Elite Players' Guide
Version 7 --- 24 March 1984

PREFACE [2015]







Function key slip:

Captions for Screen Dumps




PREFACE [2015]

This is the  "Players' Guide" for my and David Braben's 1984 BBC Micro Elite Game, authored in Acornsoft View mainly by me (David Braben contributed to the Trade Modes descriptions) and provided to Acornsoft for reference when playtesting the game and preparing the "Space Trader's Flight Trading Manual" and "The Dark Wheel" Novella accompanying the Acornsoft publication.

All not in-game-coded fictional elements (such as "Generation Ships", "Lance and Ferman Seek and Kill Missile System", Alien Races descriptions) present in "The Space Flight Traders Manual" and "The Dark Wheel" not present in this document or arising from my "Goat Soup" planet description strings were most probably authored by either Piers Dugeon or Robert Holdstock.
All not in-game-coded fictional elements within this document (such as Thargoid fear gland removal, "Coriolis Space Station" and the snake ship names) were authored by Ian Bell.

Not everything I put in the Players' Guide made it into the Acornsoft bundle and so into the Classic Elite Canon. I recall, for example, being particularly dispappointed that my joke description of the Moray Star Boat being adapted for piscatorial digitalia, referencing a standard 1980s UK student foodstuff, didn't make it in.

 Ian Bell 26 August 2015


 The view files ELITA25, ELITB25, ELITC25, ELITD25 form the text proper and are only seperate files to ease editing. They will each fit into memory while in Mode 3.
The file CPTNS25 contains the captions to be printed under the screen dumps in directory D. These screen dumps must appear in the manual.
The screen dumps in directory T are not strictly necessary for the manual and we leave it up to you whether they are used.
We "designed" the screen dump COVER with the packaging in mind.

In order to photograph the screen dumps you must first *RUN MODE4/5 (or simply type *MODE4/5). This is a machine code interrupt routine residing at page C so do not attempt to use user characters while it is present and DO NOT CHANGE MODE, type CLS if you want to clear the screen; BREAK to go back to normal. You should also move the display four characters right.
 This program should not be copied or distributed for purposes other than concerning ELITE without consulting us.

The file PRVIW25 is NOT to be printed in the manual.

Throughout the text, View highlight command 2 (*) usually implies italic rather than bold face.

The BASIC program PDATA prints out the coordinates, government type, and Tech Level of each system in the First Galaxy.


 In playing ELITE you assume the role of the pilot of a small star ship engaged in the hazardous profession of interplanetary trading. You begin your career with a manoeuverable Cobra Class star trader equipped, with a single forward-firing pulse laser, three homing missiles, and the sum of 100 Credits (CR), ready to embark from a space station in orbit around the planet Lave.
 By trading between solar systems you should be able to make sufficient profit to equip your ship with the sophisticated weapons and defences you will surely need; for, in these days of Galactic anarchy, each planetary system is a law unto itself and a space trader will face many dangers on the road to becoming One of The Elite.


 We suggest that you skim-read this manual while the game is loading, then follow the instructions below to become familiar with the hyperspace travel control and trading systems.
 A few tragically curtailed trading runs may then convince you of the need to practice 3D space flight and using the scanners. This can be safely done just outside the space station.
 You will then be ready to begin playing ELITE in ernest. Run goods between safe planets (such as Corporate States) at first to build up some capital, saving (to memory if not onto a cassette) after every successful mission.
 It may take you many hours of playing to be able to aquit yourself with honour against the larger enemy ships. But once you have passed the intial hurdle, you will be well on the way to becoming One of the Elite.


 After the game has loaded you will see a rotating space ship. This is the type of ship that you are equipped with, the Cobra Mk III. Ignore the "Load New Commander (Y/N)?" query and press the space bar to move onto the second title page which shows a Mamba Class star fighter.

 If you are playing with joysticks you should now press the fire button; otherwise press the space bar again.

