Frontier: First Encounters

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Frontier: First Encounters is the successor to the successful games Elite and Frontier: Elite 2 . The game was developed by Frontier Developments under the direction of David Braben and published in 1995 by GameTek for DOS .


First Encounters took over the proven gameplay of its predecessors. The player takes on the role of a spaceship captain and can freely explore the game universe. You can choose to work as a bounty hunter, paid killer, trader or take on courier flights for espionage organizations. In contrast to Frontier, the initial phase has been shortened significantly, you can now move on to the interesting part of the game relatively quickly.

Differences from Frontier

  • Expansion of the ship pool with new types
  • General increase in reach by 50%
  • Implementation of a real, albeit optional, course of action
  • slight visual changes

Development history

However, the title still contained numerous serious errors when it was published and could not convince either fans or critics. It was only months after the game was released that GameTek was able to offer a largely bugfixed version. But despite all the problems, over 100,000 copies were sold.

The version of the game from that time can now be downloaded as shareware from the Elite Club's website. Since it is a DOS game, it cannot easily run on modern computers. The game could only run with DOS emulators like DOSBox .

Around 2000, Frontier Developments announced that the FFE source code would be published under a GPL- like license to allow porting to modern platforms, but this was never implemented. In response, the game community took over the further support of the game itself and successfully reverse engineered the game in October 2005, thus providing ports for modern platforms such as MacOS , Linux and Windows . There is a continuous further development of the open source portings with unofficial patches from independent programmers, e.g. B. in derived projects such as "FFE_D3D". The ports are free of charge, but the shareware fee of £ 5 must still be paid to the Elite Club for the data and media content of the game .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. News ( Memento of June 21, 2003 in the Internet Archive ) on "November 8th 2000 - Following much discussion on the subject of open-source by the Elite community, we have decided to make some alterations to our previous plans for the Elite Club - we are going to relax some of the restrictions we were intending to put on the distribution of the source code. The source code will now be distributable more freely, under a license agreement similar to the GPL (GNU Public License) . "
  2. Welcome Commander, to the AmigaFFE Project "after I have seen the announcement of a release of the Sources of Frontier Elite II and Frontier First Encounters on the Eliteclub website, I was very happy with it. Now it is 2001 (around 2 years since the announcement) and they still haven't released it "
  3. John Jordan: JJFFE Central ( English ) December 1, 2009. Archived from the original on October 7, 2010. Retrieved February 29, 2012: “ JJFFE is set of recompiled replacement executables for the 1995 Frontier Developments game Frontier: First Encounters. There are currently versions that run under Windows 95/98 / ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows NT4, OS / 2, Linux and Mac. As well as running on many more operating systems than the original, JJFFE also includes minor improvements and bugfixes. "
  4. FFE_D3D on
  5. ( Memento of August 14, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) "We have now released Frontier and First Encounters as shareware. There is a £ 5 registration fee which applies if you continue to play either game for more than 30 days. We strongly recommend reading the readme.txt file included with each game before playing. "