This page is here to give you an insight into my wonderful career on the various versions of Elite. There are a number of minor spoilers in this section, so you have been warned! In case you're wondering about the order of the commanders, it's in order of the release dates of the games in question.
Elite-A is Angus Duggan's amazing extension of BBC Elite, including loads of new ships, new equipment and giving the player the ability to buy new ships. I am running this game using the excellent BBC emulator PCBBC. I've noticed that there's a commander converter, which I might use to convert some of my old BBC commanders as soon as I manage to port the files.
I've not yet made huge progress in the game, but I have at least managed to get a ship that has a reasonable chance in a fight. I've equipped my Moray to a fairly good standard, and am doing delivery missions and trading to increase my cash.
The original Commander Jades, this commander is now quite rich, having found a number of good trading routes in the game, many of which were of dubious legality, and through several bouts of piracy with accompanying Fugitive status. I've delivered the 'Genesis' capsule, killed Zatrid (MTA), killed Zurid Pino and am currently embarked on a clockwise tour of the outer edge of the Jaftra galaxy, which hasn't been as easy as it would first appear due to needing to double back in some areas. This commander is now Elite, which I finally achieved on the 21st of December 2017!
This commander would have been Elite on FFE years ago!! If you're wondering how, click here.
You can download this Commander in C87 'EliteCom' format (for a real RISC OS machine or an emulator capable of reading ZIP files).
I started from the Ross 154 starting position, and initially worked for the Federation. However, my slow progress through the ranks was frustrating, and I decided to set off for the Empire to enlist in the Imperial Navy.
My promotions came quickly due to the large number of delivery missions from Facece (0,-4) to Vequess (0,-4) or Sohoa (0,-4). I made a large amount of money from illegal trading and assassinations, and was soon striking my former employers with the assassination of key personnel and bombing of their bases.
Now, 55 years after I first took off in my Eagle I am rich to the tune of some 15.4 million credits, and am still serving the Emperor in my quest for the coveted rank of Prince.
This file was lost after my Amiga's hard drive died.
For this commander, I started from the Lave starting position and sold the Cobra Mk 3 straight away for a Mk 1 to get a bit of cash. I paid off the big fine in the Empire and joined the Imperial Navy as soon as I arrived at Facece. I only paid the Federation when I needed to be in their territory on the business of the Emperor.
I am currently working towards improving my Imperial rank, and am trying to save up for a better ship than the one I have presently.
This file was lost after my Amiga's hard drive died.
I acquired a 'trainer' for FE2, and decided to create a flash ship to piss about in. I chose the Kestrel as it looks almost exactly the same as the SR-71 Blackbird, and is very fast. A flash bit of editing and a large cash bung created a deadly fighting machine with front and back 100MW Beam Lasers (plasma accelerators obscured my view when firing, and looked pretty crap from the outside) and 200 shields. The Class 4 Military Drive (yes, it really does exist, as does the Thargoid) gives it a range of about 160 light years.
As far as military operations are concerned, I decided to work for both sides, advancing one rank working for one power, and then advancing a rank for the other.
This file was lost after my Amiga's hard drive died.
Carrying on the Jades tradition, this was my first FFE commander. Just for a change, I decided to serve the Emperor. During the Soholian Fever outbreak I made a reasonable amount of money from providing medical relief, and later hit the headlines for causing the unfortunate demise of the resistance leader Dentara Rast at Tiliala (-4,-1). Shortly before delivering Junior the Dolphin a friend I was amused to read of my death at the hand of the authorities! I took the 'Argent's Quest' mission, but failed to complete the mission in time.
Following messing up the first 'Thargoid' mission by arriving too late (unfortunately there isn't actually any timing check in that mission), I am now flying around in the Argent's Quest, which AAAI haven't got round to taking off me. I now rarely use this commander, as I restarted as....
The return of Commander Razor started in much the same manner as with Jades. However, there were a number of differences. Following a request from my employers, the Imperial Navy, I killed the scientist Joreb Innitu to silence his wild theories about the Thargoids. I decided not to intervene in the Tiliala conflict, instead choosing to assassinate the person who took the Rast contract. Again, the authorities missed. I didn't.
I also took the 5 Furies statue to an exhibition in the Federation, and rescued some hitch hikers who had fallen foul of the Empire. This time, I got the timing on the 'Thargoid' missions right, and now am cruising around in a very, very, well-armed Thargoid ship. Unfortunately, the plot seems to have come to an abrupt halt, so now it's just like playing FE2... Strangely, my ship hasn't aroused even the slightest bit of interest from the press, even when I landed in the Imperial capital!