 The game has started and you should be looking at a page of information describing the present game situation.
 This is the Status page and the information you see here will be important during the game. Do not bother memorizing this or making notes since you will be able to call this page back up at any time.

 It is important that you do not press the f0 key for the moment

 Now press the f4 key. You should see a map of the entire galaxy, each dot representing an individual solar system. Using the joystick or the cursor control keys, move the small cross over to one of the dots and hit the f6 key. You will then see information on the planet in that system (if it is still Lave you did not move the cross far enough). Use the f4 key again to go back to the chart and get information about some more planets.

 The larger of the crosses on the chart shows where your ship is and the circle shows how far it can jump with its current hyperspace fuel.
 Press the O key to move the small cross back to the larger one.
Now press the f5 key to obtain a chart showing your immediate neighbourhood in greater detail. You can move the smaller cross and use f6 in exactly the same way here as on the Galactic chart. If the cross moves off the screen, use the O key to bring it back. Notice also that the D key will tell you how far away the system nearest the small cross is.

 You will later use these charts to plan and execute your hyperspace jumps between solar systems.

 The rest of this section describes how to buy and sell items while docked with the space station. If you are impatient for a little action skip to the SPACE FLIGHT section and come back to this later.

 Press the f7 key to obtain a list of the goods available on Lave. This table shows how much they cost and how much of each is available.
 Now press the f9 key to obtain an inventory of your cargo hold contents. As you can see, you have 100 CR and some hyperspace fuel.
 Press f7 to see again what is available, then press f1.

 You are now being asked (at the bottom of the screen) how much food you want to buy. Type 12 and press RETURN to buy 12 tonnes of food. You will be asked, in turn, how much you want to buy of each item on that f7 list. Either type how much you want or, if you don't want any, just press RETURN.
 You can buy only 20 tonnes in total, and you have only 100 CR to spend. Also, you cannot buy more of a commodity than there is available. Your ship's trading computer will tell you when you make a mistake and ask you again how much to buy.
 Once you have gone through all the items, the trading computer will print up your inventory. Now press the f2 key to enter Selling mode. You will be asked:

 Food  12t Sell (Y/N)?

 If you want to sell your 12 tonnes of food type Y for Yes. Any other key will be interpreted as No. If you bought anything else while in Buying Mode you will be asked about that too. After you have answered for all your cargo, the inventory will be displayed again.

 Practice buying and selling. You do not have to have been in Buying mode before entering Selling mode, and vice versa.

 Make sure you have at least 25 CR of free cash, then hit the f3 key to display a list of the equipment available for your ship.
 You cannot buy any hyperspace fuel since you already have a full tank (7 light years worth) of it, but by typing 2 and pressing RETURN you can buy a homing missile for your ship. You will then have your full complement of four missiles (as shown by the four missile status indicators at the bottom left of the dials). You cannot as yet afford any of the other items, so hit any non-numeric key to return to the Status Page. Refer to the Equip Ship section for a description of these items.


 Now you are ready to leave the space station. If you are using joysticks, move the stick to the centre. Then take a deep breath and press the f0 key. You are now heading towards the planet Lave, looking out of the forward view from the cabin of your space ship.
 Hold down the ? key until your forward velocity (shown on the top right dial bar) is zero.

 Your ship is flown by controlling roll, dive/climb, and speed with the following keys:

               < (or joystick  left)   for     clockwise roll

               > (or joystick right)   for anticlockwise roll

               X (or joystick  back)   for climb
               S (or joystick forward) for  dive

               SPACE BAR to increase your speed
               ?     to decrease your speed

 It may take you a little while to get used to these.

 Notice the small dot moving around inside the large circle on the dials (just above the large 'S'). This is your compass; the dot corresponds to the position of the space station. If the dot is green then the station is behind you. When the dot is yellow and in the centre of the circle, you should be able to see the space station directly in front of you.

 Practice rotating the space station off the screen and using the compass to find it again.

