As we can read on Wikipedia, Elite is a space shooter / trading game written and developed by David Braben and Ian Bell, 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”. Elite was one of the first home computer games to use wireframe 3D graphics with hidden line removal. Another novelty was the inclusion of The Dark Wheel, a novella by Robert Holdstock which influenced new players with insight into the moral and legal codes to which they might aspire.
Despite being ported to virtually every home computer of that time, there is just one version available for a console and that’s Imagineer NES port, released only in Europe in 1991 ( the NES port is considered the best 8-bit version by the authors). However there were various attempts in early nineties to bring this milestone title to other Sega and Nintendo systems.
In fact Nintendo Magazine System issue 9 revealed how Hybrid Technology (developer of the Archimedes version) was developing the ultimate version of Elite using the Super FX chip. However , as Stern correctly noticed, the screenshots in the article were probably taken from the Amiga version. In the next issue ( #10 ) NMS unveiled ( this time for real ) the first official pics for Super Nintendo. Contrary to what they wrote in the previous issue, Elite for SNES wouldn’t utilize the SFX chip and despite that the game was said to have smooth framerate and Mode 6 ( SNES hi-res mode ). Super NES Elite had additions compared to the original title like a “planet buster” bomb and a more console-friendly interface that use icons ( like the NES version ) .
Those two article made clear how Hybrid Technology had yet to found a publisher for their project at the time so that’s likely the reason why it never come out.
Later on , in 1994, Hybrid Technology created two small tech demos as a pitch to port Elite to Genesis / Mega Drive and Game Boy however nothing came out from them. The two tech demos are available on Ian Bell ( Elite co-author ) ‘s website (backup at elitehomepage.org). You can watch two short videos about them below.
Article writteb by Celine, thanks to Steven for the contribution!
Elite [Game Boy Tech Demo]
Elite [ Genesis/Mega Drive Tech Demo ]