Elite / Frontier Elite Plus

People, millenials, vets, and guys play some games. There are lively communities for ancient games there. In some of those games the humanity itself transcend when they show something is possible. Tasks are set for the next generation. Papers write about those heroes.

In PC Elite Plus, things are different.

The Elite Federation EP certified pilots are so rare and their records set so low that it is ridiculous there are still elder people waiting. Young folks, everything is given to them. If its granted, why they cannot just give old guys the peace?

- Meanwhile -

About 40-50 serious attempts (out of dozens more not that serious), several death with 500+ kills, few of less than 9 minutes optimal start (to get the equipment), hundreds of cops, pirates, hunters...

I know it is coming. It will come. If not by me, then by someone else.

"Viper tactics" require very high level of concentration, and pattern, routine, to be successful. Its there.


They optimized that together, over several decades. Why nobody can optimize this, EP?!

How long it takes to get promoted 'ELITE' in PC Elite Plus?

 
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These days, If I fly, I always record everything...


'8-Galaxy Tour' could be a new speedrun category. Hmm...

  • Fastest time to travel through all 8 galaxies, Any% freestyle
  • No savegames, one playing session
  • No limitations to starting galaxy or starting equipment (as long as naturally played)
  • Realistic minimum equipment: Fore Mining Laser, ECM-System, Fuel Scoop, Extra Energy Unit, and 40000 Credits for 8 Galactic Hyperdrives)

Right on Commanders!
 
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Finally!

NEW ELITE PLUS SPEED RUN WORLD RECORD: 2 hours 36 minutes 30 seconds with 1024 Hit points for 'ELITE'


Already jumped to Riedquat at 9 minutes 26secs in...

Promotion to 'Deadly' with 759 kills at 1h 52min 20 secs.

Totally lost with kill count after that, and even accidentally buying a tribble, that proved to be too prosperous with it's offspring to Cobra MKIII's windscreen for optimal speedrunning purposes: I had to go burn whole population to Leesti's sun for not losing too much time. I also made several extra dockings to Riadquat's station because of the tribble population and extra difficulties in concentration they caused when counting hitpoints. Far from optimal what could be possible, but still I managed cut about 6 minutes 30 seconds from the last, already too many years old record. There was no feeling of flow during this flight. But despite that, tribbles (that actually slowed DOSBox down and made steering and flying less smooth, not to mention slight visibility issues), and already uncountable failed tries and attempts without proper proofs, feeling is extremely good for the new record. It didn't come easy. :cool:

Right on Commanders!
 
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I'm pretty sure that Elite Plus was the only version to have the hated Archangel title.
All PC versions had the Archangel rank, for the coders amongst is the rank could be changed by hex editing the save game of the original Elite (204 byte save).

Elite+ is a nice version of Elite and one that is still fun to play even today.
 
ELITE PLUS - MISSIONS COMPILATION

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRk3r1ByqLY&feature=youtu.be


Elite Plus missions

SUPERNOVA REFUGEES - 3:00 Emergency message - 5:25 Task Complete message
MASK DEVICE - 7:25 Emergency message - 10:45 Task Complete message
THARGOID INVASION - 13:00 Emergency message - 17:25 Task Complete message
STOLEN POLICE SHIP - 20:55 Emergency message - 36:05 Task Complete message
THARGOID PLANS - 37:55 Emergency message - 1:06:40 Task Complete message
ASTEROID BOMBARDMENT - 1:29:55 Emergency message - 1:44:00 Task Complete message

Mission .cdr savegame files from http://ffeartpage.com/utility.htm (elpmiss.zip) used for making this compilation. Note that the 1st attempt of Asteroid Bombardment mission failed to a manual docking crash at the very end, but I didn't edit that out from the video. Also, Tribbles "mission" is left out from this compilation as it isn't actually mission at all. What comes to "Constrictor" - mission in Elite Plus, that is the topic of it own as it seems not to be fully implemented to this version of Elite, and consequently not included either.

Right on Commanders!
 
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ELITE PLUS - MISSIONS COMPILATION
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRk3r1ByqLY&feature=youtu.be


Elite Plus missions

SUPERNOVA REFUGEES - 3:00 Emergency message - 5:25 Task Complete message
MASK DEVICE - 7:25 Emergency message - 10:45 Task Complete message
THARGOID INVASION - 13:00 Emergency message - 17:25 Task Complete message
STOLEN POLICE SHIP - 20:55 Emergency message - 36:05 Task Complete message
THARGOID PLANS - 37:55 Emergency message - 1:06:40 Task Complete message
ASTEROID BOMBARDMENT - 1:29:55 Emergency message - 1:44:00 Task Complete message

