Elite (NES)

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Elite - NES.jpg
Platform: NES
Year: 1991
Developer: Braben & Bell

Elite is a space simulation game developed by David Braben and Ian Bell that was released for many home computers.

The NES version is a very impressive game, as it features true 3D polygons, something unheard of for the NES. Other NES games used 3D-like effects, but this was one of the few to feature actual 3D graphics. However, because of the limitations of the console, the game runs rather slow in comparison to most of the computer versions.

The game was only released in Europe. A version made for North America was developed, but never released, as Braben and Bell were unable to find a publisher.


Elite - NES - Language Select.png

The language selection.

Elite - NES - Title Screen.png

The title screen.

Elite - NES - Gameplay 1.png

The game pays a little homage to Star Wars.

Elite - NES - Gameplay 2.png

Attacking enemy ships.

Elite - NES - Gameplay 3.png

The infamous docking sequence, in which The Blue Danube plays.

Elite - NES - Gameplay 4.png

The player's info.


The game features four songs, two of which are heard in most of the computer versions, namely the Commodore 64 version. There are also two new songs, one of which is Assassin's Touch, which was subsequently used in the Elite musical. According to Bell, he must have wrote the song for the game prior to including it in the musical. This song loops in the NSF file, but because it only plays once before switching to the Game Theme, the recording only plays the song once. The Game Theme appears to be an original composition from Whittaker. Bell confirmed that he did not write it, and the song is written in the style of David Whittaker (see his page for details). Like most other versions of Elite, this game also has an arrangement of The Blue Danube, which was used as a nod to the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Whittaker had to program the music in 6502 assembly macros using his own sound driver.

The game has been recorded in both PAL and NTSC formats, as an NTSC prototype was released of the game.


  1. PAL Version
  2. NTSC Version
# Title ComposerArranger Length Listen Download
101 Elite Theme Aidan BellDavid Whittaker 5:59
102 Assassin's Touch Aidan BellDavid Whittaker 0:29
103 Game Theme David WhittakerDavid Whittaker 4:32
104 The Blue Danube Johann Strauss IIDavid Whittaker 3:41
# Title ComposerArranger Length Listen Download
201 Elite Theme Aidan BellDavid Whittaker 5:01
202 Assassin's Touch Aidan BellDavid Whittaker 0:24
203 Game Theme David WhittakerDavid Whittaker 3:49
104 The Blue Danube Johann Strauss IIDavid Whittaker 3:06



The credits must be accessed via a cheat code; At the title screen, press A, B, Select, and Start simultaneously and release them. Instead of the copyright sequence, you will get the credits instead before it dumps you into the main game.

Game Rip







  EU.svg   EU
Elite - NES.jpg
Title: Elite
Platform: NES
Released: 1991-??-??
Publisher: Imagineer Co., Ltd.

Elite (series)
Elite Platform - AMI.png • Platform - AST.png • Platform - C64.png • Platform - NES.png
Elite Plus Platform - DOS.png • Platform - PC98.png
Frontier: Elite II Platform - AMI.png • Platform - AST.png • Platform - CD32.png • Platform - DOS.png
Frontier: First Encounters Platform - DOS.png • Platform - LIN.png • Platform - MAC.png • Platform - W32.png
Elite: Dangerous Platform - PS4.png • Platform - XONE.png • Platform - W64.png
Notable Songs Elite Theme • Assassin's Touch • Game Theme • The Blue Danube
Notable Personnel Aidan Bell • Julie Dunn • David Whittaker • Wally Beben
Notable Companies Braben and Bell • Frontier Developments