 You might see some Cobra Class ships. These are other traders like yourself, and will not harm you unless you shoot at them. If you do this they may run away, but they may instead attack. Use these for combat practice if you wish, but do not expect the space station to turn a blind eye to such unruly behaviour. Nothing will attack you while you are within sight of the space station - unless you make a nuisance of yourself.

 It is not possible to land on the planet, and flying into it is fatal. The altimeter shows your height above the planet's surface, and you should not let it fall too low.

 If at any time you hit the planet or space station and die, repeat the game start procedure up to the Status Page, then launch by pressing f0.

 It may prove advisable to practise docking now (with the space station that you have just left) rather than after jumping to the next system. This process is described at the end of the following section.


 You can hyperjump to any planet system within your fuel range circle at any time after leaving the space station. You may have noticed that the f4,f5,f6,f7,f8 and f9 keys still work during space flight but that f0,f1,f2 and f3 are used differently. Use f4 or f5 to display a chart and move the smaller cross to the planet you want to jump to, then hit the H key. After a short delay, the hyperjump motors will engage.

 When your ship appears in the new system it will be far away from the planet. You may see the sun of the system. If you fly too close to this your cabin temperature will increase with possibly fatal results. The compass is now tracking the planet and you should fly towards this until your ship's computer picks up the space station's beacon signals and reengages the compass to track that instead.

 Depending upon the government type of a system, you may well be attacked by pirates while heading for its planet. The government types, listed from the safest to the most dangerous, are:

                Corporate State

 Once you reach the space station you must dock with it. This requires two skills: getting into the right approach position, and matching roll rates while flying through the slot. You may find keyboard controls more usable for one or both of these. See the Game Control section for details of how to change between joystick and keyboard controls during a game.
 In order to dock you must fly through the slot in one face of the space station. Since this face is always the one facing the planet, one way of lining up for the correct approach is to fly up close to the space station, then fly towards the planet until the space station is directly behind you, stop, and turn around.
 You should have the slot as nearly horizontal as possible during your final entry. It is possible to survive hitting the space station if your velocity on impact is not too high, so dock slowly.

 Once docked you can sell your cargo, if you so wish, and buy more fuel or ship equipment.

 (The J key will move you a large distance forward thus skipping over a few minutes a game time. It will not work if you are too near the sun or the planet, or if there are any other ships in the vicinity.)


 The Laser in the current view is controlled by the A key (or the joystick fire button), and more than one hit will be needed to destroy most things. Observe the laser temperature bar while firing the laser; the lasers will not fire when this is too high.

 Refer to the diagrams on the opposite page >(????)< showing the scanner system. Since the space station is at rest in space (apart from its rotation), it is a good object to use to experiment with the scanners. Notice how roll moves it up and down on both the side and top scanners while dive/climb moves it from side to side on the top scanner and in circles on the side scanner.
 When the dots representing an object are within the cones on both scanners, that object is visible on the front screen.

 When you have shot a few ships or asteroids (the number printed when you do this is your present cash - see Bounty Hunting), you may like to try using your homing missiles on them.

 Before a missile can be fired it must be locked onto a target. When fired, it will home in on that target and destroy it.
 The Targetting sequence is engaged by hitting the T key. One of the square missile status indicators will then turn yellow. When any possible target enters the cross-hair region the missile will lock onto it, the missile status block turning red. A beep will sound to inform you of this.
 The M key will then fire the missile. The U key (Unarm) will abort the sequence at any time before firing.
 The missile launch mechanism is very reliable and hardly ever jams.

 As well as using the front view, you can look to the rear, left, or right of your ship. The keys to change views are:

                                f0  Front view
                                f1  Back  view
                                f2  Left  view
                                f3  Right view

These views do not initially have lasers and so no sights are shown. However, lasers for these views can be purchased with the profits from your trading. You can also upgrade your pulse lasers for the more powerful beam lasers. Missiles can be locked onto targets in any view.

