Skip to navigation

Elite on the BBC Micro and NES

BBC Micro disc Elite on the BBC Master

The disc version of BBC Micro Elite, converted to run on the BBC Master

Acornsoft released the BBC Master version of Elite back in 1986, two years after the original BBC Micro version took the world by storm. This enhanced version of the game includes quite a few extra features; the most obvious are the four-colour space view and flicker-free ship graphics, but the Master release also tweaks the gameplay. For example, each kill contributes a fractional kill point toward your combat rank, rather than one point per kill, and Thargoids are now immune to energy bombs (see the feature comparison table for a full list of differences). As a result the Master version has a noticeably different feel to the original game.

Unfortunately the original BBC Micro version doesn't work on the BBC Master; it came out before the Master was released, and was never updated for the new platform. If you try to load the 1984 disc on a Master, then it fails with an error message about only being suitable for the BBC Micro, and even if you manage to circumvent the platform checks, the game either hangs at the loading screen, or it loads but with gobbledygook instead of text, like this:

BBC Micro disc Elite breaking on a BBC Master

instead of this:

BBC Micro disc Elite working on a BBC Master

So despite having the more powerful computer, BBC Master owners can't play what's regarded as the canonical version of Elite.

This just isn't fair, so I've hacked the original game to work on the Master. See the downloads page to get hold of a copy, or check out the technical information for details of how it works.