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Commander Keen series

Group Description

Commander Keen is a series of platform games developed by id Software. The protagonist of these games is an eight-year-old boy named Billy Blaze (his official name is William Joseph Blazkowicz). He is a genius who has built a spaceship called Bean-with-Bacon Megarocket from old soup cans. Throughout the series, he assumes the persona of Commander Keen, a football helmet-donning defender of the Earth who must thwart the world-dominating plans of his school rival Mortimer McMire. This often involves traveling to different planets and other hostile environments, and fighting aliens and other enemies.

Gameplay-wise, the series' defining features are Billy's ray gun with limited ammunition (which he uses to stun enemies permanently), and his pogo stick, which is used to jump twice as high. The games feature top-down overworld areas that connect between platforming stages, often allowing the player to explore them in a different order. Earlier games could only be saved in the overworld; the second trilogy, starting with Secret of the Oracle (1991), makes it possible to save anywhere and introduces several graphical and gameplay-related enhancements.

Selected Covers

Commander Keen Combo CD Windows Front Cover
Front cover for Commander Keen Combo CD
Apogee's Greatest Games DOS Front Cover
Front cover for Apogee's Greatest Games

Selected Screenshots