This was originally from an Amiga disczine, Grapevine. However it does have a
lot of info that applies to the BBC original version plus its quite
interesting to see how the Amiga version differs.
E L I T E A R e p l y
By R9 of Dimension X
G E T T I N G S T A R T E D
For God's sake, stay clean! At least until you have a docking computer. The
reason for this is simple. Docking is not easy when you have about five
vipers blowing bits of your anatomy off. On the subject of docking, here's
a totally foolproof way of doing it if you don't have a docking computer.
M A N U A L D O C K I N G
This method is easy. After faffing around in space, jump towards the centre
of the planet, until you can't jump any more. Now simply fly towards the
centre until the S appears on the control panel. STOP COMPLETELY.
Now centre the space station in your sights (get the orange dot on the
control panel in the centre of the cross). Fly towards it keeping it
central with your sights at all times. Keep flying towards it, ignoring any
ships that appear, until you are near. As near as you can get without
crashing. NOW STOP COMPLETELY.
Centre your sights on the planet again and switch to rear view. Now
accelerate towards the planet with rear view on, and after a few seconds the
space station will gradually centre itself on the screen, its docking bay
slowly lining up with your rear sight (if you're lucky enough to have one!)
When you feel you are lined up well enough with the space station STOP, do
an about turn, and fly towards the station. You should be lined up pretty
well. Don't forget, to dock successfully, you need to be able to see only
the FRONT of the station and not the sides, not even the slightest bit.
Enter the docking bay at a snail's pace and the hole should be HORIZONTAL and
LEVEL! You should now have docked successfully!
E Q U I P P I N G
Deciding what to buy for your ship is sometimes difficult. Everyone has a
'best' way of doing things. EVERYONE should buy a docking computer first!
It saves time. Next you should probably buy a large cargo bay, unless
you're a bit of a wimp in space, in which case you should buy an energy
After these three you should maybe buy beam lasers on the front. Don't
forget you get a refund on your old lasers when you buy new ones! Now buy a
fuel scoop and get collecting other ships' cargo! An ECM is not essential
but after a while, the novelty of shooting missiles with lasers wears off,
especially if you're as experienced a combateer as I am (heh heh!)
Energy bombs are ok but usually only when you start getting attacked by four
ships at a time, two of which are Wolf MK IIs, one is a Gecko and the other
is an Asp Mk II (pain in the rear-end, I'm sure you'll agree!) Incidentally,
Thargoids are immune to energy bombs. Convenient, eh?
Don't bother with escape capsules. You lose all your cargo, they cost a fair
bit and you sometimes accidentally catch Q on the keyboard whilst caught up
in a battle with a Thargoid and a couple of Wolf Mk IIs. Retro rockets are
ok for witchspace if you have not saved the game for a long time and you've
built up a lot of points. I tend to save the game every time I dock (saves
forking out eight grand for retros).
Once you have equipped your ship to how you want it, there is little point
in trying to make vast amounts of money, except for the upkeep of your ship
(if certain bits get blown off harumph!).
T R A D I N G
Don't bother with slaves! The best things to trade are narcotics, computers,
furs, medical supplies (sometimes you can make 60cr per tonne), and
Try to find two planets with highly contrasting tech levels. Sell furs at
the high tech levels and the rest mentioned above at the low. Here's a list
of what different ships often carry (if you've got a fuel scoop):
ADDER: These carry narcotics 95%+ of the time so take care not to blow
their precious cargo canisters up!!
ANACONDA: Mainly machinery. Sometimes alloys.
ASP MK II: Mostly carry slaves. Fire and forget.
BOA: Mainly alloys (3040cr), or sometimes machinery (4070cr).
COBRA MK I: They don't carry cargo!
COBRA MK III: Mainly computers. Have been known to carry firearms and
narcotics. Otherwise machinery.
ESCAPE CAPSULE: Can be collected as slaves.
FER DE LANCE: slaves.
GECKO: Gecko commanders are drunks (they always carry liquors and wines).
KRAIT: Always carry minerals (I think maybe something else?)
MAMBA: I love mambas. easy to kill and you get firearms for it!
MORAY STAR BOAT: irritating waste of time. Mainly machinery.
ORBIT SHUTTLE: Ho ho! Machinery. Careful, though. They put up a good
PYTHON: Why do these never attack even when you attack them? They
sometimes carry furs, then again you could end up with alloys.
SIDEWINDER: Small things reap big rewards. Always carry furs (if
THARGOID: Sometimes they release Thargons; small remote-control attack
ships. When the Thargoid is destroyed the Thargons can be picked up as
alien items (3070cr).
VIPER: nought again. Well, they ARE police.
WOLF MK II: Such a fearsome ship should at least carry narcotics. Instead
you'll find useless cargo such as slaves and alloys. Sometimes furs.
C O M B A T
This is the most fun part of the game! Mindless violence is the order of the
day, I'm sure you'll agree. Oh, the joys of torturing Pythons by firing up
their engines (harumph!)
