Daniel Sevo’s curious FFE stuff


A/N: Taken from a site which has disappeared😦

Curious stuff

When you play a game for such a long time like I played Frontier, you discover some seemingly strange stuff. (Some things have a perfectly logical explanation though…) One has to admit though, that the game just wouldn’t be as cool without the „wormhole bug”.
Most of the data is from the time I played the Amiga version of Frontier frequently and is NOT recently checked.

 

Update 2005.04.10
The stuff I have described on this page was done through old fashioned painstaking manual ‚labor’😉. A much more clever way to acquire this information would be to hack the name generators of Frontier etc.. Luckily, Theun of Jongware has done just that😉.
Check out his site and download his software here.
Apparently, my page was something of an inspiration to him, so all my hard work was not in vain after all..😉
 
  • Most Frontier players will know, that when flying in free space, you can’t really fly to a nearby star without using the hyper-drive. One explanation is a strange thing I discovered while testing some stuff. If you fly further away from an object than the „integer limit” 65.536 AU the range starts to decrease and „wobble” around strangely…
  • It’s a big galaxy out there, but not big enough to get away with re-usage of system names.
    Take a look:

    System Coordinates 1 Coordinates 2 Coordinates 3
    Ackandso (2), (-2) (-1738), (-1331)
    Ackhoess (0), (-6) (-2300), (-1454)
    Andandphi (-1), (-5) (-5198), (-3314)
    Bebebe (-1663), (-2727) (-2613), (-4332)
    Bebece (-1689), (-2666) (-2504), (-4244) (-2618), (-4287)
    Besoex (3), (0) (-1777), (-1279)
    Canada (-2300), (-1996) (832), (1817) (-2048), (-2255)
    Exioce (-1), (-3) (816), (1802)
    Facece (0), (-4) (817), (1801)
    Phiandgre (-3), (1) (-1724), (-1279)
    Qubeso (3), (-6) (-1709), (-1270) (-180), (-4541)
    Tiacan (3), (-4) (-2605), (-4348)
    Tisola (0), (-5) (-184), (-4536)
    Tivea (-1), (-3) (-2300), (-1993)
    Urandol (1), (-5) (-1971), (-2245)
    Urlaay (3), (-2) (-1740), (-1300)

    This is just a very small portion of re-used names. The names are generated from a „Look-up table” and a random algorithm. This method allows for a large number, albeit limited number of unique names. It’s also interesting to see that some combinations just don’t happen (which effectively limits the possibilities of certain funny names). Example: Names starting with „Ti” are very common but names starting with „Te” don’t exist (or are extremely rare).

    There is actually an „explanation” for the re-usage of names on the Frontier Developments FAQ page, but trust me on the stuff about a limited look-up table and a random algorithm🙂.

