Although originally known as Elite III (Elite II was an unpublished upgrade version of Elite for the BBC Mirco) this rework of the BBC disk version of Elite by Angus Duggan became known as Elite-A with the release of the Frontier sequels. The release of Elite-A was permitted in 1997 (AFE FAQ).
The player begins as the pilot of a humble Adder (with a maximum range of only 6.0 LY) and can purchase superior ships after earning significant money. Other notable changes include the addition of a contract system for the delivery of special cargos as quickly as possible.
Purchased equipment now occupies cargo space, reducing space for trade goods. Purchase of extra cargo bays is not permitted. Instead that 'equipment slot' in the 6502 code is taken by the introduction of an IFF system that can be purchased to enhance the scanner - additional colour information on the 'golf-clubs' indicates the intent of other ships (Elite-A hints). The notorious energy bomb of classic Elite is replaced by a long-range random emergency hyperspace unit.
Several ships with hyperspace capability are available for purchase:
|Adder||6.0 LY||8 TC||31.0 kCr|
|Gecko||7.0 LY||9 TC||40.0 kCr|
|Moray||8.0 LY||11 TC||56.5 kCr|
|Cobra Mk1||6.0 LY||14 TC||75.0 kCr|
|Iguana||7.5 LY||21 TC||131.5 kCr|
|Ophidian||7.0 LY||24 TC||147.0 kCr|
|Chameleon||8.0 LY||35 TC||225.0 kCr|
|Cobra Mk3||7.0 LY||42 TC||287.0 kCr|
Note that the Cargo capacities listed in Elite-A's Encyclopedia indicate the cargo capacity remaining after 5-6 TC have been occupied by typical additional equipment purchases (e.g. 0 TC for cargo for a typical Asp Mk 2).
Apart from game-play issues, the maximum range does not exceed 12.7 LY due to a limit in the square-root calculation used.
A version of Elite-A is also available from Ian Bell's web site.