Frontier: Elite 2

Over the past few weeks I've been recapturing my misspent youth by engaging in my all time favourite past-time.

Frontier: Elite 2 consumed vast chunks of my childhood, it's probably why I'm so antisocial today. Re-acquainting myself revived my passion for David Brabens' work. Lately Frontier Developments have concentrated on games such as Roller-Coaster Tycoon and Wallace and Grommit which don't appeal to me, but their next project; The Outsider is a marked diversion from their current portfolio and should herald in the development of the holy grail; Elite 4.

After spending many, many hours exploring the (apparently) accurate star systems, I witnessed the immense scale of some of the stranger solar formations; a star containing the mass of 800,000,000 times our own planet, dominating the sky from a distance of 10AU (1.5 billion kilometres). I have come to realise that Frontier is simply a staggering achievement even by today's standards.

Getting Frontier to work in a modern POD can be problematic, but fortunately there is a share-ware hack program called Dos-Box, which emulates ancient alien operating systems enabling one to install and revive classics.

Forgive the lack of a visual feast on show and imagine what grandeur would be present if Frontier were developed today. It would be simply staggering. As yet details on Elite 4 are extremely scarce and David Braben is reluctant to divulge. After 20 or so years of waiting, I'm almost ready to chew off my own arm. But I'm used to waiting, so I will damn-it.

Happy emulating...

Related Links
Frontier: Elite 2 (download)
Dos-Box (download)
EvE Sob

Related Soundtrack


Daddy Dingo said...

I drifted back to the same place on my blog a little while ago (

Reading your post just now put an odd notion in my head. What if CCP and Frontier Developments teamed up to make ELITE 4 or EVE 2 or EVE: THE ELITE or some thing?

OH MY! What a game it could be.



Redundant blogger said...

Linked. Thanx EvE Sob.

I read an interview about David Brabens take on CCPs' Universe and it wasn't very commendatory.

He stated that CCP hadn't evolved the original ideology, instead it had been expanded upon. I think this means that although EvE Online may appear advanced in many ways, it's still as simple as the original Elite concept. This analogy can be brought to bear many times across many games, ie: GTAIV is Pac-Man.

A little out of context as, at the time of the interview EvE Online was only three years old. I can see his point though; EvE Online is simply Elite online. Today however I'd have to disagree. EvE Online is much more than Elite Online as it's repertoire of abilities expands endlessly and pushes it's own boundaries ever further from any pigeon hole.

Elite 4 will be massively popular due to it's pedigree, even if it isn't worth terrific hyperbole. Whether it's also massively multi-player is yet to be discovered. In any case our worlds will be much, much richer with both possibilities available.

A former gamer coming out of retirement said...

I also spent much of my youth playing Frontier Elite 2.Ah good memories.

At least in EVE you don't have to wait to find enough crew for your Panther Clipper!

Pity that Frontier: First Encounters was so buggy. ELite 2 still is way better in my opinion.

I downloaded and messed about in Elite 2 using Dosbox a couple of years back.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to that emu! Finally I can play dragon lore and return to zork and hugos house of horrors again!!!!

Redundant blogger said...

You're welcome. Flashback with abundant amusement.

X1376 said...

Thanks a lot! I downloaded over weekend DOSBox and tried some old classics.

I try to pay a bit back by link to site with free old games to download, albeit it is in Slovak language ( If you look on the left side menu, follow the group Hry (Games) and its submenu (Adventury = Adventures, Akcne = Action, ...). Names of the games are in English and button Download as well. ;)

Anonymous said...

I bought my 1st ever computer (A BBC B micro) just to play the original Elite and was hooked on it for a long time!! Had Frontier on the Amstrad a few years later.

My 1st look at Eve was in 2004 and I was instantly hooked - it was just Elite in long trousers! Now though, Eve has grown way beyond the bounds of Elite, but Braben is correct, it still follows the same basic idea.