Watch for MANY changes here in the near future!!
PLEASE NOTE: Information on this site is VERY old, until it is updated don't consider any of it accurate. Thanks. AW 9/25/99
I accelerated my Cobra Mark III to fifteen thousand kilometers per hour, and gained altitude. Heading towards the cliff, my heart began to pound. The sounds of a battle could already be heard. It was time. The night of August first, 3251. Ten thousand credits riding on this contract -- got to do it right. Something told me that this time, there wasn't going to be an easy way out.
The climate control whined as it tried futilely to remove the stench of nervousness. Cold sweat ran down my neck as the cliff edge approached at a little over 15000kph. Five or six ships showed already on the scanner, all below me. The edge. Over it, apply full throttle, dive. The target! Amidst the flare of fusion engines, laser fire, and missile explosions -- horribly beautiful in a pale blue light. Ground vehicles made their way hurriedly out from the base. Running from me and my cargo of destruction. With a trembling hand and a quaking finger the base is set as the target for the four missiles on board my ship. Dive, dive! The air screams past, a low rumble permeating the ship and jarring my bones into their sockets. Dive! Within 25km missiles are ready to be set free. A tremendous jolt wrenches the ship from behind. Dozens of red lights begin to flash, a laser hit. My finger rests solidly on the control that will send death flying to greet hundreds of people...
Frontier: First Encounters
Welcome to my Frontier & First Encounters page!
What is it?
Where can I get a copy?
Zat Solo's Frontier site, TONS of links
What is it?
First Encounters is the sequel to Frontier: Elite II, which in turn is the sequel to Elite. You may have also heard it called Elite III. It came out in 1995, and was greeted with much enthusiasm by past players of Frontier and new ones alike. Enthusiasm rapidly turned to dismay, however, when a huge mass of bugs were discovered in the game. Gametek moved to create patches to remedy the grumbles, but it was too late. You know what they say about first impressions. The game suffered under negative publicity due to the bugs in early editions. To the credit of its critics, these were no small bugs. The game would crash every so often. Thrusters got stuck on when you refueled the internal tank on occasion. Military drives simply did not function at all. New ships would sometimes not work when purchased. The "special" missions were buggy, causing crashes and general weirdness. If you even had an elite rating of Competent or Above Average, you could not even usually get a simple Military Delivery mission, even in-system. Sound was messed up, music overran itself. Permits didn't work, some "payment" options when accepting routine delivery missions didn't work...it was a real mess. The game was playable, but barely, and it was really irritating to put up with.
Luckily, Gametek got it all together and released patches and remastered versions of the game. The patches are available at Gametek's Site, but these will only work on the UK versions. People "lucky" enough to have the U.S. version of the game, be it the CD version or floppy, must obtain either a remastered CD or new disks from Gametek. You can E-Mail them or you can get one of the tech support numbers from their site. The tech-support number for the U.S., down in Florida, is (910)222-5190. They have an 800 number also, which you can find in your "Further Stories of Life on the Frontier" book in the back, but when I tried it it didn't work. The upgrades are free of charge.
When you begin in the game you are basically helpless. Take my advice, and before you even *think* about taking off, get rid of those KL-760 missiles and get the nicer ones! You may also want to consider buying a chaff unit, but usually I forgo that and save for the ECM which is *much* nicer and takes up less room overall. Also, even though the MV1 and MV2 Assault Missiles appear nicer, and do cause more damage and fly longer, get the Naval missiles instead. You still get a lot of bang, but they cannot be destroyed by any ECM you can buy. And *get rid of that pulse laser*. It's acceptable for staying alive, but only if you're facing an easy target or you're out of missiles. Your first priority should be to get an upsized ship with at least a 1mw beam laser fitted. To do this, go to Old Curie and take the race mission to Alioth. Don't depart right away, though. Load your ship up with as much medicine as you can afford to carry (not much at this point). Then take off. Do *not* head to Alioth! Go to Soholia, where there is a plague, and sell that medicine on the bulletin board. Load up another ton of Hydrogen fuel and fly off to Alioth, and go to Ghandi. Good, you probably still won anyway. Now, pick up more medicine here and go back to Soholia. Sell it to the same individual (notice how you get more for subsequent tons sold) and then go to Titican. Buy your medicine there, cart it back to Soholia. Check the bulletin boards and newspapers every step of the way. If while you are doing this you spot one of those $7000 or so delivery missions, go for it, but come back and ship more medicine afterwards. Do this until the guy stops buying it off the board. Then load up some fuel and head to the Sol system, or Achernar depending on your empire preference. Start taking military missions, and wait around for a special $50000 mission. That should get you into a nice ship fairly quickly, like a Viper.
Details on the game.
The game has good graphics, runs fast enough on my Pentium 66 with only 8mb RAM, and is really fun to play. You really get sucked into the game, and you can really feel like you are doing the stuff for real. The game is *huge* in the size of space it covers, and there is always something to do. There are some really neat details on the planets and stations, and the ships look very good also. You can communicate with other ships, send messages to bases, and also do general broadcasts if your ship breaks down or you are attacked. The following screenshots should give you a somewhat better idea.
Ready for takeoff.
The Viper MK II...one of the best second-ships to buy!
Your basic 3-D holographic navigation map.
Did I do that??
Where can I get a copy?
With a game that was released a year ago, and that got less-than-stellar (isn't that punny?) publicity due to its bugs, it is going to be harder to get than most games. But I do reccomend the effort. For one thing, it's probably going to be cheap, and for another, it's one of the best purchases you'll make. If you are fond of RPGs, you'll like this one. If you put the minor bugs that still exist in the finished version aside, you have an immense game that you will honestly spend weeks at a time playing. I've had it for a year now, just about, and I still play it very often. I still play Frontier even :-). You can try Gametek's Site, or call some local stores or mail order houses. Good luck, and all I can say is you won't regret it.
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