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152 comments

It can't be.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34558138)

20 years? Seriously? I really ought to go save that poor babysitter.

And to think... (1)

Apothem (1921856) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558144)

DooM was only released 3 years after Commander Keen. I'm honestly a bit surprised that DooM didnt get an article celebrating its awesomeness...

Re:And to think... (1)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558304)

Maybe 3 years from now, when it turns 20...

Re:And to think... (4, Insightful)

MistrX (1566617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558404)

Doom doesn't need a special age for celebration. It's just too awesome for that.

Re:And to think... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34560298)

Doom doesn't need a special age for celebration. It's just too awesome for that.

Doom is the only thing Chuck Norris can't beat.

Re:And to think... (2)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34560502)

YOU LIE!

Chuck Norris was on the design team for Doom, which was originally so difficult that only Chuck Norris could beat it. He finally conceded that it wouldn’t be much of a success unless they made it easy enough for everyone else to play. They did, and Chuck Norris didn’t even need to beat Doom anymore. He just looked at it, and it beat itself. However, rumor has it that he still owns a copy of the original and plays it occasionally.

Re:And to think... (1)

garyisabusyguy (732330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34561416)

the original Doom opened a gateway to hell

Chuck beat the devil and his minions, but decided that life would be too easy for mere humans, so he freed the devil, and insisted that Id release the easier version of Doom

Re:And to think... (2)

Trent Hawkins (1093109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34560424)

Every year on Doom's birthday John Carmack throws a Chuck Norris in to the sun.

Why not 18? (2)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558582)

Dunno, it seems to me DOOM should do the same as everyone else celebrate 18 when it can go get drunk and laid. Well, at least drunk anyway. But laid is right next, as soon as it can get a girl into its mom's basement that is totally awed by its grenade jumping skills. Any day now ;)

Re:Why not 18? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34558718)

Doom didn't have grenades or jumping.

Re:Why not 18? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34559182)

Drinking age is 21 in many if not most of the States in the U.S.A.

Re:Why not 18? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34559254)

Many, if not most States, are not in the U.S.A.

Re:Why not 18? (2)

crashumbc (1221174) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559488)

Many, if not most States, are not in the U.S.A.

Actually you fail reading comprehension, all of the "states" in his sentence are in the U.S.A. He wasn't talking about states in other countries. :P

Re:Why not 18? (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34561496)

or "states" in the generic geopolitical sense.

If anyone is inclined to argue that "states" are supposed to be sovereign, I'd point out that argument was comprehensively lost 145 years ago. Continuing to argue is just dickish pedantry.

Re:And to think... (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559436)

Maybe someone here can explain to me what is so "awesome" about Keen other than it being made by Id? Not trying to troll, I just don't get it. I mean sure, it was a decent platformer, but platformers were a dime a dozen then and really weren't a big whoop.

Now Wolfenstein, Doom, and Quake? Yes I can understand the big whoop over those since they brought innovations and sparked not only a host of imitators but an entirely new genre in gaming. With Wolfenstein you had the first real home game that brought the first person perspective to the masses. With Doom came massive levels with multiple heights and a real feeling of depth, and with Quake you not only had a game proving that real time 3D could be done, but it also brought with it the first real support for 3D acceleration that brought the GPU to the forefront which is still giving us innovation to this day in the form of GPGPU and tech like Eyefinity. To me the trinity of Quake, Unreal, and Half Life completely changed the game (Quake with 3D and a pro soundtrack, Unreal by making modding easy, and Half Life for bring a depth of character and story) and spawned the ideas which still fuel an industry.

So I'm sorry but I don't get it. What did Keen bring to the table that hadn't been done a million times before in the genre? What innovations did it bring? Hell to me celebrating Keen makes about as much sense as singling out one of the million corridor shooters that came out after Wolfenstein for praise. What am I missing here?

Re:And to think... (1)

Muskstick (1522069) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559532)

Maybe someone here can explain to me what is so "awesome" about Keen other than it being made by Id? Not trying to troll, I just don't get it. I mean sure, it was a decent platformer, but platformers were a dime a dozen then and really weren't a big whoop.

