Skip to navigation

Elite on the BBC Micro

Compare code for features of standard Elite

The following table shows code variations related to the standard features that are found in all the versions of Elite (i.e. the cassette, disc, 6502 Second Processor, BBC Master versions and Electron).

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
BR1 (Part 2 of 2)
Start and end
  • On the second title page (the one that says "Press Space Or Fire,Commander"), the cassette and Electron versions show a rotating Mamba, the disc version shows a rotating Krait, the 6502SP version shows a rotating Asp Mk II, and the Master version shows a rotating Cougar.
CIRCLE
Drawing circles
  • The cassette, disc and Master versions define a circle as being small when it has a radius of less than 8, while in the 6502SP version, a circle is small if it has a radius of less than 4, and in the Electron version, small circles have a radius of less than 9. Small circles are drawn with a step size of 8.
  • The cassette, disc and Master versions define a circle as being medium when it has a radius of less than 60, while in the 6502SP version, a circle is medium if it has a radius of less than 50. Medium circles are drawn with a step size of 4, and large circles are drawn with a step size of 2. The Electron version, meanwhile, only has small and medium circles (no large), with medium circles having a radius of 9 or more.
CNT
Drawing planets
CNT3
Drawing planets
DFAULT / QU5
Start and end
  • When you save a commander file, the version details get saved along with the competition flags. The flags get set as follows: the cassette version sets bit 1, the disc version sets bit 2 or 5 depending on the release, the 6502SP version sets bit 2, and the Electron and Master versions set bit 3.
E%
Sound
  • There is a subtle difference between the cassette version's laser firing sound compared to the disc and 6502SP versions (the Master has a unique sound system so is different again). Specifically, the cassette version has a slightly lower #amplitude in the envelope's attack phase, which makes the lasers noticeably quieter. The Electron laser sound, meanwhile, is also unique.
ee3
Text
ESCAPE
Flight
  • In the cassette version, launching an escape pod in witchspace is immediately fatal, while in the disc version it launches properly. In the advanced versions, meanwhile, the launch key is disabled as soon as you enter witchspace.
Main flight loop (Part 9 of 16)
Main loop
  • The cassette version contains an extra docking check that makes sure we are facing towards the station when trying to dock.
  • When docking, the cassette version checks that the angle between the vector to the space station and the nominal approach is less than 22.0 degrees; in the disc version, it checks that the angle between the vector to the planet and the nominal approach is less than 26.3 degrees; and in the advanced versions, it checks that the angle between the vector to the planet and the nominal approach is less than 22.0 degrees.
Main flight loop (Part 12 of 16)
Main loop
  • This is a bug in all versions. Making a kill while there's an in-flight message on the screen not only stops the bounty from being displayed (which is intentional), but it also prevents the bounty from being awarded (which presumably isn't). In non-Electron versions, the same code is used to prevent bounties from being awarded in witchspace (which is correct, as witchspace kills can't be reported to the authorities).
Main game loop (Part 2 of 6)
Main loop
  • In the cassette version, 1.5% of asteroids are actually spawned as cargo canisters, while in the enhanced versions 4% of asteroids are spawned as either cargo canisters or alloy plates, with an even chance of each.
Main game loop (Part 4 of 6)
Main loop
PIX
Drawing pixels
  • In the cassette version, the loading screen's Saturn has a much higher dot density than the other versions, as the drawing routine plots individual pixels into the screen using OR logic, so pixels within a character block can be next to each other. The other versions poke whole one-pixel bytes directly into screen memory without the OR logic, which overwrites any pixels already plotted in that byte and ensures a much greater pixel spacing (though pixels at the ends of neighbouring character blocks can still be next to each other).
qv
Equipment
  • When buying a laser in the cassette version, the menu of available views is always shown below the equipment list. In the other versions, the list of equipment in systems with tech level 8 and above is too long to squeeze in the menu (due to the extra lasers you can buy in these versions), so when buying lasers in these systems, the whole screen is cleared and the menu is shown in the middle of the screen.
SHIP_ESCAPE_POD
Drawing ships
SHIP_PYTHON
Drawing ships
SHIP_VIPER
Drawing ships
  • The Viper has a different maximum energy in the disc version (100), cassette version (120) and advanced versions (140), so they are easiest to kill in the disc version, harder to kill in the cassette version, and even harder to kill in the advanced versions.
SOLAR
Universe
  • When generating system data in the cassette version, the initial position of the planet is calculated using bits 0-2 of the system's s0_hi seed, but in the other versions only bits 0-1 of s0_hi are used.
  • In the cassette version, the initial position of the planet can be to the upper right or lower left, but in the other versions it's always to the upper right.
TACTICS (Part 2 of 7)
Tactics
  • In the cassette version there is a 45% chance that an angry station will spawn a cop, while in the enhanced versions there is only a 6.2% chance.
  • In the Electron version there can be up to three cops in the vicinity, in the cassette and disc versions there can be up to four, in the Master version there can be up to six, and in the 6502SP there can be up to seven.
TACTICS (Part 4 of 7)
Tactics
  • The cassette version has Thargoids but no NEWB flags, so we have to manually cater for Thargoids launching Thargons rather than using the same code as escape pods.
TT208
Market
  • The layout of the Sell Cargo screen in the cassette version is slightly different to the other versions (it doesn't have a boxed title and the text starts lower down the screen).
TT214
Inventory
TT25
Universe
  • The cassette version doesn't show extended system descriptions in the Data on System screen, and neither does the disc version when we are in flight, so both of these show the information one line lower on-screen than in the other versions.
TT67
Text
XX21
Drawing ships
  • The cassette version has 13 different ship types with 12 distinct designs, including the Coriolis space station; the Electron version has 11 ship types with 10 distinct designs; the disc version has 31 ship types with 29 distinct designs, including an additional space station, the Dodo; and the advanced versions have 33 ship types with 30 distinct designs, again including both station types.
Ze
Universe
  • The cassette version spawns new ships at a distance of 32 unit vectors, while the other versions spawn new ships noticeably closer, at a distance of 25 unit vectors.