In space, everyone can hear you scream . . . As long, that is, as you’re equipped with a RemLok™ survival mask.
Elite’s three little words constituted the first achievement anyone received in a video game. Compared to the “cheevos” that all-too easily slide across the screen these days, to see “RIGHT ON COMMANDER!” flick into view amongst an 8-bit particle explosion constituted a real accomplishment.
To see it flick into view the required 16 times before being made one of the Elite was, sadly, beyond me. It wasn’t for want of trying: I played Elite religiously for hours at a time, for stretches that would last for weeks. The first attempt was on Elite’s native BBC Microcomputer – assuming i was lucky enough to get on it – during sessions in my school’s computer suite (Dangerous). The journey began again a year later when the game finally arrived for my beloved ZX Spectrum (Deadly). Eventually when I upgraded to a new Atari ST, the first computer I saved up and played for, I was immediately drawn towards the pink ship version (Deadly, very). When that machine was replaced by my first IBM-compatible PC, inevitably the greatest space trading of all time found its way on that too – although by then I was more eager to try out Elite’s Frontier sequel, which didn’t do much for me I must admit.
I’ve played many spaceships games since, almost as many have ever existed, but few have been so rewarding or as challenging as Elite. This occasional blog – and it will be occasional – is about my latest and probably final attempt to witness those two little and one relatively large words flash on-screen 16 times: to finally nail the Order of Elite after thirty years of trying. I’ve given myself 18 months to complete this mission, by which time a new Elite adventure will be waiting.
Right On Commander!