>

So I'm sorry but I don't get it. What did Keen bring to the table that hadn't been done a million times before in the genre? What innovations did it bring? Hell to me celebrating Keen makes about as much sense as singling out one of the million corridor shooters that came out after Wolfenstein for praise. What am I missing here?

That's easy. A pogo stick.

Re:And to think... (3, Informative)

NoSleepDemon (1521253) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559640)

If I recall, it was the smooth side scrolling animation which made Keen legendary, before then side scrollers hadn't been done all that well on the PC

Re:And to think... (3, Informative)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559894)

Yes. It was the first publicly released PC game that replicated the side-scrolling technique used to make smooth scrolling in 8-bit consoles.

Strangely, the first one *could* have been a port of Super Mario Bros. 3, because the technique was designed to replicate that game (iD actually shopped a fully complete clone to Nintendo, who turned them down on the idea).

Re:And to think... (1)

NoSleepDemon (1521253) | more than 3 years ago | (#34560946)

Yeah I read somewhere that it got quite far up the Nintendo chain of command before they decided that Mario was not for the PC.

Re:And to think... (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559818)

I've always loved Commander Keen.

It reminded me a lot of Spaceman Spiff from Calvin and Hobbs, that this was all a boy's imagination.

The levels were challenging without being impossible. And then there was the pogo stick.

I used to love this game... (3, Interesting)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558162)

I wonder why they don't just release the source/game to celebrate or something. Its not like they're going to make any more money off it.

Re:I used to love this game... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34558182)

You'd be surprised... I paid $5 (I think) on steam for the whole series a few months ago.

Half out of guilt for all the time I spent playing a pirated game, but still.

Re:I used to love this game... (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558238)

I bought it on steam a while back as well so they're still making money.

Re:I used to love this game... (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558588)

What? And violate the holy Ai Pee? Think of that poor endangered ai [wikipedia.org] , who peed for you.

Re:I used to love this game... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34558854)

They're going to release them again on cell phones. Don't worry, they'll milk the cow until it's really dead!

Re:I used to love this game... (2)

MrZilla (682337) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558950)

It's probably because iD don't have the rights to the game. They have, after all, released the source for most of their other games.

Re:I used to love this game... (5, Informative)

Puff_Of_Hot_Air (995689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559184)

.I can speak somewhat authoritatively on this issue. A long long time ago, I emailed John Carmack about releasing the Commander Keen 4 source code. He replied saying he did not know what happened to it. Later a friend of mine and I attempted to clone Commander Keen 4 from a disassembly. It turns out that the codebase is very very *very* similar to the released Wolfenstein 3D source, which made things a little easier. We eventually gave up, but our work provided the information and impetus to help the community in making original Keen 4 maps, which has now been refined into a fairly easy process, I am told. While all this was happening, John Romero made a post on the 3D Realms forums indicating that he had all of the source code to the Commander Keen games. I promptly emailed Romero asking him if he would release the source. He stated that he would love to release the source, but he would not do so without Carmack's blessing. I periodically prodded him about it, but with starting his own company and things, apparently the idea got lost in the shuffle. As far as id offering these games on their website, this is no big deal. All the Keen games (except for Aliens ate my Babysitter and maybe Keen Dreams) have been available on the 3D Realms webstore for a very long time.

Quote from AlternateSyndicate (644818) on Sunday March 16 2003, @03:19PM (#5524737) I'm guessing exactly nothing has changed since then.

I was 17... (2)

Kaleidoscopio (1271290) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558180)

God, I'm old. :P
I still remember getting the shareware version on floppy from a games magazine. Great game, lots of fun. Then came Doom and switched cable two player Doom... ahhhhhhhh

Re:I was 17... (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 3 years ago | (#34560062)

Get off my lawn!

I was 33. I started working at Johns Hopkins APL which was my first taste of the Internet. I ftp'd the games but now I can't recall the site. It had loads of shareware games though.