Your ship is also equipped with fore and aft shields and energy banks. The shields protect your ship from damage and are recharged from the energy banks. When the energy goes to zero your ship is destroyed. Using your lasers or ECM will also deplete the energy banks.
Once a shield is depleted, enemy lasers and missiles striking that shield will take energy directly from the energy banks and may destroy items of cargo or ship fittings. The ship's computer will keep you informed of any damage and will also warn you when your energy is dangerously low.

Enemy ships have two types of weapons that they will use against you.
Lasers are the principle armament of all space fighters. If a laser bolt hits your ship you will either hear it glancing off your shields or, if these are down, damaging your ship. It is best to maintain a reasonable speed during space battles since your foes will find it very easy to target on a stationary object.

Missiles are extremely effective weapons carried by the larger star ships. Your Ship's Computer will warn you when one is fired at you. Unless your ship is fitted with ECM you will then have to outmanoeuvre the missile, which will home in on you continuously. Since missiles are faster than you are, your only hope is either to shoot it (one hit will do), or destroy it with a missile of your own. If a missile hits you, it can almost completely exhaust a fully charged shield and, if your shields and energy are low, may well finish you off.

Some star pilots are braver than others and pirate ships may break off and run in the face of stiff resistance. Some will just keep on coming, though; especially Thargoid vessels, whose captains have had their fear glands surgically removed.
No space brigand will dare pursue you to the space station, however, since the authorites there take a dim view of piracy.

If you want to freeze the game during combat (perhaps to answer the phone, eat, or sleep) press the COPY key. The game may be resumed by pressing DELETE.    


This page may be called up at any time by pressing the f8 key. It shows the current situation.
The commander's name in the heading is the current Default File name (see Saving On Tape).
The 'Present System' refers to the planetary system which the your ship is currently in; while the 'Hyperspace System' refers to the system onto which the hyperspace is locked.
There are four possible 'Conditions': DOCKED means that you are docked in a space station at the Present System; GREEN means that that there is no immediate danger; YELLOW indicates enemy ships in the vicinity; Condition RED signals a high-risk on-going death-type combat situation.

'Legal Status' refers to your Galactic Police record. If this is 'clean' you have nothing to worry about, but as an 'Offender' or ,still worse, a 'Fugitive' you are likely to be attacked by police ships (see Illegal Goods).
The 'Rating' is a dispassionate assessment your performance in combat so far.
Your current cash and fuel are also displayed, along with a list of ship fittings. The contents of the cargo bay are listed in the INVENTORY page.


The main source of income for brave but honest starship owners is the plying of the interstellar space routes, taking advantage of the food shortages on heavily industrialised planets, for instance, by selling them food bought cheaply on nearby agricutural planets. However, because of the recent decline in the Galactic Government, piracy is on the increase, and only a few traders dare leave the more secure star systems. For this reason, quite high prices may be paid for supplies.

On an agricultural planet, a wily trader would normally fill his cargo bay with food, then make a large profit selling to a rich industrial planet. He would take high-tech goods to a low-tech. agricultural planet, making an even greater profit, and so on.
Any self-respecting trader will soon become acquainted with the prices to be expected on the various systems, but to speed the novice on his way to becoming One of the Elite, some average prices are listed below. (These were obtained from the last official Galactic Survey, so are now quite old, but most experienced traders say they are about right.)

          ITEM                                                AVERAGE
                                                              PRICE /CR

       Food         (Simple organic products,see below)          4.4 / tonne
       Textiles     (Unprocessed fabrics)                        6.4     "
       Radioactives (Ores and biproducts)                       21.2     "
    *  Slaves       (Usually humanoid)                           8.0     "
       Liquor/Wines (Exotic spirits from unearthly flora)       25.2     "
       Luxuries     (Perfumes, Spices, Coffee...)               91.2     "
    *  Narcotics    (Tobacco,Arcturan Megaweed)                114.8     "

       Computers    (Intelligent machinery)                     84.0     "
       Machinery    (Factory and farm equipment)                56.4     "
       Alloys       (Industrial Metals)                         32.8     "
    *  Firearms     (Small-scale artillery,sidearms etc.)       70.4     "
       Furs         (Includes leathers,Millennium Wompom Pelts) 56.0     "
       Minerals     (Unrefined rock containing trace elements)   8.0 /  kg
       Gold                                                     37.2     "
       Platinum                                                 65.2     "
       Gem-stones   (Includes jewellery)                        16.4 /   g
       Alien Items  (Artifacts, Weapons etc.)                   27.0 / tonne

 * - These items are defined as illegal by the Galactic Government, so trading in them is risky.

