, 1 Ton slaves)
• Fer-de-lance (Wolf) - No Bounty
• Gecko (Hunter) - Bounty 5.5 Credits
• Krait (Hunter) - Bounty 10.0 Credits
• Missile (No Bounty)
• Mamba (Hunter) - Bounty 15.0 Credits
• Moray Star Boat (Wolf) - Bounty 5.0 Credits
• Orbit Shuttle - No Bounty
• Plate (Debris) - No Bounty (prevents jumping in a system when on radar)
• Python (Trader/Wolf) - No Bounty/Bounty 20.0 Credits
• Sidewinder (Hunter) - Bounty 5.0 Credits
• Splinter (Depris) - If Scooped, 1 Ton metal alloys
• Thargoid (Wolf) - Bounty 50.0 Credits (Releases remote controlled Thargons)
• Thargon (Wolf) - Bounty 5.0 Credits (If scooped, 1 ton of Alien Items)
• Transporter - No Bounty
• Viper (Police) - No Bounty, Criminal Offence (Wolf in Stolen Police Ship mission)
• Worm Class Landing Craft (Wolf) - No Bounty


ARCHANGEL MODE: Game difficulty and hints for more challenging game play



Note that learning curve will be insanely hard in the game which is probably easiest version of Elite ever made. Extra difficulty can be added by increasing DosBox's frame rate and/or setting challenges, for example: killing 100 or more Thargoids in Witch Space with side mounted beam laser using "semi-newtonian" mode for ship controls. OP of this thread consider herself as "a harmless beginner" if we look at to potential what would be in theory achievable "Elite Archangel" skill level in Elite Plus if really mastering all piloting and combat skills possible to learn with Cobra MkIII of Elite Plus. Such skill levels would be mandatory if ever going to reach to a witch space lane directing to Raxxla...



GalCop Index

Possibly useful Links to various EP comments and threads (these forums):

• On Galactic Hyperspace Jump to the 9th Galaxy: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/70102-Elite-Plus?p=4422497&viewfull=1#post4422497
• Elite+, the 9th galaxy and Raxxla -Thread: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/17526-Elite-the-9th-galaxy-and-Raxxla
• On Combat rating/ranks: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/70102-Elite-Plus?p=4865116&viewfull=1#post4865116
• On Anti-ECM Broadcasts device and Hit Counter Mod: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/70102-Elite-Plus?p=4929246&viewfull=1#post4929246
• About EP after 60000 Hits (part I): https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/17526-Elite-the-9th-galaxy-and-Raxxla?p=471553&viewfull=1#post471553
• About EP after 60000 Hits (part II): https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/70102-Elite-Plus?p=4878751&viewfull=1#post4878751
• On "Constrictor Mission": https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/70102-Elite-Plus?p=4879696&viewfull=1#post4879696
• Most "Mysterious ships" of EP - Constrictor & Cougar screenshots: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/60038-Mysterious-ship/page2?p=1161947&viewfull=1#post1161947
• ARCHANGEL'S ELITE CHALLENGE: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/70102-Elite-Plus?p=4176108&viewfull=1#post4176108

Links to EP gameplaying videos by Commander Nothoria Infama:

• Let's Play Elite Plus / Commander Awesome - Current Speed run world record for Elite: 2:43 -Video (Youtube): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SeoMn82rws&t
• Let's Play Elite Plus / On peaceful trading - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNxCEJztEag&t=16s
• Elite Plus - Witch Space fight video (Youtube) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWqCVY-MsBY&t
• 'Commander Xeno's trip to Riedquat', no sounds. About tribble population at 2:27:23 onwards. (Youtube):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVKf67aEF5Q&t=68s
• 'Archangel Nothoria - Fastest way earn some Credits' - tutorial (Youtube) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1A4xG99CeBA

Speedrunning

• Speedrun.com - https://www.speedrun.com/Elite_Plus_PCDOS

MOST WANTED - Questions about Elite Plus every ironassed bounty hunter and wandering pirate wolf in these parts of the galaxy would want to know the answers:

