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Elite Planet Name Generator

Elite is a seminal space trading video game, originally published by Acornsoft in 1984 for the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron computers. The game’s title derives from one of the player’s goals of raising their combat rating to the exalted heights of ‘Elite’. It was written and developed by David Braben and Ian Bell.” (source)

I met Elite as a child when I had a Commodore Plus/4. I also tried it on my Commodore 64 later but I could never play with it :) This game was a mystery for me: I didn’t know what to do, and when I tried to shoot another ship, I got killed in no time.

Several years passed… About two years ago I came across this blog post (in Hungarian) and I gave it another try. I downloaded a modern version of Elite called Oolite and I couldn’t stop playing for two weeks… This game is truly amazing.

I’ve read that all planet information (name, description, etc.) was generated since the creators only had 32 KByte RAM available. I was always interested in this name generator and finally I could find a Python implementation of the algorithm.

At http://automaticromantic.com/static/misc/pytxtelite.txt you can find a command-line version of Elite. pytxtelite, written by Ian Sparks, is a Python conversion of Ian Bell’s txtelite.c 1.2 (and parts of 1.4), containing the trading engine of the game. Since this includes the name generator (besides lots of other things), I decided to remove everything from it except the name generator part.

The result is available here.

Thanks Füli for the link of pytxtelite.

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