  • Speaking of randomly generated names… With so many auto-generated there are bound to be some funny system names. Here’s a couple:
    System Name Coordinates Comment
    Abece (5), (9) Well, about time BBC got some competition..
    Agreed (-1986), (-1024) I’m glad we agree.
    Andwave (6), (-1) Yes, let’s all wave!
    Aretha (-3), (-1) Franklin, surely?
    Asoda (-1756), (-1280) Would you care for a drink? A soda perhaps…
    Asofa (-3532), (-3738) First thing I’m gonna do is to sit down…
    Awaay (-2937), (-2937) The bomb is awaaaay!
    Ayayay (-4593), (1695) Two is enough, skipper!
    Bebece (-183, -4535), +other (see above) You’d expect a news-agency (BBC) to be in many places.
    Canada (-2300),(-1996) & (832),(1817)  
      & (-2048),(-2255) Yikes! Spread all over the galaxy?
    Damian (-1970), (-1973) If your name is Damian and you’re born in 1970 or ’73…
    Esssoex (-1722), (-1290) How do you pronounce the three „s”?
    Exceed (-1671), (-2704) What are they talking about? The speed limit?
    Exexex (1053), (1070) Hey, that’s a pretty good URL!🙂
    Faaack (-2757),(2756) I hear ya, take it easy!
    Faaar (-1504),(-3026) & (-2043),(-1024) Hey, how far away is this place, anyway?
    Faaqu (796), (1769) Sounds rude!
    Familia (-3286), (2030) The obvious Mafia hideout.
    Faquol (1055), (1074) Sounds very rude! (F*ck you all)
    Greethand (-183), (-4535) & (-4585), (1711) Nothing like a friendly hand-shake…
    Hohoho (-1705), (-1274) Now you know here to look for Santa…
    Laaand (5), (8) & (-2044), (-1024) What are you yelling about, I am landing.
    Lalala (-1521), (-3004) The home of bad singers?
    Latifa (1363), (-3450) Latifa? Queen Latifa?
    Lauren (-2962), (-2961) That’s not a star, it’s a common name damnit.
    Miami (899), (1871) & (-1708), (-1327) I think I saw Will Smith…
    Phiphiphi (-1792), (-1280) What’s this? A system or a fraternity?
    Queday (-2608), (-4396) On a day like this, you just know you’ll have to wait.
    Sofaar (-177), (-4541) So far, so good?
    Sophia (4), (-10) Hey, that’s actually a common name!
  • There are also a bunch of planets and starports that have more or less amusing names. Here’s a few:
    „Alison’s Hole” (Ethceio (1),(4))
    „Bush’s Claim” (Liacanack (-6),(-3))
    „Bush’s Grave” (Ackcanfa (8),(-4))
    „Major Starport” (Quessve (-4),(-4))
    „Simpson’s Trial” (Agreed (-1986), (-1024))
  • There are a lot of systems out there consisting of only a pair of stars (Binary system). Yet they are a populated system with 1.000-10.000 marked as „Mining & ore refinement”. Example:
    Ladaio (-2368, -307)
  • Even stranger is it when a binary star is labeled as „Extensive mining & industrial development” with a population of 100.00 – 1.000.000. Examples:
    Veanti (-256), (1) & Edveand (-256), (-2)
    And a very, very lonely example Essphiio (-3840), (-4864)
  • There are other examples of mislabeling. There is a bunch of systems labeled as „System explored. No registered settlements.”
    The thing is, the following systems actually have a planet with indigenous life and starports.
    Check’em out!
     

    System Name Coordinates
    Liaessso (9), (-9)
    Zeceand (6), (10)
    Urfaa (5), (7)
    Ceedho (4), (8)
  • More mislabeling. Ayurso (4), (0) is labeled as Frontier Outdoor world, but there’s no planet with life. The only starport is located on a „barren rock”. 
  • Sometimes the mislabeling actually makes the game run into a dead end – well sort of… Example: In sector (1279), (-3583) the system Andandan has 4 starports and the bulletins are quite busy. But you could end up with mission like trying to take passangers to Encelia (1280), (-3584) which happens to be a binary star system with no planets. This means you will not be able to successfully deliver the passangers to their destination. 
  • There are more examples of mislabeling. This is a minor glitch, but nevertheless…
    Beayex (-7), (-10) is labeled as a Ternary system when it´s in fact a binary system. Similar situation with Inconwa (3), (6). It’s labeled as quaternary system but this too is a binary system.
     
  • I’m not sure if this qualifies as mislabeling, but it’s somewhat…unusual… In sector (-2048),(-1536) there is a system called „Beedgre”. In this system there are 3 moons called „Hoopers Wreck” and all starports on these are called „Fortress Gonzales”. There are also 4 moons called „Gold” and all the starports on these are called „Gordon”. Also, stations and posts share names. 
  • The most reused „real” name is probably „Gold”. There are a lot of planets or moons called that. Typically it’s the innermost planet, but it varies. 
  • You might have noticed that there’s a whole bunch of planets that don’t have starports but still have „given” names (like „Greg’s Rock” or something). You will find most of these in systems labeled as „Frontier system. Some small scale mining operations”.
    There are systems that have quite a few „claimed” planets but no starports. Check it out.
     

    System Name Coordinates Comment
    Enphigre (7), (-6) 5 planets (or moons) with „given” names.
    Veexin (8), (-5) 3 planets (or moons) with „given” names.