• 1. Is it possible force Witch Space misjump anyway?
• 2. Is it possible get "Constrictor mission" triggered properly?
• 3. Are anybody before reached to point where game triggers buggy and not implemented "Constrictor mission"?
• 4. Have anybody ever managed to enter systems beyond 7 light years from all other systems via Witch Space mishap? (G1, G3, G7 big cluster, G8)
• 5. What is minimum time you can achieve Elite status from the start of the game at Lave during single game session?
Sorry about my bad alien English, I'm from The Finnish Colony of Riedquat! :)
Sincerely,

Right on Commanders!

~ Nothoria Infama ~
The historical timeline and synopsis for the career of Elite Plus Archangel Nothoria/Infama (.cdr)

  • November 6th 2002: Lave, Galaxy 1. Commander/game started.
  • November 9th 2002: Sotiqu, Galaxy 1. 21610.8 Credits. Elite (1264 hits).
  • November 11th 2002: Erbiti, Galaxy 1. 82372.6 Credits. New record: ~1008 hits/10880.6 Cr bounties.
  • November 13th 2002: Usdive, Galaxy 2. 104913.8 Credits.
  • November 17th 2002: Anenat, Galaxy 2. 155721.4 Credits. Supernova Refugees mission.
  • November 22nd 2002: Inrieran, Galaxy 3. 197141.2 Credits. Mask Device mission.
  • November 24th 2002: Onmaar, Galaxy 4. 240767.5 Credits. Thargoid Invasion mission. Archangel!
  • December 5th 2002: Edrebi, Galaxy 5. 312581.3 Credits. Stolen Police Ship mission.
  • December 8th 2002: Isatanar, Galaxy 5. 394494.4 Credits. Thargoid Plans mission.
  • December 27th 2002: Xeisanan, Galaxy 6. 458212.2 Credits. Asteroid Bombardment mission.
  • February 22nd 2003: Estiri, Galaxy 7. 603528.9 Credits.
  • April 12th 2003: Quzabibi, Galaxy 7. 678278.7 Credits.
  • September 6th 2003: Enatzaus, Galaxy 7. 707906.5 Credits.
  • December 21st 2003: Atbea, Galaxy 8. 808807.3 Credits.
  • January 14th 2004: Veerbidi, Galaxy 8. 936864.6 Credits.
  • August 17th 2004: Erlabeor, Galaxy 8. 1000031.7 Credits. 1 MegaCredits! 1st Retirement.
  • May 9th 2008: Tevebebi, Galaxy 8. 1019676.6 Credits.
  • June 3rd 2008: Ribiso, Galaxy 1. 1106763.8 Credits.
  • June 15th 2008: Riedquat, Galaxy 1. 1206436.4 Credits. New Record: ~1030 hits/11025.4 Credits bounties.
  • June 21st 2008: Bibe, Galaxy 1. 1393470.4 Credits.
  • November 11th 2008: Xeesenri, Galaxy 1. 1578755.2 Credits. New Record: ~1161 hits/12208.2 Credits bounties.
  • January 7th 2009: Inleus, Galaxy 1. 1634119.6 Credits.
  • September 12th 2009: Zeaqu, Galaxy 1. 1734717.7 Credits. New Record: ~1212 hits/13085.3 Credits bounties.
  • February 28th 2010: Raoror, Galaxy 1. 1807431.3 Credits. 60K+ Promotion: 60081 Hits !!!
  • March 3rd 2010: Errius, Galaxy 2. 1836140.8 Credits. 2nd retirement.
  • October 6th 2013: Dimadi, Galaxy 2. 1880884.3 Credits.
  • June 15th 2014: Xeate, Galaxy 2. 1963129.0 Credits. 60K+ Promotion: 64014 Hits !!!
  • June 15th 2014: Usceza, Galaxy 2. 20001519.1 Credits. 2 MegaCredits!
  • June 16th 2014: 60K+ Promotion: 65111 Hits !!!
  • June 17th 2014: Isxees, Galaxy 2. 2027710.1 Credits. Normal Promotion: Competent (74/65609 Hits).
  • November 26th 2014: Beedbeon, Galaxy 2. 2060925.1 Credits. (Deadly)
  • November 26th 2014: Galaxy 2. 2089376.1 Credits. Normal Promotion: Elite (1006/66541 hits). 1st Confirmed 'Double Elite'. 3rd retirement.
  • December 16th 2016: Ondisora, Galaxy 3. 2300429.2 Credits.
  • January 10th 2017: Oninriar, Galaxy 3. 2416499.7 Credits. Cartographing Galactic Chart 3 completed.
  • January 15th 2017: Diriceen, Galaxy 4. 2535091.7 Credits. Cartographing Galactic Chart 4 completed.
To be Continued...
Elite Plus Forever!