 Though different races have widely varying dietary requirements, most require a largely organic base to their diet. Higher tech. cultures process the grain and meat they buy into more attractive forms before consumption.

 "Slaves" are measured by the tonne in galactic trading. This may seem a little strange, but it includes the cryogenic suspension system necessary to keep them alive during the space travel. The slave trade, once almost eliminated by the Galactic Government, is now returning, despite the efforts of the Galactic Police Force to suppress it.


 There are several ways to improve your ship. You must be docked at a space station with a sufficiently high technology Level to supply the equipment you require. Pressing f3 will then display the Equip Ship Menu.

 Fuel is always available. You can refill your tanks to full (7 Light Year) capacity but not "top it up a little".

 Missiles are always available, though no more than four may be carried.

 One Cargo Bay Extension can be bought, increasing the hold space from 20 to 35 tonnes. It is available at any Tech Level.

 An Extra Energy Unit may be fitted at Tech level 8 or higher, and doubles the energy bank replenishment rate. This is the Energy Unit with the copper coloured top. No other unit looks like it, or lasts like it.

 An ECM System can be fitted only at Tech level 2 or higher. It may be used any number of times. When activated (by pressing the E key), ECM destroys all missiles in the vicinity - including any that you have fired. It is possible that enemy ships, especially traders, will have this and use it against your missiles. Your ship's computer displays an E below the compass when it detects ECM broadcasts.

 Pulse Lasers may be fitted in any view at Tech level 3 or above.

 Beam Lasers may be fitted in any view at Tech level 4 or above. These are superior to Pulse Lasers If a Beam Laser replaces a Pulse Laser the price of the Pulse Laser is refunded after the Beam one is fitted.

 Fuel Scoops may be fitted to the hull at a Tech level 5 or higher world. These enable a ship to obtain free hyperspace fuel by "skimming the sun" - flying close to it at high velocity.  Since Fuel Scoops utilise powerful electro-magnetic fields to guide the solar wind into their converters, they may also be used to pick up miscellaneous space debris. Almost all pirate vessels are fitted with these so that they can blast their prey apart and sift amoung the wreckage, rather than attempting to dock with a hostile craft.  Once Fuel Scoops are installed, you can scoop up an object (such as a cargo canister) by keeping it in the lower half of the screen view area while flying right up to it.

 An Escape Capsule can be fitted in place of your cabin at any world of Tech level 6 or higher. If ESCAPE is then hit during combat the capsule will be jettisoned from the ship and fly to the space station under automatic control. Your cash will be preserved but all your cargo and ship equipment will be lost. However, this item comes with a widely recognised insurance cover which will guarantee you a new Cobra Class ship, equipped in like manner. The contents of the cargo hold is exempt from this protection.
 Since the unique IR signature of a ship's hull is used to file police records, abandoning your ship in this way will clear your police record.
 It is possible that escape capsules may be seen leaving enemy ships. These will head for the planet and cannot harm you unless you crash into them.

 An Energy Bomb may be installed at Tech level 7 or higher and can be usedonly once. It is activated by the TAB key and will destroy all other ships, asteroids, and missiles in the vicinity.

 Docking Computers, available from Tech level 9, are fitted to the ship's flight control system, and enable it to dock the ship automatically. The auto-docking sequence is triggered by the C key and, due to lack of memory, has no graphic effect.