     

     

  • Thanks to the 655 ly wormhole bug I was able to reach a system at the far edge of the galaxy which was 40 ly away from it’s nearest neighbour. Spooky!
  • Speaking of systems at the far edge of the galaxy. Sometimes you find systems way out there that are explored. You have to wonder who or what explored them. Examples:
    Tihophi (830, -4431), Ackmiio (29, -4522), Zebea (34, -4508), Ladaeth (-5252, 1121), Liaethqu (-5227, 1177), Olfaack (-4596, 2092), Vaphifa (-5216, 1225)
  • It’s interesting to see that every single star in the galaxy, including the ones tens-of-thousands of lightyears away have a „regular” name like „Ackackti” or „Inandur” or something along those lines, but the stars in our very own backyard, sector (0,0) still have names like „CD-37°15492”.
    Also, while some nearby stars may have names that conists of two words or more (Sigma Draconis, Epsilon Eridani etc.) all other stars in the entire galaxy (outside the core systems) have single word names.
  • In the core systems, most of the stars also exist in „real world” and have pretty accurate data in the game. Now, In between the „made up” stars , farther away in the galaxy, there’s a bunch of well known stars that really exist in „real world”. You can actually see most of these by looking at the galactic map that shows the whole „Milky Way” galaxy. Anyway, to save you the effort of finding them, here’s a table of some of the more famous „real” stars. 
    System Name Coordinates Comment
    Aldebaran (6), (4)  
    Antares (-39), (-34)  
    Betelgeuse (59), (14)  
    Beta Lyrae (-146), (85) The famous „Contact Binary” star that crashes the game🙂
    Canopus (6), (-6)  
    Hadar (-6), (-40) Actually has 3 planets with indigenous life!
    Polaris (0), (76) (Northern star)
    Rigel (92), (6)  
    Spica (-4), (-17)  
    Dumbell Nebula (-72), (38) Nebula
    Pleiades (32), (32) Star Cluster
  • Due to the way the 3D starmap works in Frontier, if 2 systems lie on the same „2D spot”, you’re in for some trouble.
    The result is that you can’t „get a lock” on some systems, which makes them impossible to visit. This is probably fairly common throughout the galaxy, but some nearby examples are Tigrebe (4), (7) & Aysoqu (6), (-10).
    I am aware that the maps can be rotated, but it still doesn’t work. Maybe this was fixed in the PC version of the game. If you find a way to „get a lock” on these systems, please let me know.
     
  • I always wondered why one was so rarely attacked by more than one ship at a time… (Except when the police chase you) Once, though I was attacked by 3 ships at the same time (all firing simultaneously). I wonder how rare this was?
  • One would think that the people of London would have been happy when I jettisoned tons of medicine over the city, but noooo.. I was fined about a zillion bucks instead!🙂
  • There are settlements every 256 sectors, this is now confirmed as being true. Check out this „evidence”:
    Sector System name Comment
    (-256), (-3) Ioayin 3 starports
    (-512), (-5) Urlaol 3 starports
    (-768), (-2) Quexex 7 starports!
    (-1024), (2) Urfaand 6 starports!
    (-1280), (2) Hoveay 4 starports
    (-1536), (2) Hoexti 6 starports!
    (-1792), (1) Urvebe 10 starports!!
    (-2048), (0) Grehour 5 starports!

    Still not convinced? OK!

    Sector System name Comment
    (256), (256) Canbean 4 starports
    (512), (512) Olcanen 3 starports
    (768), (768) Veexa 3 starports
    (1024), (1024) Hoaess 6 starports
    (-1024), (-1024) Anddacan Yes, starports
    (-1024), (-1280) Miedand 10 starports!
    (-1536), (-1024) Urethgre Yes, starports
    (-1792), (-1024) Afave Yes, starports
    (-1792), (-1536) Ethethed 10 starports!
    (-2048), (-1280) Phiethur 18 starports!!
    (-2048), (-1536) Beedgre Lot’s of starports!
    (-2048), (-2048) Ayzeess Yes, starports

    Most of the time you will be able to find other settlements in the nearby sectors (+/- 2 sectors)

