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Elite on the BBC Micro

Compare code for features of Master Elite

The following table shows code variations that are unique to the BBC Master version.

Click on a name to see all the code differences for that part of the codebase, or click on an individual variation to focus on that particular feature.

NameComments
BEGIN
Loader
BR1 (Part 1 of 2)
Start and end
  • The rotating Cobra Mk III on the title screen is further away on the Master version compared to the other versions, so it doesn't overlap the title text as much.
BRIEF
Missions
  • The Master version shows the Constrictor slightly higher up the screen during the mission 1 briefing, so it doesn't get quite so close to the briefing text.
CATS
Save and load
  • The Master Compact only has one disc drive, and it uses ADFS rather than DFS, so instead of asking for a drive number, it asks for a directory name.
  • As the Master Compact uses ADFS, this release has to claim and release the NMI workspace when accessing the disc, in order to prevent ADFS from corrupting that part of zero page. It does this by calling the NMICLAIM and NMIRELEASE routines at the appropriate time.
DEATH
Start and end
  • In the cassette, disc and 6502SP versions, our ship is given a gentle pitch up or down when we die; the same is true in the Master version, but the pitch is always downwards so the detritus of our death always rises to the top of the screen.
DELT
Save and load
  • When deleting a file via the disc menu, the disc and 6502SP versions ask for the "FILE TO DELETE?", while the Master version asks for the "COMMANDER'S NAME?".
DIALS (Part 3 of 4)
Dashboard
  • The Master version updates all the dials on every iteration of the main loop, while the other versions only update the speed, pitch and roll indicators on every loop (the other indicators only update every four iterations of the main loop).
DK4
Keyboard
  • The Master version allows you to change the volume of the sound effects using the "<" and ">" keys when the game is paused.
  • The Master version makes two beeps when the Bitstik is configured, while the disc and 6502SP versions remain totally silent and give no clue as to whether you just turned the Bitstik on or off.
DKS3
Keyboard
  • When toggling a configuration option in the Master version, we get two beeps when we turn the option on (which sounds like one long beep) and one beep when we turn it off (which sounds like a short beep), whereas the other versions beep when we turn it on and remain silent when we turn it off.
DOEXP
Drawing ships
DOKEY
Keyboard
ee3
Text
  • The Master version's hyperspace countdown is padded to 3 characters rather than 5, so it appears two characters to the left compared to the disc and 6502SP versions.
ESCAPE
Flight
  • In the Master version, if you launch your escape pod while looking out of the side or rear views, you won't see your Cobra as you leave it behind, while in the other versions you do.
EXNO2
Sound
  • The Master version incorporates a fractional kill tally when calculating the combat rank, so each ship type has a different number of kill points, while all the other versions count one point for each kill.
EXNO3
Sound
Ghy
Flight
  • In the Master version, the internal galaxy number can be set to be greater than 16, and it will stay high even if you jump to the next galaxy (though it isn't clear what this is for, as the game doesn't set the galaxy to more than 7 at any point, so perhaps this was for an expansion that never happened).
gnum
Market
  • If you try to enter a number that is too big when buying or selling in the Master version, all your key presses are displayed, whereas in the other versions the key press that pushes you over the edge is not shown.
HATB
Ship hanger
  • In the disc and 6502SP versions, the first ship hanger group (of four) consists of a Transporter on the right and a Shuttle on the left, while in the Master version the first group has a lone Cobra Mk III on the left.
  • In the disc and 6502SP versions, the fourth ship hanger group (of four) consists of a Viper on the right and a Krait on the left, while in the Master version the fourth group has an Adder on the right and a Viper on the left.
JMTB
Text
  • The Master version has an extended jump token for displaying the non-selected file system, though this token isn't actually used as the file system can't be changed from disc.
KILLSHP
Universe
KYTB
Keyboard
  • The Master has a very different set of internal key numbers to the BBC Micro and Electron, so the keyboard lookup table for the Master is also very different; the Electron and BBC Micro are much more similar, but the Electron has no TAB key, so "-" launches an energy bomb instead.
LL164
Drawing circles
LL9 (Part 1 of 12)
Drawing ships
  • The Master has a flicker-free ship plotting algorithm that plots and erases ship lines one line at a time. As part the new algorithm, it stores its progress while working its way through the ship line heap in the otherwise unused variables at XX14 and XX14+1.
LL9 (Part 9 of 12)
Drawing ships
  • When drawing a ship, the cassette, disc and 6502SP versions erase the entire on-screen ship before redrawing it, while the Master version erases and redraws each ship one line at a time.
  • The cassette, disc and 6502SP versions draw the laser lines along with the ships, whereas the Master version erases and draws lines individually, including the laser lines.
LL9 (Part 10 of 12)
Drawing ships
LL9 (Part 11 of 12)
Drawing ships
  • The cassette, disc and 6502SP versions add all the lines in a ship to the heap and then draw them all in one go, whereas the Master version erases and draws lines as they are added to the ship line heap.