Thargoid invasion ship releasing a remote controlled Thargon in the witch space...

Thanks for all Elite fans contributing! Special thanks to Archangel Darrenc. [smile]
 
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Such a bug-ridden game, yet it scratched an itch...



... as for those questions, I honestly cannot remember!
 
Is there a different version of Elite for the PC? I got to elite on a PC version, but I'm sure it is not this one.

Edit: although I did get the Archangel rank at some point, so it probably is this one!
 
Darn. Well I got to deadly on the BBC version, so that will have to do!

Edit: I do remember enjoying this one though :)
 
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At the time, I had no idea of the number of kills needed to become Elite in EP - but as I was able to do it three times, I figured that something was odd. The joystick bug meant doing it all via keyboard only too. Years later, when I dicovered how few kills were needed compared to the original, I decided that thrice equalled once! As I said though, it did scratch an itch!
 
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Was this the version that introduced the shortcutted (was it C?) docking process?
The game lost a huge part of its appeal to me from that. Not sure if it actually was this version though...
 
No short cuts in Docking process in EP. F1-key initiates automatic docking, regardless do you have docking computer or not, but if not, then 50 Credits will be deducted from your bank account. Anyway, it is very easy to dock without docking computers in EP.

I tried find a list of required hits for each ranks in Elite Plus, but I couldn't find such anywhere in Net and can't remember either. If somebody knows that, please tell or lodge link here. However, It is firesure that:

Elite Promotion - 1000 Hit points.png

Deadly = around 155 hits
Dangerous = 70+
...
...
Mostly Harmless = 3 hits

Who cares? It is question of about 20 minutes skirmish in an anarchic system (with Fore Mining Laser, ECM-System and Extra Energy Unit) and you're Deadly. Ranks are meaningless because they can be achieved all in single game session without even saving game or docking to any station.

That's why I started habit to count how many times I broke limit of 1000 Hits in single system during single session without docking to a station, such count is now 4 in my current main game, and maybe Total 10-15 times if all different commanders I've played is counted. (Making 500 Hits in a system takes little over an hour).

A Higher level Hit Counter and better measure of longevity of a Commander's Career is then that milestone of 65536 hits, which causes memory Overflow in a Hit counter and soon after 2nd Elite Promotion, thus 3rd Elite promotion with same Commander/Game will require about 132000 Hits...

That is my next goal achievable around 4000000-4300000 played credits, if keeping Focus on high bodycounts. Everybody indeed hate Archangels. Very seldom anybody try to live, play and fly like one! :D
 
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I always thought of you could get to 1000 hits you could get to 6000. After deadly it was a bit of a grind.

Well done on getting so many kills and credits though. Give yourself a challenge and do the next lot on pulse lasers only! ;)
 
I always thought of you could get to 1000 hits you could get to 6000. After deadly it was a bit of a grind.

