Frontier First Encounters

Frontier First Encounters was released in April 1995. It improved and expanded many of the elements of Frontier Elite 2 with classified military missions and better graphics. It also introduced the third military power, the Alliance, who though offering no missions of their own offered the ultimate mission, to explore the Thargoid regions of space and investigate the disappearance of the previous commander who went ahead with these missions

This, together with other unique missions, introduced a degree of linearity to Frontier, whilst maintaining the freedom of movement and activity of FE2. There were also five journals, updated each month, tracking the activities of the military powers as well as reflecting the impact of some missions, in other words, getting the player in the newspapers!

The CD version of FFE also included Full Motion Video (FMV) at the starports, where various individuals addressed you on matters such as the stockmarket, the bulletin board, the shipyards and your legal status. In Federation and Imperial systems they adopt a particular stance according to whether they view you as an ally or an enemy. The acting quality is variable but on the whole they are good fun

All in all, FFE represented a considerable improvement over FE2, although some disagree. All the standard missions - such as bombings, assassinations and espionage - are still available, but the scripted ones offer a coherent story involving the Thargoids plus a number of independent but interesting side missions.

Click on the image to the left to view the complete Frontier First Encounters package

Budget FFE releases

In the mid-1990s Denmark-based Euro Power Pack A/S re-released budget games around Europe under the "Platin" label. One such re-release was Frontier First Encounters, as shown in the pictures here. This consisted of the CD version of the game - thus incorporating the FMV - a floppy disk containing patch v1.05 and a spartan typed sheet detailing the keyboard controls. This is the version which was released in Germany, distributed by the TFV Group and it is worth noting that the patch version is not the latest.

This is another of the Danish Platin FFE budget re-releases. Again it features the game CD with English, French and German versions and the patch disc, this time the latest v1.06. However, there is no printed material to assist the player, instead an instruction document was supplied on floppy disc, in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and German.

For a complete guide to downloading and running First Encounters, click here

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