LL9 (Part 12 of 12)
Drawing ships
  • The cassette, disc and 6502SP versions do all their line drawing at the very end of the LL9 ship-drawing routine, but the Master has already redrawn most of the ship by this point and only needs to erase any remaining lines.
LOOK1
Flight
Main flight loop (Part 3 of 16)
Main loop
Main flight loop (Part 5 of 16)
Main loop
Main flight loop (Part 11 of 16)
Main loop
  • The Master version awards different kill points depending on the type of the ship that we kill, ranging from 0.03125 points for a splinter to 5.33203125 points for a Constrictor or Cougar.
Main flight loop (Part 13 of 16)
Main loop
Main flight loop (Part 16 of 16)
Main loop
Main game loop (Part 4 of 6)
Main loop
  • In the disc and 6502SP versions there's a 22% chance of spawning a Thargoid during the spawning loop in part 4, while it's a 14% chance in the Master version.
me2
Text
  • The Master version clears the bottom part of the screen when displaying in-flight messages in screens other than the space view, whereas the other versions messily superimpose the message over the current screen.
MESS
Text
MJP
Flight
MT26
Text
  • When entering text in the Master version, the text that is typed is shown in magenta, while it is shown in white in the other versions.
  • The Master version contains its own custom routine for the extended token that asks for a line of text, while the other enhanced versions use the standard OSWORD command. The Master Compact version of that custom routine supports more characters, as it supports ADFS rather than DFS.
NA% / DEFAULT%
Save and load
  • The Master version contains an embedded copy of the default JAMESON commander file that can be restored over the current commander via the disc access menu.
NOISE
Sound
PAS1
Keyboard
PLL1
Drawing planets
  • For most versions, the loading screen's Saturn is drawn randomly, so the dots are different every time the game loads. However, the Master version always draws exactly the same pixels for the Saturn, as the random number generator gets seeded to the same value every time.
SCAN
Dashboard
  • In most versions, ships that are exactly ahead of us or behind us are shown on the 3D scanner so the stick goes from the dot onto the centre line of the ellipse, but in the Master version the dot is moved over to the right so the stick goes from the dot just to the right of the centre line.
  • The Master version's 3D scanner draws a dash at the end of each stick (i.e. one pixel high, two pixels wide), while the other versions draw a full dot (i.e. two pixels high, two pixels wide).
SFRMIS
Tactics
SHPPT
Drawing ships
  • When drawing a distant ship as a dot, the cassette, disc and 6502SP versions erase the entire on-screen ship before redrawing it, while the Master version erases and redraws each ship one line at a time.
  • The Master implements flicker-free ship drawing using the LLX30 routine, which is used both for drawing wireframes and for drawing distant ships as dots.
SIGHT
Flight
STARS2
Stardust
  • The side-view stardust routine in the Master version was recoded to cope with arbitrary screen widths, code that was presumably inherited from the non-BBC versions of the game.
STATUS
Status
  • The Master version shows the escape pod by name in the Status Mode screen but doesn't show the large cargo bay; the Electron version is similar (though it shows it as "Escape Capsule), while the other versions do show the large cargo bay but don't show the escape pod.
SUN (Part 1 of 4)
Drawing suns
  • In the Master version, the screen size is not hard-coded, but is stored in a dedicated location, an approach that was presumably inherited from the non-BBC versions of the game.
SUN (Part 2 of 4)
Drawing suns
  • In the Master version, the screen size is not hard-coded, but is stored in a dedicated location, an approach that was presumably inherited from the non-BBC versions of the game.
SVE
Save and load
TACTICS (Part 1 of 7)
Tactics
  • In the Master version, destroying a missile using E.C.M. gives us the same number of fractional kill points as killing an alloy plate, while the other versions always award one point, whatever is killed.
  • In the Master version, the tactics routine is slightly more efficient as it skips the NEWB logic checks for missiles, which aren't relevant (the disc and 6502SP versions still perform the checks, though this has no effect).
  • In the Master version, destroying a missile (not using E.C.M.) gives us a number of kill points that depends on the missile's target slot number, and therefore is fairly random.
TACTICS (Part 2 of 7)
Tactics
TACTICS (Part 4 of 7)
Tactics
TACTICS (Part 6 of 7)
Tactics
  • In the Master version, if we are being hit by lasers, the ship firing at us can still manoeuvre, whereas in the other versions enemies mysteriously forget to move if they manage to hit us.
TITLE
Start and end
TKN1
Text
  • In the Master version, option 3 in the disc access menu is "Catalogue Disk" rather than just "Catalogue".
  • In the Master version, the disc access menu has an extra option, "Default JAMESON", which resets the commander to the default starting point.
  • Text token 12 in the Master version has a copyright notice of "(C) Acornsoft 1986", rather than the "1984" of the other versions.
  • The disc and 6502SP versions contain a spelling mistake in the extended token system - they incorrectly spell weird as "wierd". The correct spelling is used in the Master version.