 The Intergalactic Hyperdrive can be obtained only at Tech level 10 or higher, and can only be used once. It will take you to a random system in a whole new galaxy (ie. a new f4 map). There are 8 such galaxies and making 8 jumps will return you to your starting galaxy. The Inter-Galactic Hyperdrive is engaged by pressing CTRL and H simultaneously.
         ITEM                     TECH LEVEL          PRICE / CR
         Fuel                        Always             Varies
         Missile                     Always                 25
         Large Cargo Bay             Always                400
         ECM System                       2                500
         Pulse Laser                      3                400
         Beam Laser                       4                750
         Fuel Scoops                      5                425
         Escape Capsule                   6               1000
         Energy Bomb                      7                450
         Extra Energy Unit                8                800
         Docking Computers                9                750
         Galactic Hyperdrive             10               5000



 There are several ways for a star pilot to gain cash. Some are described below:

 Trading covers a broad spectrum, from plying the safe (but finanancially comparatively unrewarding) trade routes between quiet agricultural and industrial planets, to gun-running between anarchies. A high profit can be made from trading in the three illegal commodities: firearms, narcotics, and slaves; but the added risks arising from a police record are considerable.

 Piracy is a high-risk profession, requiring fuel scoops and considerable combat experience. Pirates frequently prey on other pirates, and the space stations do not mind this, but will protect any traders they might see under attack.

 Bounty Hunting is the most dangerous profession of all. The Galactic Banks, who often insure the larger trading convoys, abhor pirates and will pay a bounty for any pirate ship destroyed.
 A ship's computer will transmit photographic evidence of any kill to the planet side branch of one of the major Bank chains. The IR signature of the destroyed ship is then tallied with all known pirate vessels, and if a match is found the pilot's account will be credited.
 Bounty hunters usually have Cobra Class ships to masquerade as traders. They simply hyperspace into a system (typically an anarchy) and wait to be attacked, ensuring that they have sufficent hyperspace fuel for a quick escape.

 Asteroid Mining requires the fitting of fuel scoops and special Mining Lasers. The pilots of these ships (known as "Belters") search for asteroids and, on finding one, use their Mining Laser to fragment it into pieces small enough to be taken into the cargo bay.
 Mining Lasers are not supported by BBC Cassette Elite.


 While docked with a space station, you may save your game position on tape so that, by reloading, you can begin a game in the same system with the same ship equipment etc..
 To save a position, press the @ key. You will then be asked:


 Type in the name you wish to save the positiom file under and press RETURN. Valid file names can be up to seven characters long with upper or lower-case letters.
 The number printed during a tape save is the Competition Entry Number.

 When a position is saved, it automatically becomes the position from which any new game starts (called the "Default Position"). This means that you do not need to actually save onto a cassette to ensure that all further games started during the current play session begin at a given point.

 To load a saved position from tape you should hit the Y key when the first (Cobra) title page appears at the start of the game. You will then be asked for the name of the file to load. Once loaded, this position will also become the Default Position so you will not need to load it again for each new game. The ESCAPE key will abort a tape load.

 If you simply press RETURN when asked for a file name, the most recent file name will be used again.


 While the game has been "frozen" by the COPY key, the following keys may be used to change the way the game is played:

 The Q key will disable the sound effects.
 The S key will enable the sound effects.
 The K key will switch between Joystick and Keyboard control, and back again.
 The J key will reverse the way the Joysticks are interpreted so te26ehat they may be held either way round.
 The ESCAPE key will restart the game (from the current Default position).

 For the more advanced player:
 The Y key will reverse the interpretation of only the Y-channel of the Joystick and may be used in conjunction with J.
 The F key will disable and reenable the automatic damping of roll and dive/climb while in keyboard control.
 The A key will disable and reenable the Recentring in roll and dive/climb control whereby a small ammount of clockwise roll (or climb) kills any anticlockwise roll (or dive), and vice versa.




