Acornsoft Electron Elite

The Acorn Electron was one of the initial platforms that Elite was released on by Acornsoft in the autumn of 1984.

Due to memory restrictions and hardware limitations, several features of Elite were absent from this version. These included the rotating disc/lines on the planets, suns and the alien Thargoid ships. Five types of ship were featured in total, one less than the BBC cassette version, which included the Thargoids, and considerably less than BBC disc Elite (18 ships).

It also failed to reproduce the split screen trick employed on the BBC version - allowing a four-colour control panel - which meant the entire display was in monochrome.

In its favour, it copes with the remaining elements of Elite quite well and its place in gaming history is assured as one of the first examples of the program that would set new standards in the gaming industry and start a whole new genre.

Click on the image to the left to view the complete Acornsoft Electron Elite package

Superior Software Electron Elite

In 1986, Yorkshire-based Superior Software re-released Elite for the Acorn Electron. It featured revamped box artwork, as seen here, and the box itself was made of plastic, making it much more durable than the cardboard box which Acornsoft used.

The items included in the package were reduced to the cassette tape, the manual and a function key strip. There was no longer a copy of the Dark Wheel novella, a ships poster, or a separate ship identification card.

A second edition of the Elite manual was produced for the Superior Software release, designed to cover not just the Electron version but the BBC cassette and disk versions as well.

This edition included loading instructions for all three versions, and it also pointed out variations in features. The image to the left, for example, points out which ships are only present in the disc version of the game.

In truth it's a slightly confused publication, since having pointed out which ships only appear in the disc version, it then reproduces ship identification drawings from the original manual without marking those which don't appear in the cassette version.

Click on the image to the right to view the complete Superior Software Electron Elite package

Playing Electron Elite on your PC

1. Download an Electron emulator, such as ElectrEm
2. Download the game from Ian Bell's Elite Page