Ideas and Thoughts: Commander Keen 64

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26-Nov-97

Ah, Commander Keen... this is a great old game. Good graphics, gameplay, sound, music, etc. Basically, the things that make a game a great old game. Commander Keen is the story of Billy Blazer, a kid genius who uses his home-built spaceship and his brother's football helmet to become Commander Keen! Another great thing about this game is that it's not cute, but not violent. I mean, it's colorful, a bit cartoonish, etc., but you won't see anything near Conker the Squirrel or Pipsy the Mouse. :)

Commander Keen was made by a company you may have heard of: Id. It's also very similar to a game which perhaps you haven't heard of, but you have heard of it's 3D, first-person shooter sequel: Duke Nukem.

Now, what kind of game would Commander Keen 64 be? Well, I have 3 main thoughts on this.

1. 2D Keen Yup, a new 2D game. CK is a great 2D game, and the N64 could always use one of those. And I can just see CK with more colors, animations, etc... wow!

2. 3D Keen - Choice 1 Well, remember how I said Duke turned 3D? Well, I can see Keen doing the same. Duke is remembered as an unconventional 3D shooter, and this would too. A colorful, non-bloody 3D shooter? That's a first. Well, I guess I'm neglecting that Japanese SNES game: Super Noah's Ark 3D, but c'mon!

3. 3D Keen - Choice 2 Now, onto a 3D platformer type idea. I can best picture Keen being a sort of cross between Super Mario 64 and Tomb Raider. He does use a zapper gun, but as I've said, he's also more cartoony. It would also have some Crash Bandicoot aspects. What I mean by this is that when they're indoor levels, it'll be more of a straight-forward, closed-in path.

Now, perhaps you want to learn more about Commander Keen, or find downloadable shareware versions of the game? Please check out Geoff Sims' Commander Keen page, which is where I got these screenshots. And about the screenshots: they're all from the latter games. The earlier ones don't look near as good.

If you are so motivated, you should mail Joshua Slone