        <       - *     Clockwise Roll
        >       - *     Counterclockwise Roll
        S       - *     Dive
        X       - *     Climb
        SPACE   -       Increase Speed
        ?       -       Decrease Speed

        f0      -       Front View

        f1      -       Back View
        f2      -       Left View
        f3      -       Right View


        A       - *     Fire Laser
        T       -       Target Missile
        M       -       Fire Missile
        U       -       Unarm Missile
        E       -       ECM
        TAB     -       Energy Bomb
        ESCAPE  -       Escape Capsule
        C       -       Docking Computer


        H       -       Hyperspace (CTRL-H for Intergalactic Jump)
        D       -       Distance to System
        O       -       Home Cursor Cross
        ####    - *     Cursor Cross Control
        >(Put symbols for arrow keys here)<

        f0      - +     Launch from station
        f1      - +     Buy Cargo
        f2      - +     Sell Cargo
        f3      - +     Equip Ship
        f4      -       Galactic Chart
        f5      -       Local Cluster Chart
        f6      -       Data on System
        f7      -       Market Prices
        f8      -       Status Page
        f9      -       Inventory


        J       -       Game Skip
        @       - +     Initiate Tape Save
        COPY    -       Freeze Game
        DELETE  -       Resume Game

                          While The Game Is Frozen

        A       -       Keyboard Recentring Toggle

        F       -       Keyboard Damping Toggle
        K       -       Keyboard/Joystick Toggle
        Y       -       Reverse Joystick, Y-channel
        J       -       Reverse Joystick, both channels
        Q       -       Disable Sound Effects
        S       -       Enable  Sound Effects
        ESCAPE  -       New Game


        * means Joystick alternative
        + means only while docked

                           =  End of Main Text  =

Function key slip:

                       Buy       Sell      Equip       Long       Short      Data      Market     Status
          Launch      Cargo     Cargo      Ship       Range       Range       on       Prices      Page     Inventory
 ELITE      or          or        or        or        Chart       Chart     System
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Captions for Screen Dumps


 This ship is most commonly used by traders, although a few have been captured by pirates, so a wise commander will be wary of even the quietest looking ships. The standard Cobra hull is equipped with four missile pods, separate front and rear shields, and provision for a cargo bay extension which increases the capacity of the hold.


 These large ponderous vessels have up to a hundred tonnes of cargo space and frequently form the backbone of trading convoys. Though slow, they have very powerful shields and lasers, and most pirates are wary of them.
Python Cruisers are often pirate-owned (occasionally after a mutiny by the crew), and should be treated with caution. load cptns25


 This is the standard ship used by the Galactic Police Force. Being fairly small, it carries only one missile, but is very fast. The police force are not directly associated with the space stations, but are an independent agency, financed by the rapidly collapsing Galactic Government. Their main aim is to prevent trading in items still declared illegal by this Galactic Government, but they are being ignored in these rebellious days, even by most space stations, since a great deal of profit can be made from trading in such goods. They will try to come to their comrades' assistance if they are attacked, and will reap their revenge on a ship that destroys one of their own.


 This is the pirates' answer to the Viper Patrol Ship; fast and manoeuvrable but large enough to carry two homing missiles and ten tonnes of cargo.


 This one man assault ship was originally designed to Galactic Navy specifications as a city-strafing, reconnaisance, and infantry air-support vessel. The hull is too small for the installation of missile pods, fuel scoops, or hyperspace motors, and the Sidewinder must therefore be carried through hyperspace by jump-capable vessels.
 It is favoured by pirates since its small size and high speed make it an elusive target in combat.


 These are carried by most of the larger ships, both pirates and traders. They are quite powerful weapons, and should be used with care since even the large Cobra class traders (like your ship) can carry only four.
 Missiles have no shields, and may be destroyed by a single laser bolt. Alternatively, another missile can be used against them, or they may be destroyed by ECM broadcasts ( see Equip Ship).


 Most wily traders, and many pirates, have this sophisticated device fitted to their ships for use in emergencies. It is equipped with small solid fuel rocket motors and a simple guidance computer, which will fly it to the nearest planet, taking the crew to safety. Unfortunately, since it is so small, both the ships's cargo and equipment must be left behind and most pilots will not hit the panic button until the last possible moment.