Mission .cdr savegame files from http://ffeartpage.com/utility.htm (elpmiss.zip) used for making this compilation. Note that the 1st attempt of Asteroid Bombardment mission failed to a manual docking crash at the very end, but I didn't edit that out from the video. Also, Tribbles "mission" is left out from this compilation as it isn't actually mission at all. What comes to "Constrictor" - mission in Elite Plus, that is the topic of it own as it seems not to be fully implemented to this version of Elite, and consequently not included either.
Right on Commanders!
Great to see more classic missions video captured - but I’ve got to ask, is that footage speeded up or do you actually play in triple-espresso-with-twelve-sugars-and-amphetamines-o-vision? :D
 
Great to see more classic missions video captured - but I’ve got to ask, is that footage speeded up or do you actually play in triple-espresso-with-twelve-sugars-and-amphetamines-o-vision? :D
Footage is recorded with OBS and is just as fast as the game speed as I play it. PC Elite Plus is the fastest version of classic Elites (which cause also amounts of complains about the fact). I play it with DOS Box without any frame or cycles adjustments. I don't consider it too fast to play. Its just normal speed of Elite Plus.

Btw, I got inspired by recent Mission vids of other elite versions published in these forum threads to make Missions Compilation video for Elite Plus too. Thanks. ;)
...

Funny related thing to Supernova refugees mission in PC Elite Plus I noticed recently. After a star has gone supernova, there are no star, planet or station to dock anymore in that system. Naturally. However, if you launch ESCAPE CAPSULE in the system after supernova mission you actually go to already demolished, inexistent station of the system, and when launching out of the station, the station's tunnel show black space as there are no anymore the planet. :D
 
Footage is recorded with OBS and is just as fast as the game speed as I play it. PC Elite Plus is the fastest version of classic Elites (which cause also amounts of complains about the fact). I play it with DOS Box without any frame or cycles adjustments. I don't consider it too fast to play. Its just normal speed of Elite Plus.

Btw, I got inspired by recent Mission vids of other elite versions published in these forum threads to make Missions Compilation video for Elite Plus too. Thanks. ;)
...

Funny related thing to Supernova refugees mission in PC Elite Plus I noticed recently. After a star has gone supernova, there are no star, planet or station to dock anymore in that system. Naturally. However, if you launch ESCAPE CAPSULE in the system after supernova mission you actually go to already demolished, inexistent station of the system, and when launching out of the station, the station's tunnel show black space as there are no anymore the planet. :D
Wow, that’s some impressive piloting then Commander! There’s no chance I could do that, it’d be like trying to play FE2 with the StarDreamer permanently stuck on level 2 :)

That’s interesting info on the Supernova mission, it’s always fun to read about things in the game that the original programmers probably thought, “yeah, nobody will ever try this” so they didn’t bother coding a solution to - and sometimes the contingencies that they did code for (like if you managed to dock with the Thargoid station in the Speccy version, it reused the “Boarded by Pirates” code).
 
Wow, that’s some impressive piloting then Commander! There’s no chance I could do that, it’d be like trying to play FE2 with the StarDreamer permanently stuck on level 2 :)

That’s interesting info on the Supernova mission, it’s always fun to read about things in the game that the original programmers probably thought, “yeah, nobody will ever try this” so they didn’t bother coding a solution to - and sometimes the contingencies that they did code for (like if you managed to dock with the Thargoid station in the Speccy version, it reused the “Boarded by Pirates” code).
EP is deeply 'hard coded' to my nerve system. Already over half year in real time put to this game since mid '90s, so that could explain some of that "impressive piloting". Whatever, it doesn't always feel that impressive sometimes. It is incredibly hard to improve speedrun record, for example. For one successful attempt there tends to be several failures.

How near Raxxla a commander can go with his rusty Ironass Cobra MkIII? ;D
 
To be mentioned, PC Elite Plus is not the game by Frontier Developments, but this is the most natural place currently in the internet for discussions and stuff about this version of the game.

For me the greatest honor would be the opportunity to talk with the Elite Plus programmer Archangel Chris Sawyer and ask various topics about the game and the process of it's creation. I'd like to know why 60K promotion is 'null' when it could've been the promotion to "Top Elite" rank, and why Constrictor mission is not fully implemented? Was the publication of the EP too hurried by publisher to make things finished? What happens during those extra 60K+ kills promotions? What was supposed to happen when you get "ew ship was seen at Errius" -message?



Supreme Archangels David Braben and Ian Bell doesn't need extra hype in this particular context. o7

"Eihän kysymys ole ollenkaan siitä miltä se kaikki näyttää, vaan ainoastaan siitä miltä se tuntuu."

- N. Infama, Archangel
Riedquat, Finnish Colony
 
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Yet another bloggy comment...