[John]

Re:I was 17... (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34560326)

ftp.cdrom.com was a big one.

Re:I was 17... (1)

Scooter's_dad (833628) | more than 3 years ago | (#34560344)

User number 65939. Kudos. Get off my lawn indeed!

Re:I was 17... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34560212)

God, I'm old. :P

No you're not. I was about your age when Keen came out. There was a shop in town that sold shareware floppies for $5 each.

Keen was great, but his son, Duke Nukem, was funner and funny (loved shooting the Energizer Bunny).

Commander Keen (1)

o'reor (581921) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558226)

Along with Civilization I, Dune I and Wolfenstein, it was one of the reasons I could thrive with my old 286 until 1998.

And the lack of money to buy anything else, of course.

Re:Commander Keen (1)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558400)

Hey, you could also run Dune II on a 286. With it you could get most of the fun of Command & Conquer (which required a 386 instead).

id should give Tom Hall Keen's rights. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34558260)

I seriously doubt that that id will create another Keen game. They should give it to Tom Hall (or at least offer it to him). I know he'll be dying to have it.

Re:id should give Tom Hall Keen's rights. (2)

Xtense (1075847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558422)

They don't have them anymore. They were sold to FormGen by Apogee, who in turn sold them to Activision, so we can safely assume they're down the bit bucket.

Re:id should give Tom Hall Keen's rights. (4, Informative)

Xtense (1075847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558778)

Correction: not Activision, but Infogrames, which is now Atari. It went something like this:

With CKeen, episode 6 (Aliens Ate My Babysitter), the game was published by FormGen, and Apogee was only a retailer. In 1996, FormGen was sold to GT Interactive, along with the rights to Commander Keen. In 1999, Infogrames Entertainment SA took a controlling stake in GT and renamed the whole company Infogrames, Inc. Then, in 2003, Infogrames Inc. changed their name to Atari Inc. and it sits like that up until now. Formally, Atari is the owner of all the IP surrounding Commander Keen.

I mistook Atari for Activision since it was Activision who published the GameBoy Color version in 2001 (leading to much Fanon Discontinuity).

/afk (1)

Push Latency (930039) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558294)

I loved the afk yo-yo!

Remembering Keen (3, Informative)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558312)

Oh, god, I remember the Commander Keen games. I was a purely PC gamer back in the early 90s; the parents wouldn't have a console in the house at the time. To be honest, I don't remember the original Commander Keen being particularly great. It was one of those EGA platformers with very sparse graphics that seemed to be everywhere on the PC at the time. I think of it like the original Duke Nukem platformers; games which are remembered not in their own right, but for what they went on to spawn.

What did blow me away, however, was Keen 4 (Secret of the Oracle), which came out a year later. This was a huge leap forwards in terms of graphics and sound. The sad thing is that I can still hum some of the pieces of background music from that game. The gameplay was also much improved, with Keen's movement feeling much more natural, and some really great level design. It actually gave PC gamers of the time a game that they could pretend was almost as good as the likes of Super Mario World and Sonic the Hedgehog. I don't think I saw a better platformer on the PC until Jazz Jackrabbit, which I'm fairly sure was a few years later.

Actually, isn't the Keen series available on Steam these days? I must pick that up this evening. Take a look at the episodes from the "full" version that I never saw in my youth.

lol (1)

chronoss2010 (1825454) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558344)

paying steam for a 20 year old game...now thats funny

Re:lol (4, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558654)

I've paid Amazon for 20-plus year old movies and books before. Why should buying a 20 year old game from Steam be any different?

Re:lol (1)

sheehaje (240093) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559804)

I've paid Amazon for 20-plus year old movies and books before. Why should buying a 20 year old game from Steam be any different?

I agree whole heartedly. While I enjoy a lot of the games today, there are still old titles that haunt my memory. Especially some of those I never finished.

Solar Winds... Planescape:Torment... Might and Magic series...

There are a ton of old games that are of high quality and worth playing again.