Well done on getting so many kills and credits though. Give yourself a challenge and do the next lot on pulse lasers only! ;)
Yep. Grinding in anarchies is best part of the Game. Making 6000 or 6400 hits (typical requirement of Elite rank in Classical Elites) in Elite Plus it would take about 13-14 hours of real time when massacring pirates in some anarchist system. I must note that it would be quite achievement to do that (= getting Elite Promotion message on 6400 or more hits, when starting from Lave, not saving game or keeping longer pauses...) as it is not that hard to make one serious mistake and get killed anyway, even the game is otherwise too easy. Only making that 1000 hits requires lot of concentration and if you lose it, your Cobra will be soon debris. I've been killed myself several times with 800-900 hits accumulated, and when that happens best you can do is think "Dammit! ...oh well. It was a good 2 hours long training flight without any results." Attempt to really make that 6000-6400 hits in a single playing session in a single system without docking and saving game would cause serious mental pressure and psychological stress. It would be horrible experience get killed after 10 hours of grinding.

Good Idea about that pulse laser challenge! I initially tested what it would be start the game and go straight away to Riedquat, armed only with Fore Pulse laser and 3 missiles. I think it is pretty impossible make 1000 kills with that equipment as Pulse lasers are ineffective enough that when you concentrate to kill your current target, a radar display will be full of other ships shooting you and energy banks without Extra Energy Unit doesn't last long. Missiles are also threat because if you don't kill a ship when it is incoming allowing it escape, it will come back shooting missiles you must blast down with your lasers because you have no ECM-System. In EP this considerably harder to do then many other versions, due faster game speed. I Must make more practical studies what would be optimal tactics with only very basic equipment. At least you value your 3 missiles much higher then when flying with fully equipped Ironass Cobra.

EDIT/ADD: In Practice it would be usually like Commander Graveson's first and last flight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Srh7HzfwcBk :D

Then... based on field tests (Crash test actually) on a geostationary orbit of Lave, near the system's Coriolis station, GalCop's test pilot managed track down logic and requirements of Elite ratings in EP with following list:

Elite - 1000
Deadly - 155
Dangerous - 90
Competent - 35
Above Average -20
Average - 9
Poor - 4
Mostly Harmless - 2
Harmless - 0
:)

ADD/EDIT December 12th, 2014: On Witch Space: I managed produce video about hyperspace misjump to Witch Space in EP. Such videos are not easy to make due randomness and relative rarity of misjumps, thus recording started after the entry to witch space. In this case I could not survive because hanging too long in witch space after NavComps were already repaired and even having enough fuel to jump out from there, which is not necessarily the case with misjumps. Energy bomb explosion proved to be bad idea. Also, trying test how Anti-ECM broadcast would inflict to the hyperjump just before getting killed:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWqCVY-MsBY (3:43)

Note that in theory in some rare cases witch space misjumps could be the way to reach to systems and clusters which are beyond 7 Light years from all other systems on a galactic chart. Such kinds systems are existent in the galaxies 3, 6, 7 (big cluster) and 8.
 
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Right on Commander!

ARCHANGEL'S ELITE CHALLENGE

Get your Cobra Mk III to The Iron enough from the start at Lave. Earn your Elite Badge within 3 hours of real time gameplay. Provide a record proofs (vid, no savegames, pauses, cheats or anything that be considered only 'Deadly') here in this thread.

It's Possible. Why you still wait, Commander?!

Nothoria Infama
Archangel, Elite Plus

Elite Plus Download: http://www.abandonwaredos.com/abandonware-game.php?abandonware=Elite+Plus&gid=1905
DOS-Box Download: https://sourceforge.net/projects/dosbox/

Current confirmed speed record: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SeoMn82rws (2h 43 mins, free style)

PS. I finally got new hardware... :D

ADD:

Relevant Topics: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/17526-Elite-the-9th-galaxy-and-Raxxla
 
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Seriously Commanders.

Check it. Test it. Play it. Adjust to it. You can do it.

What I really ask here: Are there any other enough Bad Elite Commanders out there?

Where goes the Ultimate limits of the Human played Elite plus? How near Raxxla you can go?