After new speedrun WR I lost interest to Elite plus totally, not playing it since until a night few days ago. The same old drive to grind was here again. I'd not even write this comment if last few days would have been "normal" Elite Plus playing session. Far from it. I decided to grind bank account to 3 million credits, no matter what it takes. I asked whole week off from work to be able to dedicate my time for the effort. At that point I was lacking some 225000+ credits from the goal. I reached the milesstone today after some 23-25 hours of playing within about 45-50 hours. 3000000 Credits in Elite Plus isn't small amount of money but it is just a number, all you need to do is persistently continue playing and you can easily get there. That isn't what is most amazing thing here. It is how I managed to reach there...

I grinded in a single anarchic system - BEORED, Anarchy, Tech Level 9, Galaxy 6 - almost 20 hours in row without dying a single time. Of course there was pauses, savegame was made during every docking, I had to take a breaks to eat and sleep, go to smoke etc. but from pilot's in-game perspective there was uninterrupted 20 hours (and when writing this, still counting) in the anarchic system in the near continuous fight. I had use ENERGY BOMB only once as an emergency measure, tho there was several near death situations. During last three days I gathered a total profit of 268292.5 Credits, from which about 220000 Credits in BEORED (yesterday alone 160K), without dying once! Even better, entire progression is saved (and backup'd to several different .cdr files), and when writing this I'm not died yet...

That is already by far my most amazing and improbable achievement ever in playing Elite Plus, something that I won't highly likely ever repeat. It's several magnitudes more difficult to keep your pilot continuously alive and grind 200K (and who knows how many kills) without deaths, lethal accidents etc. than making new Speedrun record. Even if Elite Plus is generally too easy game, it is also damn easy to get killed in it.

After some initial aimless flying and raiding in mostly democratic and corporate state -systems, I put up my "recycling clinic" to BEORED. Plan was simple, try maximize both kills and profit relative to the real time spent to playing. In practice: dispatch out of the station, fly out of station's shield perimeter to a general direction of the system's star, shoot as many foes as possible, as fast as possible, but trying always pick up alloys and cargo canisters when possible, and when 'CARGO BAY FULL' then immediately back to station to sell your loot. Rinse and Repeat. Following screenshot demonstrate the current situation in BEORED's market:

Beored Market.png


Note that usually you bring at least 20-25 tonnes of alloys with you to a station, but there are room for only 255 units. In reality at this point there should be thousands of tonnes of alloys in the stock. Luckily you get paid for those overflow units. It is incredibly time consuming thing to do to gather over 100 tonnes of any other article as typically you may get only one or two tonnes of - let's say - Narcotics per one trip to space. Sometimes you don't get that commodity at all for several trips. Sometimes you bring over 30 tonnes of alloys, not leaving room for practically anything else. Note also that when scooping cargo canisters there is decent chance you get, uh..., ALLOYS! Space is full of sources for more alloys; drifting cargo canisters and splinters, Orbit shuttles, Transporters, Escape Capsules (it's more ethical and profitable shoot these thing out and collect 1-4 tonnes of Alloys than wasting space in your cargo hold), Asteroids, Pirates, Hunters... :D

I don't know - maybe 150-200 trips this far. I've not kept too perfect notes and logs during this grinder.

There are odd sense of accomplishment and achievement there on those 'Available Quantities'. I feel relaxed and happy, familiar and nice feelings of Elite Plus flow. I have still 4 days left of my vacation. Few step closer to really interesting things: hit counter floating point will occur second time sooner or later, as I must have already over 100000+ kills based on long established statistical proxy of accumulated money and playing style of high, consistent kill counts per system. Maybe 500000 more credits. :D

The hit counter overflow will happen again at 65536+65536-2 = 131071 hit points, and the promotion to Unofficial Archangelic Combat Rating "Triple Elite" soon after with 1000 hit points more.


Right on Commanders!
 
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I still don’t know how you can play at that speed - are you like Neo at the end of the first Matrix film? 😁

To have done so continuously for that amount of time...a simple o7 isn’t enough!

I’ve just messed with the playback speed in YouTube, and I reckon I’d have to play at 0.25 to be able to stand a chance 😅
 
Wow.
That is dedication.
ON-OFF type dedication, borderlining insanity when "ON". Imagine what else I could've done in those 6-7 months (in 24/7 real time) of my life already spent to this game?

I still don’t know how you can play at that speed - are you like Neo at the end of the first Matrix film? 😁

To have done so continuously for that amount of time...a simple o7 isn’t enough!

I’ve just messed with the playback speed in YouTube, and I reckon I’d have to play at 0.25 to be able to stand a chance 😅
Normal speed of Elite Plus, when played with laptop (4 core processor, 2.16GHz), using DOSBox emulator (without any frame and cycle adjustments) in Windows 10.