  • At this point we all know the galaxy is full of duplicates🙂 but this is pretty strange. Check out this system:
    Phiinar (-1), (1023)
    There are 13(!!) starports in this system, but the really strange thing is that 2 of the Gas giants with moons seem to be duplicates, each having a number of starports with the same names as the other planet.
  • This is a discovery that left me a little disappointed. Except for the „hard-coded” systems around sector 0,0 the stars are instances or copies of each other. Example:
    Every „G” type star in the entire galaxy (except for those in the „hardcoded” systems) is in fact the exact same star! It doesn’t matter if it’s a hundred lightyears away or on the other side of the galaxy, the star will always have a mass of 292832,96 Earth Masses and a temperature of 5700°C. And this does not only apply to G type stars, but all types.
  • I was wondering how cold the coldest object in the game might be. So far the coldest object I’ve found had a temperature of -270°C. I’ve found several of these, here’s a couple of them:
    Ackura system (6), (2). Look at the bodies „Ackura A, B2a & b”. And also…
    Qumiin A, B6a (-2), (-4)
    Urcean A, B2a (-10), (-2)
    Zesola A, B31 (-2), (-2)
    Let me know if you find anything colder than that. (-273°C is „absolute zero”)
  • Speaking of temperatures. There are starbases placed on rather hot planets. here’s one example: Cancanso (-2048), (-1792). There is a starport on one of the inner planets even though the temperature is a rather hot 694°C. There might be more nearby examples, but I haven’t checked. 
  • The cool thing about Frontier is the variation of Solar systems. I assume that the systems are generated with a lookup-table, similar to the one used to generate the names. There is a lot of variation out there and some systems are bound to be more interesting than others. Here’s a system that has no less than 8 Medium Gas Giants: Esslaio (8), (-3). (Note: Theunis de Jong points out that there are actually 10 gas giants there although not all are visible.) 
  • More info provided by Theunis de Jong:
    In a radius of +/- 200 sectors around Sol there are 8 systems with 11 medium gas giants (Esszelia A,B (195,103), Enliabe (182,85), Veenho (-180,-190), Wawaa A,B (108,34), Walaio A,B (-188,-84), Liacea A,B (-182,-131), Greessti A,B (22,82) and Andolso A,B (-190,171)) and one, Lainso A,B (94,83), with 12! Though the last one displays virtually _no_ useful info; 16 of the 50 bodies fall (partly) off the screen.
     
  • Now let’s bring geeky nitpicking to a whole new level🙂
    The temperatures of the moons orbiting Ioada 1 in the Ioada system (-5) , (-10) seem inconsistent. (yeah, I know…🙂
    Veedze (6), (-5) has two planets with indigenous life, yet their major imports consist of „water” & „Fruits & vegs”.
     
  • There used to be a rumour going around that there is a black hole at the center of the Galaxy in Frontier. But apparently, there is NO black hole in Frontier.
    Shouls you for some reason still want to go on a black hole (wild goose) chase, then here’s a tip for you. My own estimates are that the sector which is closest to the center and at the same time is a multiple of 256 is sector (-1792) , (-1280). As it is a „256” sector there are in fact settlements there. I guess it would be a good starting point if someone would have the time or (in)sanity to look for it. If there would be a black hole there, it would almost certainly be within a radius of +/- 100 sectors from there.
  • The first time I sent the message „Surrender or die!” to an enemy and they responded „Ha, ha!”, I thought it was pretty cool. A few years later when I was sitting in my Panther Clipper with 100 shield units and the enemy had 0,6% left of it’s ‚Adder’ hull and they still responded with a „Ha, ha”, then it just wasn’t as cool anymore.. I wonder what Braben was thinking when he wrote this stuff??
  • Alright.. Now everyone knows about this one, but how about the police in Frontier? If you fire a weapon outside a space station and pay the c600 fine, you can gun down hundreds of police ships and then return to the space station and go straight to the police only to hear „We have no business with you at the moment”. Not exactly how things are in real life…
  • By far the strangest thing in the game though… And I’d think that one or two of you sharp-eyed dudes out there spotted this one… The space in Frontier was… BLUE!!🙂

 

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