Re:lol (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34560570)

How so? Maybe they actually provide good value for your money. While I haven't bought any old games off of Steam, I do often buy old games from Good Old Games [gog.com] like for example Redneck Rampage Collection and Blood I & II.

By buying them from Good Old Games not only do I get DRM free gaming, but I also get OOTB support for both X86 and X64 on XP - Windows 7 with ZERO hassles. in fact what turned me on to GoG was trying to get my original Redneck Rampage disc to play on Windows 7 X64, which was a royal PITA to set up and configure DOSBox with. With GoG it was as easy as 1.-buy game and download it, 2.- install game on X64 via "clicky clicky next next next", 3.-Play game full screen on windows 7 HP x64 with NO glitching or hassles.

There are plenty of us out here that will happily part with a few dollars to have the bullshit and hassles removed from classic gaming on modern OSes. With most of the classics at just $5 (and often less than half that on sale, like the $5 I paid for both Blood I&II) to me it is WELL worth that trivial amount not to deal with hoop jumping and trawling forums for tweaks and fixes when I can just install and play. Oh and for Linux guys check out the GoGMixes, where they have such topics as perfect for Linux Netbooks [gog.com] and Open Sourced Games [google.com] . Well worth throwing them a couple of bucks for hassle free gaming IMHO.

Re:lol (2)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34560746)

Hell, I've probably spent more on ZX Spectrum emulators than I ever did on ZX Spectrum hardware when it was current - through Gerton Lunter's original "Z80" emulator to modern-day "Spectactulator". The free ones don't cut the mustard and don't have the licensed ROM's for certain add-ons, and I can play all my old games again. There is *nothing* like a quick blast on Chaos at 16x speed (if you can control the cursor okay) in a window while you're doing other stuff. And Batty still kick arse too.

Buying "old" stuff isn't a bad thing. Buying "shit" from any era is. I am more likely to laugh at someone who spends £60 on a game that they'll complete or throw away in an hour than someone who spends £100 on emulators (yes, there are plenty of free ones but the more niche systems tend to be on a pay-for basis - hell, I own a CD-i emulator!) so they can have thousands of hours of gaming. Cost per hour of entertainment - that's my statistic. If that's too low, I won't bother. Currently I consider anything over £1 / hour a waste of money and most of my Steam games get me a LOT more than that (one is currently on it's 256th hour for just under £5... work it our for yourself). Now think how much people piss away on DVD's, Bluray, and cinema, arcade games, fruit machines, pinball, etc. not to mention modern full-price video games (including the costs of having the appropriate equipment for all of those things) and how much they actually get out of it. Some of them are in the "more than £15 / hour" category at times! Besides the fact, if they are actually any good as games, you'll be picking them up next year for half the price (and half the price again the year after) and have a better-bugfixed version of the EXACT SAME game for much cheaper.

Gimme a hundred games from when I was a kid than a single modern-day one, any day. It's called sensible buying, and getting your money's worth. I *do* own Keen on Steam. It cost me £1 or so I think, on a deal. If I play it for an hour, that's my money's worth out of it. Now, how many times would I have to play through the "newest" game, and enjoy every second of doing that, in order to bring it down to the same amount per hour of entertainment?

Re:Remembering Keen (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558638)

Keen 4-6 and Duke Nukem 2 are still awesome. The earlier games aren't bad but I can see why someone who didn't grow up with them wouldn't be able to "get" it--the later games should be enjoyable to anyone who likes the genres (platformer and platform shooter, respectively), regardless of what they grew up playing.

Steam does have Keen; I got it when the complete id collection went on sale a year or so ago. The pack doesn't include episode 6 or Keen Dreams, though, so it's not all the games.

Re:Remembering Keen (1)

anss123 (985305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558784)

What did blow me away, however, was Keen 4 (Secret of the Oracle), which came out a year later. This was a huge leap forwards in terms of graphics and sound.

