Improved ship drawing on the BBC Micro, Commodore 64 and Commodore Plus/4
The BBC Master version of Elite includes an improved ship-drawing algorithm that noticeably reduces flicker. This improvement was also included in the Apple II version of the game, but it never made it back to the original BBC Micro and Commodore 64 versions... until now.
Here's a comparison of Elite-A, with the standard version on the left, and the flicker-free version on the right:
And here's a comparison on the Commodore 64, this time with the flicker-free version on the left, and the standard version on the right (note that this clip has sound):
Here's what you need to enjoy Elite without flickering ships:
- For the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron, you can download flicker-free versions of Elite from the releases page. You can also find links to an in-browser version.
- For the Commodore 64 and Commodore Plus/4, head over to the flicker-free Elite GitHub repository, where you can download versions for both PAL and NTSC systems.
- For more information on the flicker-free algorithm, see the deep dives on flicker-free ship drawing and backporting the flicker-free algorithm.
Note that planets still flicker, as that's a different part of the code, so don't be surprised when you launch from the station only to find Lave flickering away in front of you. Just flip to the rear view and look at the station, and you'll clearly see the improvement: