Frontier Elite II - What was in the Box?

Note: The following pertains to the North American release of Frontier Elite II, copyright David Braben 1993. Licensed by Konami, distributed by Gametek, Inc. 2999 N.E. 191 Street North Miami Beach, Florida 33180. Gametek is a registered trademark of IJE, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Oh, to have the full game, Frontier Elite II... in the box. For many FE2 players today, it is a dream. Indeed, there is now a whole new generation of FE2 players that have never seen the actual game box or read any of its treasures inside (they have simply downloaded the game off the net).

So, what did you get if you were luckily enough to buy a copy of the game when it was on the computer game store shelves in the first part of 1994... read on and see.

FE2 was produced at the height of the "Golden Age" of computer games. An era marked by the fact that there existed many small and unique companies that developed interesting niche products... Frontier was certainly one of them. Game developing teams put their all into their game product, and supplied much additional information. Such was the case with FE2 who's box was literally stacked to the lid with goodies. Indeed, the box was heavy, a good sign to most gamers of the day.

Below is a careful review of the contents. Caution, this page may be "Too Painful" to users who do not have Frontier Elite II. Please proceed at your own -mental- risk...

  1. BOX: 19.5 x 25.0 x 4.9 cm
  2. MANUAL: 14.5 x 20.5 x .9 cm. 106 pages, soft bound.
  3. STORIES OF LIFE ON THE FRONTIER: 14.5 x 20.5 x .7 cm. 82 pages, soft bound.
  4. GAZETTEER:14.5 x 20.5 x .4 cm. 40 pages, soft bound.
  5. QUICK STAR CARD: 17 x 22.3 x .1 cm. 4 pages, folds open.
  6. PROGRAM DISKETTE: 3.5" HD disk, the universe on a single floppy.
  7. STAR MAP: Beautiful full color star map of Frontier Space. 58 x 73 cm. (shown folded here). heavy high gloss poster style paper.

What can I tell'ya, this was a typical game box... except, that when your were bringing it to the clerk at the counter of the software store to pay for it - it felt heavy... no "air-box" like what you get today... There was a time when users savored a highly detailed manual almost as much as the program.

A very important part of the game as it brings you into the Frontier world. It taught you how to play and was your constant companion for the next week! This document was also needed to play the game as the program asks you copyright protection questions that can only be answered with the help of this book (unless you utilize the copyright crack file - produced later). The book contains Six Sections and Five Appendexes, many screen shots in grey scale.

Section One: Icons
Section Two: Navigation and Flight
Section Three: Combat
Section Four: The Shipyard
Section Five: Trading
Section Six: Mining
Appendix One: Shipyard Equipment
Appendix Two: Trade Items
Appendix Three: An Introductory Journey
Appendix Four: The Mechanics of Space flight
Appendix Five: Ship Identification

A delightful collection of short stories by various authors. This book contains 8 sagas with illustrations:

By new users reading these stories, the designers helped the player learn about the Frontier Elite II Universe. Definitely "required reading" by any real commander.

This unique booklet contains an introduction, followed by a brief history of the known galaxy from 1950 through the 2380s. The remainder of the book has detailed information on many systems, as well as a general account of major Sol System starports, planets, and moons. Again, this is an absolute must read. Below are the Star Systems reviewed in this interesting text.

AchenarArcturusEnanessLaedlaQuphiethTau Ceti
AckwadaArexackEpsilon EridaniLaveQuquveTiliala
AckanphiAyethtiExbeurLiaedinRiedquatWolf 630
AliothAymiayExioceLiaququRoss 128Zeaex
AltairBedahoExtilaPhekdaRoss 154Zearla
AndceethBeta HydriFacecePhiagreSiriusZeessze

This card was designed to get the new player up and running as rapidly as possible. The information covers running and installing the game, through game save and load options; as well as basic ship controls. The back page has a useful flow chart of icon operation and branching choices. Very helpful for the new player and returning player to Frontier!

Believe it or not, this is how programs used to come... No CD. In the good old days, programmers wrote something called "tight-code". This is very different than todays multi-CDs "bloat-ware" applications and games. FE2 is about 600K, that's a little over half of one megabyte. Amazing...

The star map was an added delight for the new FE2 game owner. This map is beautiful and highly detailed. It covers all star systems on the galactic sector code from -7,-9 in the lower left hand corner, through 5,4 in the upper right hand corner (interestingly, it is not centered on Sol). This valuable aid shows star system color and name on a dark blue background. The maps adds a great deal to the reality of the game... and looks great on your wall. To the right, the map is shown in front of a couple of comfy chairs to show scale. It was big! Several other space flight games of the era supplied maps, such as the venerable StarFlight II, Hard Nova, and Space Rogue, but nothing compared with what you got with Frontier. Alas, this is a killer to players that do not have the box - sorry guys. You may click on the map for a slightly enlarged view.

Okay, you're killing me... but I want to re-read this entire page (click here to return to top of this document).

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