Yeah. It wasn't quite as good or pretty as Super Mario World (had a SNES) but close enough. Jazz Jackrabbit was another good one, though I've only played the demo.

Take a look at the episodes from the "full" version that I never saw in my youth.

Don't. Haven't played them myself but the consensus seems to be that they're not as good.

Re:Remembering Keen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34559644)

You're right, it wasn't as pretty as Super mario on the snes, or jazz jackrabbit for VGA, but we're talking about a game from 1991(CK4 is the one that matters) that supported the graphics hardware of the vast majority of machines around at the time, looked pretty bloody good doing it, and made up for the limited colour palette in the gameplay stakes. I've played alex kid, i've played sonic, i've played mario, none are half as enjoyable as keen4e.

Re:Remembering Keen (1)

anss123 (985305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559706)

That's a good point. I played Keen4 after SMW, but the games were actually released around the same time. Had I played Keen4 first my opinion might have differed, SMW is a longer game though and has a nicer ending and end boss.

Same as you I found the Alex Kids and Sonic games less enjoyable than Keen4.

Re:Remembering Keen (1)

eimaj (35726) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559420)

"The sad thing is that I can still hum some of the pieces of background music from that game."

There's lyrics, too, I recently learned...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Pek_JxmPonM#t=161s

Re:Remembering Keen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34559646)

"Commander Keen" was the first PC computer game I ever played. After downloading the first episode on Compu$erve, I ended up purchasing the whole series. My then-girlfriend was hooked as well, and over 20 years later, we're still together; "Commander Keen" was part of our courtship!

When 4-6 came out, I purchased them all, along with later spin-offs using similar tech like "Halloween Harry" and "Cosmo's Cosmic Adventures" (featuring one of the most annoying soundtracks ever).

"Commander Keen" was still the best, however, full of subtle character details uncommon in games at the time. For example, in 4-6, if you didn't touch the keyboard for a few seconds, Keen would stop and glare. Wait longer, and he'd give up, pull out a book, and sit down to read. A little thing, but something that fit perfectly with the Calvin-esque character of Keen.

Thank you, John Carmack!

Re:Remembering Keen (1)

sheehaje (240093) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559772)

Apogee was built on Commander Keen and the Shareware model, especially theirs where you got part 1 of 3 free.

I ran a BBS back then that became one of the first Apogee Distribution sites, another innovation attributed to Apogee was getting thousands of BBS's across the country to essentially be mirror sites for their games. The system worked great because Apogee got the word out, and BBS SysOp's got cool games in their file transfer sections. I know all this seems like a moot point now with the Internet, but back then, if you wanted to deliver software without relying on brick and mortar stores, BBS's were the best way to do it.

I might have to load up a good game of Commander Keen, my son would love it I'm sure.

Re:Remembering Keen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34560106)

I'm sure 10,000 other Slashdot geeks are falling all over themselves to reply, but you can play Keen in minutes for free simply by downloading DOSBox [dosbox.com] and then getting the game from one of the many DOS gaming download sites like this one [dosgamesarchive.com] . Just about everything that ran on DOS is either abandonware or public domain now. Welcome to emulated retro gaming!

Re:Remembering Keen (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#34560712)

I'm sure 10,000 other Slashdot geeks are falling all over themselves to reply, but you can play Keen in minutes for free simply by downloading DOSBox and then getting the game from one of the many DOS gaming download sites like this one. Just about everything that ran on DOS is either abandonware or public domain now. Welcome to emulated retro gaming!

Since the key word in "abandonware" is "abandon", and iD still sells the Keen games, the Keen games aren't abandonware.

Good times (1)

Noam.of.Doom (934040) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558342)

I was grinning like and idiot all the way through the whole set of screenshots. Great memories.

Re:Good times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34558538)

Well you write like and idiot too.

Re:Good times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34558716)

Well you write like and idiot too.

Takes one to know one.

C.Keen strangely invisible on other platforms (1)

popo (107611) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558360)

Keen was a fantastic 2D platformer. Why hasn't anyone ported it to the DS, PSP, iPhone, etc. ?

Re:C.Keen strangely invisible on other platforms (1)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558368)

Because the Gameboy Color remake sucked.

Re:C.Keen strangely invisible on other platforms (1)

X86Daddy (446356) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559962)

I have it installed on my Nintendo Wii. You can read about and acquire the port here [wiibrew.org] .

They apparently used the source of a DS port as a starting point.

All of these require homebrew enablement hacks.

Only ever played one of them (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558372)

Secret of the Oracle. The one with the infamous fish. Only actually finished it in 2008, for that matter (I first played it around 1994, but never finished until rediscovering it a long time later).

SWIM SWIM HUNGRY

Eat Your Veggies (1)

DarkAnt (760333) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558386)

Dopefish Lives!

Nostalgia (5, Funny)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558410)

I remember I had to fix my uncle's computer because he had deleted COMMAND.COM thinking it was part of Commander Keen.

I played it for the first time a few months ago. (1)

dohzer (867770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558414)

To be honest, I didn't find it all that great. I guess you had to be there.

Re:I played it for the first time a few months ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34558488)

For 1990, that game was freaking awesome.

I'm guessing you're not old enough to remember that generation of games.

Re:I played it for the first time a few months ago (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558570)

The original trilogy hasn't aged well. The controls suck balls (and did even back then) and the graphics are horrid.

4, 5, and the elusive 6 are still excellent.

The controls are improved, the play is smooth, and they're pretty enough to be visually interesting most of the time. The graphics are in that "good enough" sweet spot where, though they may not look modern exactly, they aren't so far behind that they're a shock.

Re:I played it for the first time a few months ago (1)

DoctorFuji (1331807) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559586)

Yes, you had to be there to appreciate it for what it was at the time.

What about the great FTP archives? (1)

costas (38724) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558458)

If you're gonna go back to that era, someone needs to mention the great shareware FTP archives of the pre-Web internet: wustl.edu, garbo.uwasa.fi, simpnet (? it's been too long).

Am I the only one who kept checking the READMEs for new pointers by the maintainers? I probably downloaded way too many games on the recommendation of obscure Finnish professors :-)

Re:What about the great FTP archives? (1)

Hobart (32767) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559046)

the great shareware FTP archives of the pre-Web internet: wustl.edu, garbo.uwasa.fi, simpnet (? it's been too long).

SIMTEL [wikipedia.org] . Keith Peterson was a customer of the ISP I worked at in Metro Detroit back in 1994, and when he called in and I fanboy'ed him he was pretty surprised. :-)

Re:What about the great FTP archives? (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559660)

Ah yes, and before that, we used to buy CD's chock full of those games, loaded with files.bbs indexing, to put on the BBS. Nothing beats the satisfaction of your first color game download over a 2400 or 14.4k modem.

Re:What about the great FTP archives? (2)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559080)

ftp.cdrom.com/pub/idstuff

never forget

Re:What about the great FTP archives? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34560778)

Man it would be great if these sites would make it into an archive and onto a torrent tracker somewhere.

For those too young to remember (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558474)

This game was great, it kept my kids off the lawn when it came out.

The way to play Commander Keen authentically... (1)

Scooter's_dad (833628) | more than 3 years ago | (#34558534)

...is on a 16 MHz 386SX cpu. At least, that's how I remember it. Time to go dust mine off. Now get the hell off my lawn!

Re:The way to play Commander Keen authentically... (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559380)

As an aside, last time I pulled out an old PC and plugged it in out of curiosity, a 486 DX2-66, I found a copy of Quake on it. When I tried to run it it ran at about 3 fps, and Doom didn't break much over 15fps.

Did we really used to put up with that kind of shitty frame rate back then, or has, despite having not been touched for about 15 years, this system mysteriously slowed down? There didn't seem to be any problems with the hard drive or anything, can a processor even "just slow down"? I figured it'd just break and not work, or cause crashes rather than slow down if that was the problem. As the system seemed fine other than the slowness of Quake and Doom I could only assume that we did in fact put up with shitty framerates, but that doesn't seem right. I can't have ever seen myself playing something so painful.

