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You Can Download The Original 1984 Elite For Free On Frontier’s Website

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Did you love Elite Dangerous? Haven’t quite had your fill of space battling and trading shenanigans? You’re in luck. The original Elite is now available to download for free via Frontier’s website.

The download on Frontier’s site is a standalone one, so you won’t need any existing PC launcher. According to the site, the download package includes a “disk image of the original Elite for BBC Micro B”. There’s also BeebEm, a BBC Micro and Master 128 emulator, so you can actually play the thing. Finally, there are instructions on how to get started with this emulator. Do note that this is a PC-only download and that you’ll need to be running Windows XP or higher to play the game. Sorry, Windows 98 users.

The original Elite is the brainchild of developers David Braben and Ian Bell. Braben would go on to found Frontier Developments, the studio that created Elite Dangerous. It was first released for BBC Model B in 1984. Much like 2015’s Elite Dangerous, the original game revolves around space flight, trading, and combat. Unlike that game, the original naturally isn’t multiplayer, but it does boast a huge universe full of corporate states, anarchic pirate outposts, and fully upgradeable ships. Here’s the rather lovely box blurb (straight from the original box) from Frontier’s official website:

Command your Cobra space ship in a fantastic voyage of discovery and adventure, a supreme test of your combat, navigational and entrepreneurial skills. Trade between countless planets, using the proceeds to equip your ship with heat-seeking missiles, beam lasers and other weapons – corporate states can be approached without risk, but unruly anarchies may be swarming with space pirates. Black market trading can be lucrative but could result in skirmishes with local police and a price on your head! However you make your money, by fair means or foul, you must blast onwards through space annihilating pirate ships and hostile aliens as you strive to earn your reputation as one of the Elite!

You can download Elite from Frontier’s website right now. The most recent game in the series, Elite Dangerous, is available to buy on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Will you be heading into space courtesy of Frontier Developments? Let us know in the comments below!



Joe Allen


Staff Writer

Dark Souls changed my life, and I’m here to spread the good news. I like pretty much all sorts of games, but I judge everything by its proximity to our Lord and saviour, Dark Souls.


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