I hadn't played this commander for a while as being practically invulnerable to anything armed with lasers less powerful than a 20MW Beam Laser, and being able to obliterate an Imperial Explorer in a single shot, wasn't particularly challenging. Now that I'm doing a lot of researching for the Trade and Guide pages, I've found that this commander is actually quite handy for getting the data so have played it quite a bit in the last few months.
While creating my website, I found that it would be useful if I had a commander to check the mission details. Therefore, Commander Jades2 was born. So far, I've won the Wiccan Ware race, delivered medicines to Soholia, transported the Duval Artefact and assassinated Dentara Rast. As usual, I decided to follow the Imperial route in my military career.
Until I realised that this commander was ideally placed to check the 5 Furies and Jan Thikka missions, I hadn't actually played it since April 1997, a gap of twelve years! I've now completed both of those missions, and updated the relevant pages on the site. I'd been trying to decide whether I want to sell my Courier for something with longer range in order to get to Alioth in time for the Turner Requiem.
While I've recently been using the commander to test all of the Thargoid missions, I don't want another Imperial commander flying a Thargoid so the saves produced from the tests are effectively spinoffs that won't form part of the history of Jades2. Once I've finished the testing program the 'Thargoid' saves will be archived and play will continue from just after dropping Thikka off at Wafaphi. The Thargoid missions will be ignored and I'll get on with the career in the Imperial Navy.
Struck by the blatant pro-Empire bias of my FE2/FFE career to date, I decided to see what life was like working for the Federation (for research you understand, in case the Imperial Guard are reading...). Therefore Commander Maharg was born.
The key difference between this save and my usual pattern of play is that I chose not do the Thargoid missions at all, so I am using normal ships. I'll probably get rid of a the Puma and get a Boa instead.
In case you're wondering about the name of the save, yes it is Graham spelt backwards. I have a vague memory of having a BBC Elite commander by the name of Maharg too. Sadly the relevant information went out with my family's BBC B. I do have the disks still. Anyone got a spare BBC? ;-)
This commander takes his name from a legendary 21st Century war hero, and started out full of ambition to follow in his footsteps. Unfortunately, the small matter of an unpaid fine for smuggling illegal goods (radioactives from the military drive), and subsequent fines for launching without clearance and evasion of payment of a fine, meant that a glorious career in the Empire was impossible so he had to settle for the Federation instead.
I started this commander off because I was unable to play my other commanders due to technical problems (now resolved), and also because I wanted to play the missions on a fresh start using JJFFE 2.8 rather than one originating from v1.06. In addition, I needed to get a set of saves for all of the missions so that I can make them available for download.
The intrepid Commander Dubya has delivered medicines to Soholia, liberated the Duval Artefact, killed Joreb Innitu, given a lift to a couple of hitchhikers (or were they Federal spies?), killed the assassin of Dentara Rast (this time the assassin was flying a Falcon!), transported the 5 Furies and rescued Jan Thikka from the clutches of the Evil Empire™. I didn't bother with the Thargoid missions, though, as the only good alien is a dead alien!
Unfortunately, I lost all of my saves for this commander after my XP installation became corrupt and I was forced to reformat the hard drive. The moral of the story of all of my lost commanders is that when you get the idea of making all of them available for download from the Internet it's best not to put it off - or at least make sure you backup regularly...
Following the unfortunate demise of my Dubya save, I decided I needed another new-start Federal commander to check the early missions again and remind myself just how difficult the start can be! In between getting blown up by missiles, I managed to do the Soholia Medicine run and tested whether the two-way route between Gateway and Soholia was more profitable during the crisis than the effectively one-way route between Titican and Soholia. The extra time taken meant I missed the Wiccan Ware Race but I suspect that the reputation gain from that isn't much greater (if at all) than spending the time shipping Medicines instead.
I did manage to get the Class 2 Military Drive in time to do the Duval Artefact mission, and have been doing quite a bit of work for the Federal Military as well as civilian package runs while waiting for the next plot missions. Despite doing a few assassination missions, I didn't kill Dentara Rast - partly as a result of spending literally twenty minutes on an earlier hit chipping away at a Mantis whose commander had decided to spend all of his money on shields and an energy unit. After that, I decided it was better to sacrifice two more tons of cargo capacity upgrading to a 5MW Pulse Laser rather than giving myself RSI by sticking to the 1MW version...
That Vermilion Crest, incidentally, came from my completing a Classified Mission in the Saker - which took some doing even with a Naval ECM! It will be interesting to see if it has any effect on getting the earlier medals as I've always been careful to do them in order before.
After just over a year's happy flying, I recently replaced the Saker with a Gecko. This may seem like an unusual choice, but one of my other intentions with this save is to experiment with flying different ships for long periods of time in order to better review them.