Part 2: Information
USEFUL INFORMATION (FROM OFFICIAL TEXTS)
- GalCop comprises 2040 planets spread across 8 galaxies.
- There are over 50 war zones between humanity and Thargoids across the 8 galaxies. The Thargoids are also at war with other alien life-forms.
- Every world of GalCop has ‘several’ Coriolis stations in orbit.
- At the time of the game, the new Dodec stations are slowly replacing the Coriolis design.
- The Galactic Co-operative is only one - although the largest - of several planetary federations.
- Pilot licenses are only issued on the planet Lave.
- The Cobra Mk III you start with was supplied by Faulcon DeLacy – even though it was manufactured by Cowell & MgRath.
- ECM System developed by Bell & Braben on Riedquat 359
- Cobra Mk III has no free trading capability – must be docked at space station for cargo transferral.
- 500 year old Cargo Canisters have reputedly been found crashed on barren moons.
- Of the 2040 officially registered planets in the GalCop, all but 45 support human colonies only, that is to say, human presence elsewhere is restricted to settlements in under-populated parts of the land surface.
- Faulcon deLacy are based in the Inines system.
- Faulcon Manspace are based on Reorte.
THEORIES: Q & A
Where is Earth, and why is it referred to as Old Earth?
Earth is referred to as ‘Old Earth’ in Robert Holdstock’s novella The Dark Wheel. Upon re-reading the manual and TDW, I have come to the conclusion that the reference ‘Old Earth’ is used as a nostalgic reference – acknowledging the fact that humanity once hailed from that place. Also, standard days are 20 hours long, illustrating that Earth time is not used as the basis (which it has been used for in Frontier).
This would suggest that GalCop are aware of the existence of Earth and the Federation, but are unable or unwilling to travel to it. This leads to the logical conclusion that there is some sort of issue separating the two agencies.
It is stated in the manual that not every inhabited planet or system in the galaxy is a member of GalCop, so there must be some systems not shown. Their numbers are few because the density of stars is comparable to Frontier, which shows every system. Also, the in-service date for the MC15 Transporter is listed as pre-2500, unlike the rest of the entries that have an exact date. This could point to some sort of upheaval around that time, with the MC15 being developed on Mars (as also stated in the manual) and the worlds of GalCop receiving them around 2500, then something happening to put administration in a state of inaccuracy.
Hence, it can be derived that Earth and other stars of the main galactic map are present, but not shown on the galactic map for Elite. This is borne out by the fact that Achenar falls within the confines of GalCop space but is not shown on GalMap 1.
NOTE: The REAL WORLD reason for not showing Achenar et all is that when Elite was written, no thought was given to the real galaxy - all the planet names in Elite were generated by a Fibonnachi sequence. I know this, before anyone thinks I have no grip on reality…
Are the “Galaxies” actually in different Galaxies?
The original Elite manual seems to indicate that the eight galaxies are actually areas located in alternate galaxies to that of Galaxy 1 (where Earth is). I have always assumed that this cannot be, but what if there were a way to make it true?
I’ve thought about this on and off over the last five years, and have looked into it deeply over the last few days. Try as I might, I can find nothing that would lead me to believe that other galaxies could be visited, from any point in another galaxy, by using a device as small as an IGH unit. I will keep investigating.
One idea I have come up with recently and fits the parameters required is the possibility of stable wormholes. The hyperspace realm may contain stable wormholes within it – these are the equivalent of hyperspace tunnels that never collapse. The highly powerful IGH creates a hypertunnel linking with that wormhole, which then carries the craft to the other end of the wormhole. Seeing as the Thargoids are highly advanced and know far more than humanity about the workings of hyperspace, they will also know about these wormholes.
Using this theory, it can be postulated that the other seven galaxies are regions of space within our galaxy, but separated by hundreds or even thousands of light years. It could be surmised that all eight regions of space are in a roughly circular pattern, allowing travel between only two directly. Thargoid space could theoretically be situated somewhere in the centre.
If the stable wormholes were to collapse, this would explain the fact that the other seven regions cannot be travelled to in Frontier, and that the IGH no longer exists.
Where did the rest of the systems listed in Galaxy Map 1 go?
A possible answer to this may be that the systems were renamed. Another plausible explanation is that the Elite maps listed planets, whereas the Frontier map lists star systems. The planets mentioned in Elite may therefore be found inside some systems in Frontier. According to FFE, Inera is the place where Faulcon DeLacy is based – where is it?
The main problem with trying to resolve this, and most of the other issues, is the fact that Achenar and the Imperial core worlds are actually situated within the confines of Galaxy Map 1. This presents a huge problem in the logic of placing the planets. Rotation and compression of the area does not help, because this throws the relative locations of the GCW core systems out.
The most plausible explanation is that the systems from the Elite Galactic Map were renamed.
Where are the alien races (felinoid, amphibian, etc.)?
The Empire and, to a lesser extent, the Federation are known to be xenophobic, so it is likely that the alien races are either decimated or have fled. If they have fled, which is a more realistic option, then it can be surmised that they have fled to one or more of the other seven regions of space known as ‘Galaxies’.
Why is there no reference in Frontier (whether in game or in documentation) to GalCop (or any aspect of the Elite game)?
It may be that enough time has passed in the Elite universe by then that GalCop is but a distant memory. The ideal amount of time for this is about 50 years – the current generation would have no memory of GalCop but the technology (such as ship hulls) would likely still be the same.
Why do Frontier players starting at Lave have to pay 70,000Cr to be allowed into Federal or Imperial systems?
This could relate back to the first question, in that some sort of bad feeling has arisen between Federation, Empire and GalCop. The 70,000 could be a residue of that bad feeling and represent a fine to be paid. Since it does not work the other way, then the Old Worlds are in the wrong, or the Federation and Empire have emerged victorious in the imposed Cold War.
Given that no Federation/Empire worlds are mentioned or available in Elite, it can be said that the worlds of GalCop could have been exiled, and events later on reduce that sentence to a huge fine.
What a mess. It seems that David Braben just threw logic out of the window when he decided to throw Elite into our own Galaxy and put Lave so close to Earth. He didn’t think about continuity very much.
I understand the simple fact that it’s a game and doesn’t really matter, but he and Ian Bell’s game dominated the computer gaming community when it came out and now, twenty years later, it still has a huge following. I would have thought that would have figured in his thinking somewhere. A good designer always thinks about the gamer. I would hedge bets that Ian Bell would have thought of these things had it been he who designed Elite’s sequel…
So what can be done? Well, it’s tricky. It’s obvious that a great many planets must vanish, just as a great many planets must appear in different locations. The other seven ‘galaxies’ from Elite can’t fit into the local area of the galaxy as there are no inhabited planets after a certain distance from Sol.
As stated in the Q&A, an alternative explanation for the ‘galaxies’ is that there are stable wormholes within the hyperspace realm. The IGH bridges from the current location to the stable wormhole, which then travels to the next zone. This is further explained in the THEORIES section above.
THE OLD WORLDS
Specific mention is made in more than one location that the worlds around Lave are referred to as the Old Worlds, and have been for some time.
It is reasonable to assume that the Old Worlds are known to the Federation too, as it was the Federation that initialised the colonisation of the area (since Earth is the head of the Federation and the seat of humanity, after all). It is this fact that tells us that the Old Worlds would not be renamed, since the system names are the same as the name of the single or primary planet in the system.