  • The Master Compact release replaces the "DRIVE" text tokwn with "DIRECTORY", as the Compact only has one disc drive.
  • The Master version indents the "INCOMING MESSAGE" shown during mission briefings to the right by one space.
  • The disc and 6502SP versions contain a spelling mistake in the mission 2 briefing that's shown when picking up the plans from Ceerdi - they incorrectly spell intelligence as "intellegence". The correct spelling is used in the Master version.
  • The disc and 6502SP versions call the Thargoids "those mothers" in the mission 2 briefing that's shown when picking up the plans from Ceerdi. In the Master version, this has changed to "those murderers".
  • The Master version contains a new prompt in the extended token table, "ARE YOU SURE?", which isn't present in the other versions. It is used to make sure you really do want to revert to the default commander if you choose that option from the disc access menu.
  • The Master version contains a new prompt in the extended token table, "{currently selected media} ERROR", which isn't present in the other versions, though it isn't actually used (it was carried over from the Commodore 64 version of the game).
tnpr
Market
TT103
Charts
  • The moveable chart crosshairs in the Master version are drawn with white/yellow vertical stripes (with the exception of the static crosshairs on the Long-range Chart, which are white). All crosshairs are white in the other versions.
  • Master version contains code to scale the crosshairs on the chart views, though it has no effect in this version. The code is left over from the non-BBC versions, which needed to be able to scale the charts to fit their different-sized screens.
TT105
Charts
  • In most versions the Short-range Chart crosshairs can be moved to the right edge of the screen, but in the Master version they disappear before they get to the edge.
  • The Master version contains code to scale the chart views, though it has no effect in this version. The code is left over from the non-BBC versions, which needed to be able to scale the charts to fit their different-sized screens.
  • In most versions the Short-range Chart crosshairs can be moved close to the bottom edge of the screen, but in the Master version they disappear before they get quite as far.
  • The moveable chart crosshairs in the Master version are drawn with white/yellow vertical stripes (with the exception of the static crosshairs on the Long-range Chart, which are white). All crosshairs are white in the other versions.
TT14
Drawing circles
  • The static chart crosshairs in the Master version are drawn with white/yellow vertical stripes (with the exception of the static crosshairs on the Long-range Chart, which are white). All crosshairs are white in the other versions.
  • The Master version contains code to scale the chart views, though it has no effect in this version. The code is left over from the non-BBC versions, which needed to be able to scale the charts to fit their different-sized screens.
TT15
Drawing lines
  • In the Master version, the horizontal crosshair doesn't overlap the left border of the Short-range Chart, while it does in the other versions.
  • The bottom border of the Long-range Chart is one pixel lower down the screen in the Master version than in the other versions, so crosshair-clipping code is slightly different too.
TT17
Keyboard
TT18
Flight
  • The Master version calls an extra bit of code when arriving in a new system that is responsible for breeding any Trumbles in the hold, though as there are no Trumbles in the BBC versions of the game, this never actually breeds anything.
TT210
Inventory
  • The Master version contains a fair amount of Trumble-related code, though it doesn't have any effect as we never get to pick up any Trumbles (though if we did, they would take over our cargo bay and hoof up all the food and narcotics, just as in the Commodore 64 version, so their essence is still encoded in the Master version).
TT22
Charts
  • The bottom border of the Long-range Chart is one pixel lower down the screen in the Master version than in the other versions.
  • The Master version contains code to scale the chart views, though it has no effect in this version. The code is left over from the non-BBC versions, which needed to be able to scale the charts to fit their different-sized screens.
TT23
Charts
  • The Master version includes systems on the Short-range Chart if they are in the horizontal range 0-29, while the other versions include systems in the range 0-20, so the Master version can show systems that are further to the right. You can see an example of this difference in the Short-range Chart at Lave, which contains a lone system (Qutiri) out to the far right. This system isn't shown in the other versions because of their stricter horizontal distance check.
  • The Master version includes systems on the Short-range Chart if they are in the vertical range 0-40, while the other versions include systems in the range 0-38, so the Master version version can show systems that are further down the chart.
  • The Master version contains code to scale the chart views, though it has no effect in this version. The code is left over from the non-BBC versions, which needed to be able to scale the charts to fit their different-sized screens.
  • The Master version only shows systems on the Short-range Chart that are within 7 light years of the current system, whereas the other versions show all systems in the vicinity, irrespective of the distance. You can see this on the Short-range Chart at Lave, where Orrere, Uszaa and Tionisla are all missing from the Master version's chart, but are present in the other versions. Interestingly, the unlabelled system on the far right (Qutiri) that slipped through the Master's more generous horizontal distance check is still shown, even though it's more than 7 light years away. This is a bug, and it's caused by the label-printing logic; because there is no room for a label for this system, the code skips label-printing by jumping to ee1 rather than TT187, inadvertently jumping to the system-drawing routine rather than moving on to the next system.
TT26 / CHPR
Text