 For many years these chromalloy canisters have been used to store cargo during space flights. They hold approximately a tonne of goods kept under standard atmospheric pressure (as defined by the ancient Galactic Government), and can withstand even the roughest handling in star-bases.
 Tales have been told of such barrels being discovered after over a hundred years on barren moons, their contents still intact even though the ship carrying them was completely destroyed. Because of this resilience, pirates have been known to plunder even the largest of trading ships, and pluck surviving barrels from the wreckage.


 Each planet has a few Coriolis Class space stations in orbit around it. These are used as cargo transition points between interplanetary trading vessels and the planet's surface-orbit shuttle craft. They also provide entertainment and lodging for those star pilots who do not have the time or inclination to go "planet-side".
Space stations will typically have a small fleet of ships for their own defence, which they may risk to assist a trader if they see him attacked.
 They also have very powerful shields to protect against both attack and failed dockings.


 These are large chunks of rock, usually containing valuable trace elements for which they are mined by "Belters".
 Since they are a navigational hazard, a pittance is paid by the Galactic Banks for asteroid clearance.


 The Thargoids are a highly technologically advanced insectoid race and are usually at war with most other life forms. They are fearless, utterly ruthless in combat, and appalling conversationalists. Though most of the Thargoid Space Fleet is currently engaged by the Galactic Navy in Intergalactic Space, a few of the smaller battle ships make occasional sorties into Human Space. These ships are extremely fast for their size and invariably have ECM (this was originally a Thargoid invention to counter Navy Missiles, subsequently copied by the Navy from captured Thargoid ships).
 Additionally, most Thargoid battle ships carry a few small remote-controlled ships, each equipped with a single pulse laser. It is rumoured that the Galactic Navy are designing their own remote-controlled fighter, and will pay well for Thargoid ones to study.
 The Galactic Banks will pay a handsome bounty for any Thargoid battle ships destroyed, since they suspect that the Thargoids may be behind the frequent disappearances of trading ships from the hyperspace lanes.


 Described below are some items and ideas that may well find their way into Second Processor and Disk Elite (and possibly the Electron version).  We list them here for consideration when preparing artwork and The Novel.


may be fitted in any view like pulse and beam ones. They may be used, to considerable effect, in combat but their primary purpose is to fragment asteroids into splinters small enough to be taken into the cargo bay (through the fuel scoops). These are then carried to a space station, and sold (as Minerals). Such asteroid miners are termed "Belters".


 will simply be more powerful Beam Lasers.


will be small, fast, accurate missiles which do not need to be targeted. On firing, they will home in on any missile homing in on the player.


are large unarmed craft which run cargo between the planet and its orbitting space stations. The naughty old player can shoot these and reap a rich harvest of cargo canisters. Of course, the space station might have something to say about it....
There may be some new space station types and there will certainly be more ship types, including the following:


This is the ship favoured by those Bounty Hunters who do not masquerade as traders - if they can afford it. Although it has a moderately large hull, there are only two tons of cargo space. The rest of the hold is packed with sophisticated weaponry, defences, and navigational equipment. The living quarters are large, spacious and usually well furnished, since it is common for Bounty Hunters to live in their ship for months or even years at a stretch while pursuing their quarry. Extensive Owndirt Incorporated Recycling Systems and the ship's Fuel-Scoops-as-standard feature ensure that the ship is completely self-sufficient.


This rare ship is used almost exclusively by aquatic space-faring races since it is designed for undersea travel as well as space and standard-atmospheric flight. It can withstand depths of up to 10,000 meters, is usually fitted with powerful lights, and though a single missile-pod can be fitted within the hull, two torpedo tubes are usually favoured.
The cabin may be flooded either to act as an air lock or for the convenience of water-breathing crew (the controls are designed primarily for piscatorial digitalia). There are seven tons of empty hold space for bouyancy which may hold cargo during space flight.


This ship is a new design intended to superseed the old Python line of Cruisers, founded by Space Commodore Monty many decades ago. It is marginally faster and offers a cargo capacity of 125 tonnes.

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