Re:The way to play Commander Keen authentically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34559486)

It seems like a painful framerate today, when 30 fps is the absolute minimum you need. I remember playing WoW in 2005 on an old WinXP box, with only half of the memory WoW required and a shit graphics card. It ran 4-5 FPS with every setting at the absolute minimum and the resolution down to 640x480 (or so), with every background service I could turn off turned off (I even remember shutting down explorer.exe while playing), but I didn't really care (until I went to Orgrimmar, which caused 1/10 FPS). When I got a new machine in 2007 and got 60 FPS from WoW, I just couldn't imagine playing it at 5 FPS again.

Re:The way to play Commander Keen authentically... (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559578)

Did the machine have a turbo button and if so did you make sure it was turned on?

Re:The way to play Commander Keen authentically... (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559704)

Also what resoloution were things set to, early 3D games got much slower if you tried to crank up the resoloution from the default 320x200 to say 640x480.

Re:The way to play Commander Keen authentically... (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559784)

No, it didn't have one, I think it was a 486 SX33 originally, so was really at the point where turbo buttons were starting to dissapear from cases.

Re:The way to play Commander Keen authentically... (1)

crashumbc (1221174) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559590)

A 486 DX2 66 was probably under powered for Quake. I played it on a Pent. 150mhz and it wasn't exactly snappy on that...

 

Re:The way to play Commander Keen authentically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34559724)

It would have been ok on a frakenstein box with a pci bus and voodoo 3 gfx. A P60 would have ran it fine. I used to get 30fps @640x480 on a p75 clicked at 100 with a 12 mb voodoo rush.

Re:The way to play Commander Keen authentically... (1)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 3 years ago | (#34561008)

Very underpowered for Quake. The 100MHz+ 486's kind of worked, but you really needed at least a Pentium 75MHz or better.

486/66 was fine for Doom, though... Then again he said it was an upgraded 486/33 so it probably wasn't at it's full potential and probably had a shit video card.

Re:The way to play Commander Keen authentically... (1)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559654)

Maybe you used to put up with that, but my 486 systems tended to get an AMD processor running at 133MHz or 150MHz instead.

Re:The way to play Commander Keen authentically... (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559674)

No... on such machine, Quake should be somewhat choppy (10-15 fps) and Doom would run at "full speed", which is maybe 25-30 fps.

Re:The way to play Commander Keen authentically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34560620)

Yeah, if you were using a PENTIUM 66MHz with a hot-crap overpriced "Windows accelerator" card.

p.s. Quake ran 12fps on my AMD 5x86 160MHz. That's a VERY BEEFY 486 right there.

Re:The way to play Commander Keen authentically... (1)

Scooter's_dad (833628) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559708)

Huh, I am pretty sure the machine I used to play Quake on was also a 66 MHz 486DX (my girlfriend's machine; one of several charms she possessed,) and I recall it running decently enough. I'm sure I was running at a pretty low resolution -- no more than 640 x 480, maybe even lower? -- but it ran well enough to keep me up half the night playing through the $5 "demo" CD, then calling some phone number and punching in my credit card info so I could get a code to unlock the rest of the game. Good times.

Framerate was never an issue with Commander Keen :) I could probably play it well enough on my kid's old LeapPad.

Re:The way to play Commander Keen authentically... (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34561476)

Yeah that's how I remember it too, I just find it so strange that it could've slowed down. I think I ran it at 320x240 or whatever the resolution was back then, it wouldn't have handled 640x480 well I know that, but I'm amazed that it just wouldn't even do 320x240 well nowadays for some reason. I'm just intrigued to know what the cause of such a slow down would be!

Re:The way to play Commander Keen authentically... (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34560404)

Quake required a Pentium class computer with a FPU. Yes, there was a Pentium compatible called the NexGen that didn't have an FPU. Also, while a P-60 could run the game pretty well, my Cyrix M1 at 100 MHz could barely handle it because the FPU wasn't much better than a 486's.

