Elite
Image: David Braben/Ian Bell

A coder and writer named Mark Moxon has finished porting the celebrated BBC Micro space-trading game Elite to a Teletext display format, as recently revealed on Twitter.

That means players can now experience the same classic gameplay of the 1984 original, but with colorful and oh-so-nostalgic visuals of old Teletext news services like Ceefax and Oracle.

If you don't know what Teletext is, it was basically a way of displaying rudimentary text and graphics on television sets, in order to provide news updates, TV schedules, and weather reports. With the rise of the internet and online services, the importance of Teletext inevitably declined, and a number of providers ceased operations. Though some modern digital alternatives have since sprung up on television sets to replace them.

https://twitter.com/markmoxon/status/1599407048952668160

In the case of this Elite port, it is using the BBC Micro screen mode MODE 7 to display Teletext. This is possible as 'The Beeb' contains a SAA5050 chip. To transform the original monochrome graphics to colour, Moxon had to change the pixel graphic routines into the Teletext Sixel routine format. You can play the game now in your browser. And you can also find instructions, downloads, and details on hidden Easter Eggs on the BBC Elite dot com Hacks page.

Have you had a go yet? What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

[source bbc.godbolt.org, via twitter.com]