Elite 2 was released for the Amiga, ST and PC back in 1993 as Frontier: Elite 2 – but what may surprise you is that a C64 and BBC version was also in the works too by David Braben and Ian Bell.
However, this was way back in 1985, and shortly after the release of the first game. There was a snippet in The One magazine where David Braben talks with several other developers about their history (See scans) and explains a lot about the development.
Essentially, the game was got into an almost playable state and even included shaded planets in it, along with spaceships flying about. Unfortunately it was far too slow and they decided that no-one would want to play a game that ran at 5 or 6 frames a second. They also felt too restricted by the memory of both machines too.
David confirmed that the ideas between the final released version and this 1985 development were closely related, but the released version was far more ambitious in comparison.
The game was completely abandoned, and was never shown to any software houses as a result.
So could anything still potentially exist of both the BBC and C64 editions that could be shown? Hopefully we will get hold of David Braben to see if anything may still exist – but we suspect that the early development is now long gone.
Contributions: Fabrizio Bartoloni, Ross Sillifant