Friday, January 18, 2013

A (Laser) blast from the past!

Apologies for the non-wargaming post... Cast your minds back, 30 years or so... to the mid 80's...

The home computer was just starting to grab attention... things like the spectrum zx81, the bbc electron, the commodore, the atari... the BBC model B...

At the time, the commodore 64, and the Atari were the bees knees.. and I coveted my friends machines so dearly... yet my parents said they weren't going to waste money on a games machine, but they would buy me a 'proper' computer; the BBC model B 32k. It had a proper keyboard. Wow, not! Most of the games for it were crap in comparison to the c64 & atari...

And then a miracle occurred, and a game was released for it, that broke all the molds and concepts and became a seminal milestone in computer gaming: ELITE

Here's a quick potted history...

Heck, it even had a TV commercial advertising this game! At the time (1984) this was mind blowing!

I played the game endlessly, hour upon hour... I'd literally run home from school so I could get playing it as soon as possible, and it would be on till I went to bed. I might even remember to eat...

But times move on and things change... and I believe the two co-writers had a falling out, and the game never got officially re-incarnated for the more modern PC and other platforms, though it did spawn many spin offs and copies...

 And now, through chance email chat with a mate today, I came across these:

I have clearly missed the kick starter pledge, but will eagerly await this games release in 2014!

If its as good as I hope it will be, it will seriously dent my painting time!


  1. Oh wow, that is a blast from the past and I remember a group of us gathering every weekend at a friends house to play from dawn till dusk. It was ridiculous how obsessed we'd become with trading in gems and weapons whilst upgrading our little vector line ship.

    Interestingly I think they re-released it on Atari ST for which you can get an free emulator online (STEEM I think its called). Not sure if the game itself is still available but I'm sure there are a few folks out in the wonder web that would know.

    And finally, nice blog, always a pleasureable read. Keep it up.

  2. My that has brought back memories of lost weekends playing it. The docking computer was a mus. Buying a load of slaves up and jumping into somewhere it would cause trouble! I seem to remember the mining laser was more lethal than military one- well mine sure was!

    excellent bit of nostalgia Scott

  3. Scott - you know that I can give you a BBC emulator and the disc image don't you?

    Just don't pause the game while you are counting down to hyperspace, and press CTRL-X - you'll end up in Witch-Space with the Thargoids!!

    1. Tempting tempting...

      I did also come across this:

  4. I think this game has been the game I played most... Ever.. besides RL RPG that is.. And yes - the old vector based version (for C64 for my part) has never been bested by any of the new ones.. will have to follow this kickstarter...

  5. I have to say I never got into computer gaming of any kind. In the eighties I seemed to spend all my money on CDs and women!

    I did have a ZX81 (I bought it after watching Tron, I think) but really had no idea what the purpose of it was.

    It's not just an age thing as one of my contemporaries started on computer games very early and still plays them. I'm largely a technophobe I think!

    I do now, increasingly, feel nostalgic for things from my past which I haven't until fairly recently. Age, I suppose!

    1. LOL, I was still a young teenager in the mid 80's... hormones were kicking in, but these new fangled computers had a powerful interest!

      I must admit I dont think anyone understood what the ZX81 was for, I can't remember what it actually did... ;-)

      Must admit I am a bit of a technophobe these days, my kids are more techno-savy having Ipods and iphones to play with, and I have a bog standard cell phone... and now it turns out they need a new 'notebook' for school... in my day that was a spiral bound writing pad, these days it costs near on NZ$1k... what is the world coming too? Nostalgia? Bring it on!

  6. Man, I played that game too!! First with a Spectrum, later with an Amstrad 512.


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