Re:The way to play Commander Keen authentically... (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#34560916)

Did we really used to put up with that kind of shitty frame rate back then, or has, despite having not been touched for about 15 years, this system mysteriously slowed down?

Quake was one of, if not the, first game to require a decent FPU, something the 486 (even DXs) lacked.

DOOM should have been "great" on a machine like that, however (ie: as good as it's going to get). When it came out in 1993, a 486DX2/66 was pretty much the fastest machine normal people could buy.

Fan sequels (1)

jspenguin1 (883588) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559264)

For those fans disappointed by the cancellation of "The Universe is Toast", there is an excellent series of fan sequels available:

http://www.shikadi.net/keenwiki/The_Universe_Is_Toast_(MOD_Trilogy) [shikadi.net]

They are set up as mods to Keen 4, Keen 6, and Keen 5, respectively, although the third is not available yet.

Keen Dreams (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34559460)

Keen 4 to 6 were great, but did anyone here play Keen Dreams? I really enjoyed fighting that giant potato in my dreams.

They run under DOSBox, by the way!

Why is episode 6 hard to find? (1)

pisto_grih (1165105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559522)

It's the only version I have played, and I have a copy that runs under DOSBox.

Re:Why is episode 6 hard to find? (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34560464)

"(published commercially only by FormGen, Apogee resold it as a retailer; now discontinued)"

Is what the wiki says. And I have the Steam "Keen Complete" pack and it's not included either. That said, I really don't miss it - I only ever played episode 3 or 4 because I found it in a bargain bin when I was much younger so that's the only one that holds any memories for me.

Episode 6 Available Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34559912)

Now go celebrate. [abandonia.com]

P.S. ... You'll need DOSBox or a very old PC.

Awesome! (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559920)

Commander Keen... What an awesome series of games with tons of personality.

Having always been more of a PC gamer I felt like the platform was deprived by a distinct lack of good platforming games. Then Commander Keen came along and there was something quite good to point to; the PC can do it too.

Compared to other platformers of the time it was actually a decent game, especially the later games where the tiling wasn't as simplistic and graphics and gameplay were more robust.

Loved Commander Keen (1)

TiberiusMonkey (1603977) | more than 3 years ago | (#34560116)

Most of the latter part of my childhood was spent playing Commander Keen, it was truly one of the best games I ever played. I adored it. That's really all I had to say, but I had to post just to say it. My Ubuntu login screen has Commander Keen as my user icon at work, I'd love to see the code released as OSS.

CloneKeen (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34560690)

There is an open source project for an engine to run the first 3 Keen games:

http://clonekeen.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

I can't stress enough how much I want a new Keen game. Who owns the rights these days? Atari?

If I was a small game development company trying to make a name for myself, this would be a perfect project. There are WAY too many shooters, and it is hard to differentiate yourself in that market, especially on a budget.

But a good platformer can be developed on the cheap. New platformers still find ways to innovate and change gameplay all the time. You can capitalize on the fact that this a known name and might get hyped up by eager geeks, but at the same time the franchise has been dormant long enough that you might get the license real cheap.

Seeing this.... (1)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 3 years ago | (#34561096)

Seeing this makes me miss the Amiga even more. Yes, I know you couldn't get Keen on the Amiga. Ask me if thought that was a great loss.

BBS Downloads (1)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 3 years ago | (#34561178)

There was nothing like staying home sick from school, dialing up to one of my favorite local BBS's, and waiting a few hours for the Commander Keen shareware version to download. The game was great and the first episode had some pretty sweet PC speaker sound effects. This was definitely an underrated side scroller. Action packed, challenging, and kept you wanting to play more. It's no Doom, but we're not even comparing the same kind of game here. Simply holding the [G] [O] and [D] keys at the same time enabled God Mode. Can't beat that. And that super jump that allows you to pretty much float across an entire map was also pretty bad ass. Can't believe it's already been 20 years.
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