Archangel is the title that is given by successful accomplishment of an easy mission. What you need to do to really earn it?

How many Tribbles you can accommodate to your Cobra's wind screen, still scooping fuel of the Star of Riedquat?

Answers to these questions can be only played. Played by the Elite.
 
Nice thread. This was the second version of Elite I played after the original PC Elite. I don't remember a lot of what you've written, but a lot has also brought back some nostalgic memories. Thanks!
 
Nice thread. This was the second version of Elite I played after the original PC Elite. I don't remember a lot of what you've written, but a lot has also brought back some nostalgic memories. Thanks!
Thanks. Trying to gather everything relevant about EP in one thread, inspire new generations of Elite Commanders to test this old version by themselves, encourage systematic studies about the game's mechanics, possibilities in it etc. Elite Plus commander population isn't nowadays very numerous, you know. Also personally hoping that someone would answer my humble challenge by making new speed-run record in EP.

I have lot of good memories with EP too, but they aren't that "nostalgic" as I still return occasionally to space lanes of this version.

I see the rewards for those mission and smile. :) I can't imagine the ramblings if it was today's game.
Lol. Yes, amount of complaints would equal with an amount of depris on the orbit of Tionisla, sure. Rewards are ridiculous. Only really rewarding bounties are new hardware you get from missions, and only Mask Device seems to have some real use in practice. Money is pretty much meaningless. :D

Note for newbie Elite Plus Commanders: Fully equipped Iron Cobra requires some 25000-30000 Credits in EP. It's question of about few hours of playing. Average, statistical income per hit when grinding in anarchies (34-35t loot included) is about 11.85 Credits, you relatively easily track your accumulated hit count using simple math. More you kill, more closer to that approximate average income per hit you'll go.

For grinding in anarchies you only need, ECM-system, Extra Energy Unit, and Fore Mining Lasers (that are equally powerful then Military Lasers, but lot cheaper).

ADD: Most "mysterious" ships you can encounter in EP: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/60038-Mysterious-ship/page2?p=1161947&viewfull=1#post1161947
 
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The 9th Galaxy

Hey, a fellow Elite Plus fan!

I have been doing a bit of reverse-engineering of the game and I believe I can answer at least one of your questions for now:


3. Is it possible access the 9th Galaxy anyway without cheating/hacking/coding?
Yes, it is. When you jump from the 8th Galaxy, there is exactly a 300 in 65536 chance that you will end up in Galaxy 9. That's just under a 0.5% chance. There doesn't seem to be anything special about the Galaxy - there is no Raxxla. It is just another procedurally generated galaxy like the other 8. For those who are familiar with the innards of Elite, the galaxy seed for Elite Plus's galaxy 9 is:

Code:
w0 = 1234h
w1 = 5678h
w2 = 9abch
If you really want to get to galaxy 9 in Elite Plus, you can either load/save a commander and keep hyper-driving from Galaxy 8 until you get there, or you can hack the EXE. The code that decides whether or not you reach Galaxy 9 from Galaxy 8 looks like this:

Code:
seg000:7455                 cmp     ax, 12Ch
seg000:7458                 jb      short seg000:745F; 9th galaxy OK if AX < 300
seg000:745A                 mov     CurrentGalaxy, 0
seg000:745F                 mov     al, CurrentGalaxy
This compares the value in the AX register, which was generated pseudo-randomly, to 125 hexidecimal, which is 300 in decimal. If AX was lower than 300, the Jump if Below instruction will cause the 'Reset Current Galaxy to zero' part to be skipped.

We want to change it to something like:

Code:
seg000:7455                 nop
seg000:7456                 nop
seg000:7457                 stc
seg000:7458                 jb      short seg000:745F; 9th galaxy OK if AX < 300
seg000:745A                 mov     CurrentGalaxy, 0
seg000:745F                 mov     al, CurrentGalaxy
This will cause the "JB" branch to always be taken, meaning all hyperdrives from Galaxy 8 will get you to Galaxy 9.