The most important thing you need is a sense of priority. Which ships to
kill first? Well, let me tell you that if you've got three Sidewinders and
a Thargoid then Mr Spock states you should destroy the three Sideys first.
Why? Well, they tend to die from five or six shots from the good old
military lasers. This makes about fifteen shots to dispose of three ships.
Now a Thargoid makes your lasers heat up. So while you're battering old
Thargy, our three cheeky young scamps are busy removing your ship's vital
bits. But if you dispose of our three chums, you've only got Big Mr Thargoid
to get rid of. Even though Thargoids are like seven foot Glaswegian welders
they don't fire an awful lot. Here's a quick guide to each ship's tactics:
ADDER: Don't underestimate these. They carry an awful lot of splifftastic
cargo and they're not prepared to see it go down the tubes. Up close they
can be dangerous. They wobble around you and they fire their lasers
constantly. However, try to leave them until last because four tonnes of
gearmongous cargo is better than a kick in the teeth. They don't have ECMs
and they get you 100 points (and what do points make?)
ANACONDA: Extremely slow. You could blow one to smithereens before the
captain had time to think. However, if you're desperate for cargo, give him
a few warning shots up the rear (and I'm not being funny), and he'll fly
towards you. When he gets within close range, LET HIM HAVE IT! They usually
release three cargo cannisters of machinery or alloys. They come equipped
with ECM, not that they'll need it, and you get the strangely high value of
90 points for it.
ASP MK II: I hate them. They're fast, they give you serious grief and they
carry crap cargo. It's best to dispose of these with missiles if they're
accompanied by three other nutters (Geckos and Wolves). They don't
have ECMs and they get you 110 points.
BOA: No ECMs, but I wouldn't waste missiles on these guys. Takes 13 shots
to destroy, don't you know! A mere 60 points is your reward. Slow at a
distance but can be awkward up close. Poses no real threat.
COBRA MK I: These don't attack to start off with and you're usually too
busy with pirates to give a thought for these guys. If you catch one on it's
own, fire a couple of times at it; it will fly towards you so its easy prey.
ECM? Yep, indeedy do, but they're so weedy you don't need missiles. A poor
60 points is all you get.
COBRA MK III: Now I like these guys. They fly in much the same way as MK Is
but they carry reasonable cargo (computers, usually). Equipped with ECMs
and a slightly limp 80 points is all you get.
ESCAPE CAPSULE: Well worth destroying as you get 90 points! Don't pick up
or you'll end up with slaves. No ECM.
FER DE LANCE: Best destroyed at distance, as they carry poor cargo (slaves)
so there's no point letting them come close. They're quite fast so give 'em
a shot or two to get their attention and then let them have it. Surprisingly
enough, they don't have ECMs. Even more surprising is the fact that you get
100 points for killing one and only 90 for a Gecko. On the subject of
GECKO: Respect where respect is due
(aaarrgghh! I sound like a rapper! I'll have to wear overpriced trainers
and spray grafitti all over the place!) Anyway, these guys are fast,
manoeuvrable and have the third strongest shields of any ship. Their cargo
isn't worth bothering with. Of course, they have ECMs but you only get a
faintly impotent 90 points for one.
KRAIT: Luckily, Kraits hardly fire, but they do take some stick and can
pull some sexy evasive manoeuvres. As far as I know they always carry
minerals and aren't worth letting get within (their) firing range. They
don't have ECMs and so are worth a blast with a missile, if you're
in trouble, along with Asp Mk IIs. You get 90 points for one.
MAMBA: Ooh, I just love these. They're weedier than asteroids (it's true)
and they normally drop lovely firearms. However, they're very fast. Let
them get very close and give 'em a few blasts. Don't go mad because you'll
probably hit the cargo that's released and that'll be 14 tonnes of firearms
down the tubes. They don't have ECMs (firing missiles isn't advised anyway,
as they have high Curve Factors and can dodge missiles) and you get 60
MORAY STAR BOAT: Very annoying. Not amazingly fast but they fire a lot
when up close, so get your shots in first and forget about the cargo. 50
points and not an ECM to be found.
ORBIT SHUTTLE: Slow. No ECM. 3 crappy points. Carries machinery, but
you'd have to be a sad man to go after these. Besides, you have to hang
around the space station and you get hassled by Vipers.
PYTHON: They're either pacifist hippies or downright stupid. Occasionally
you will get the odd stoned one who will launch a missile at you when
attacked but a simple press of the 'E' key will rain on his fireworks. Very
easy to kill, so you only get 40 points. They don't have ECMs 'cos every
body blows them to smithereens with their lasers anyway. They're about as
fast as an asthmatic ant with some heavy shopping.
SIDEWINDER: Very manoeuvrable, quite fast, but tend to die if you breathe in
their general direction. Also carry furs so try to save them 'til last
(unless you're fighting, say, an Adder, a Mamba, and a Sidewinder, in which
case damage them until they are nearly dead then go after one at a time and
steal it's cargo, whilst dodging the others. It can be done, I do it all the
time!) No ECM. Worth 80 points.