It was "fast" back in days with 386SX but at least then it was possible to fly and grind in anarchies using full throttle. Aiming accuracy drops alarming low if trying that with current computer/system, though sometimes when in good flow it is still possible to do.

In other words: practice, practice, practice... that much practice the game and it's controls are installed to your muscle memory.

Sometimes (when I talk about that "Flow in Elite Plus") it is almost auto-motorical state of mind, kind of meditative trance. During those moments it is almost like watching from aside when your body plays the game. Sadly, those moments do not often continue that long, but those are moments in which it is possible clear radar screen full of ships within 10 seconds, as every move and aiming you make is spot on. Actions doesn't go anymore through your conscious mind.

Those moments are the biggest reason why I continue with this game year after year, always coming back sometimes even months long hiatus only to acknowledge the fact:

This poopoo is deep within my nervosystem, and it has been already some quarter of century... :cool:
 
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LMAO! I tried to continue that grinder, but there is limit for everything. Could not get motivated enough with farming cash and kills. Instead I made an attempt to break the Speedrun WR...

Hardcore grinding routine paid it's dues: New World Record is 2 hours 14 minutes 35 seconds at Riedquat with exactly 1000 Hit points [Yet unverified that everything is ok with the video file]! If confirmed as solid video proof that means I managed to cut out from my previous record a ridiculous amount of time: 21 minutes 55 seconds.

That is insanely good time considering that the start was not optimal, and in the end I had usual confusions with my 'manually-within-the-mind' -hit calculator. Maybe Rob Hubbard's C64-sid tune playing in repeat at background helped me (pilot ended up to be named "Commander Hannibal") to concentrate someway (tune will play in video during entire flight) better.

Whatever, Elite Plus Speedrun record to The Elite promotion from the start of the game (i.e. fresh, newbie, vanilla Jameson with Fore Pulse Laser, 3 missiles, and 100Cr, no mods, no cheats) IS NOT optimized yet!

[The new record run shall be posted here as soon as verified, uploaded to Youtube and published in Speedrun.com]
 
Wow! Well done!
Can't wait for the video.

BTW, which tune was it? Nemesis the Warlock?
Youtube is currently uploading and handling the Video. Video MP4-file seems to be fine.

Tune is Rob Hubbard's 'Lightforce'. My fav. It is also suitable song to get played in this context as it is originally from a 2D scrolling shooter game. 'Nemesis the Warlock' is great piece too!!! Maybe I play it next time.:D

Anyway, I broke the record today with time I didn't expect to be possible. I also wasted 7-8 minutes to less than optimal start as it took 17-18 minutes to even get necessary equipment and jump to Riedquat. For comparison, in the last record I made it to Riedquat in less than 10 minutes from the start of the game.

What I can say. All in all, today was pretty good Elite Plus gaming day. The best ever for me, and there are few of them already. :)
 
Yeah, that's a great tune! (y)
Yeah! Let's play it! Original C64/SID tune Version from Youtube I played during the game. There are some excellent remixes too!


Thanks to Rob and credits also to Rolf R Bakke for making these awesome oscilloscope views for all of that nice music. :)
 
Ok. At last. My connection and/or Youtube run so fast that you can actually make commercial runs with 20 tonnes of textiles from Lave to Zaonce with old rusty Orbit shuttle faster, and still make some economically feasible cumulative profit from it, than trying to upload anything to the site.

NEW SPEEDRUN WORLD RECORD: 2 Hours 14 Minutes 35 seconds with 1000 Hit Points at Riedquat
FEAT. Rob Hubbard 'Lightforce'



Smooth run overall. Horribly non-optimal start, periods of inefficient grinding, typical confusions with "within-head-and-mind" -Hit counter module, less than ideal, and not that smooth ending with extra dockings. Exactly 1000 Hits is purely coincidental happening, as I had no idea at the end how many hits there was between DEADLY (897 hits at video time 2:00:40) and ELITE promotions. Prolonged periods of Flow during the skirmish almost looking what should be expected from an average, casual Archangel in such circumstances. Mood is extremely good! :)

Hits/Seconds efficiency was: 8075 Secs/1000Hits = on average a Hit in every 8.075 Seconds. The relevant time in the video for the record's timing purposes is the time between 0:00:25 and 2:15:00. Sub-2h10min times are absolutely possible with better start. It isn't anymore conjectural hypothesis. Sub-2h times are established now as remotely plausible conjecture.


Thanks to Commanders @Arioch and @Zieman for their nice and encouraging comments, and Electronic Computer Music Pioneer and Genius, Rob Hubbard for his indirect contribution to this new World Record speedrun. :)

Right on Commanders!
 
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