To patch the EXE*, use a hex editor to replace the byte sequence "3D 2C 01" with "90 90 F9". The sequence only appears once, at byte 30020**.

Either that, or you can download the file attached to this message and unzip it to your Elite Plus directory. There are two files; the patched ELITE.EXE and a JAMESON.CDR who is a rookie pilot, but happens to be located in Galaxy 8 with a galactic hyperdrive :)

I hope you find this useful and informative. I am still digging into the code and will answer some of your other questions if/when I can :)

- Darren C.

* The ELITE.EXE I had downloaded had been compressed twice using an EXE packer. If you have one of these versions you will need to use an EXE unpacker (I reccomend UNP) to unpack the file before patching.

** In my (packed then unpacked) ELITE.EXE, this is the correct location. Should be the same in yours, but YMMV.
 

Attachments

Great thread. Picked this up in the early 90s in a triple pack with Wing Commander and a RPG trading thing that was never played because it was rubbish

Having a bit of trouble with DOSbox; the cursor moves so fast across the screen I can't play properly. Anyone got any advice?

The link at the top of the thread is redundant now but you can get all versions of Elite from Ian Bell's site here

Right on commander!
 
Oooh! Other Commanders in these parts of the forgotten space sectors!

Archangel, Commander Darrenc! o7

Awesome! I heard long time ago somewhere that it is somehow possible to enter The 9th Galaxy, but because I could not find any enough serious confirmation for that (other then lines in the code of Elite.exe -file), I took it as a rumor or unimplemented feature of the game. You brought the light for me! I was just unlucky! (Statistically it would require ~200 hyperspace jump attempts from Galaxy 8 to make 1 successful entry to the 9th, I see the logic now). Thanks! I must dig out again old hard drives, and ignite Cobra MkIII Icarus' drives once again. (I've enough played credits for 450 Galactic Hyperdrives, btw.) :D

Maybe I will finally retire there in the Ninth then...

Commander DG128k

Study how to set frame rate and other relevant settings in DOS-Box (Can't recall exactly). That could help you. :)
It is possible to learn fly EP even with extreme speeds of new computers, tho.

N.I.

ELITE PLUS TUTORIAL (Standing speedrun World Record)
[video=youtube;9SeoMn82rws]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SeoMn82rws&t=8s[/video]
 
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Commander DG128k

Study how to set frame rate and other relevant settings in DOS-Box (Can't recall exactly). That could help you. :)
Edit DOSbox Options, there's a line "cycles=<value>" - the <value> is probably "auto" by default.
You could try 10000 or 20000 as the <value> first (about 386 speed), and see how it works.

Funny thing is that the DOSbox Options file itself says the numerical value needs to be "fixed <number>", but putting just <number> there works fine.

Here's how the [cpu] section looks like in my install for original Master of Orion:
Code:
cpu]
#      core: CPU Core used in emulation. auto will switch to dynamic if available and appropriate.
#            Possible values: auto, dynamic, normal, simple.
#   cputype: CPU Type used in emulation. auto is the fastest choice.
#            Possible values: auto, 386, 386_slow, 486_slow, pentium_slow, 386_prefetch.
#    cycles: Amount of instructions DOSBox tries to emulate each millisecond.
#            Setting this value too high results in sound dropouts and lags.
#            Cycles can be set in 3 ways:
#              'auto'          tries to guess what a game needs.
#                              It usually works, but can fail for certain games.
#              'fixed #number' will set a fixed amount of cycles. This is what you usually need if 'auto' fails.
#                              (Example: fixed 4000).
#              'max'           will allocate as much cycles as your computer is able to handle.
#            
#            Possible values: auto, fixed, max.
#   cycleup: Amount of cycles to decrease/increase with keycombo.(CTRL-F11/CTRL-F12)
# cycledown: Setting it lower than 100 will be a percentage.

core=auto
cputype=auto
cycles=21000
cycleup=1000
cycledown=1000
 
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