THARGOID: The skinheads of Elite. Your laser temperature (on military) will
heat up to almost maximum, so you should destroy all other ships first. They
have ECMs and are immune to energy bombs. They sometimes release Thargons,
little remote-control fighters. If a Thargoid releases these and you're
close to it, go after the Thargoid and destroy it; the Thargons will be
rendered useless and you can pick them up as Alien Items (makes 70cr if
you're lucky). If things get out of hand, don't hesitate to use the energy
bomb; the Thargons will be killed but the Thargoid won't. It makes sense,
you'll be fired at and its been known (for me) to get killed, timing from
the first shot until the death of my Cobra, in under five seconds. You get
150 points for a Thargoid and I should think so.
TRANSPORTER: these guys are on speed! They can sometimes outrun a missile!
No ECM. 10 whole points (wow).
VIPER: Police ships take about a quarter of your laser temperature to
destroy which isn't too bad, but they'll chase you all over the place.
They're good for building up points (50 each) exit from the station, wait
for them to arrive and pick them off, one by one. If things get hairy,
press C to dock! No ECMs.
WOLF MK II: Not to be messed with. Not as hard as Thargoids, but not far
off. They're fast, they have ECMs and they attack you with all the rigour
and enthusiasm of er someone trying quite hard to kill you. 150 points
(I'm not surprised), but poor cargo. Deal with these first if you're
fighting hard ships.
Combat in Elite is an artform which must be perfected. Let's take an
example dogfight between my Cobra and a group of four ships: Asp Mk II,
Sidewinder, Gecko, Wolf Mk II.
Firstly I would target a missile on
the Asp and send it on its merry way. Do it as soon as the ships appear so
the Asp is still out of its firing range, which means it is heading directly
towards you. It will fly straight into the missile. If you let the Asp get
too close, not only will you get fired at, the missile will have a hard time
keeping up with the Asp.
Strangely enough, your Cobra Mk III can outrun a missile; if the missile
flew in a perfectly staight line it would hit you. But it doesn't fly in a
straight line but wobbles around. Try it! Get a ship's missile in your rear
view and let it catch up now go to top speed and you can keep ahead of it!
Next destroy the Sidewinder (only takes about 5 or 6 shots). Now shoot the
the Wolf. As soon as he's destroyed go for the Gecko. Sometimes it's
better to let your lasers cool after dealing with the Wolf. Let the Gecko
come close until just before it will start firing and let him have it! If
your lasers overheat take some strategic action (run away). Running away
involves accelerating to top speed and keeping your finger on X (or S NO
ONE plays on joystick! Elite is a SERIOUS game.)
Now get some distance between you and the Gecko. (S)he'll fly towards you
enabling you to finish him/her off.
If you're being attacked at close range by several ships, go for the weakest
one first, whilst trying to hit the others with the odd shot; hitting a ship
once will send it on evasive action which will buy you survival time.
P O I N T S
You get points for every ship you kill (with lasers, missiles, energy bombs,
or even by crashing into them). Here's (approximately) when you get your
2050 Mostly Harmless
16500 Above Average
(Sorry, I accidentally wiped the game when I had over 500000 points, so
Deadly must have been coming up soon? Anyone like to write in and let me
know when you get to Deadly and Elite?)
C H E A T I N G
Cheating is for sad lamers who own six million games but only play each one
once and gets bored with it. Cheating at Elite is a complete waste of time
you utterly destroy the game 99% of it is building up your ship and your
amount of wonga.
There was one cheat on the Speccy where you simply saved the game at the
start and it fully equipped your ship, gave you Elite status and serious
amounts of dosh. It also gave you a CE laser
which kicked the shit out of military. Anyone know where I can buy one?!
There IS a cheat on the Amiga version. Well, not so much a cheat, more a
feature. It simply lets you make money a bit quicker. Have you ever been
to a planet where narcotics sell for 95?
"Wow! Cheap stuff! I'll take 35 tonnes of those please, my good man!"
"Sorry, Guvnor, we've only got 5 tonnes left!" "ANNOYANCE!"
Buy the 5 tonnes (or however many are available). Save the game. Load it
back in. Hey presto, 5 tonnes are back again for you to buy! Soon you'll
have a full load of 35 tonnes which you can sell for 220 if you're
lucky making a gross profit of 4375cr.
Net profit will be less, as all dedicated Elite players will know, each
trading post takes a little bit on each tonne in commission (only a small
percentage, you'll probably end up making about 4000 4100). This means
you shouldn't buy something and sell it for 1cr more as you'll lose out on
Well, folks, that's it, we've trundled reluctantly to the end of this
article. I hope you found it as interesting as I did. Is someone going to
write in with tips for Elite II?
PS: Hey! Ken D! Is Elite going to be on your Nostalgia packs? I do hope
so! Erm, without Lenslok, if you please!
[It certainly will; I'm not sure which one it'll end up on, though, but get
ready to revel in those wireframe vectors and thrill to the BEEPed sound of
Cheers, mate, for a fab'n'groovy article and keep up the good email, ken!]