DescriptionKen's Labyrinth is a first-person 3D shooter. The protagonist has to escape from an underground labyrinth populated by monsters while trying to rescue his dog Sparky. The game plays similarly to Wolfenstein 3D and involves the protagonist traversing colorful maze-like areas, shooting monsters on the way with exotic weapons such as a bubble-gum gun. The game's stand-out feature are interactive elements: there are vending and slot machines in the stages which the player can interact with, as well as breakable walls.
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- "Walken" -- Development title
- "LAB3D/SDL" -- Windows and Linux title
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CompetitionFrom Ken Silverman's page for the game:
Now here's something any true fan would appreciate. Epic Megagames shipped a small black hint manual with the full version of Ken's Labyrinth. In November 1999, I released the full version as freeware (see top of this page). As a bonus, I thought it would be cool to include the text of the hint manual. Andy Cotter wrote the original hint manual. Epic then edited it and spiced it up. On my website, I released the ORIGINAL unedited text written by Andy Cotter. In his original description to Episode 3, Level 8, there were a few extra lines:
"By the way, if you find a globe, save the game in front of it and ship the saved game off to us to win a prize (don't bother to if you used any cheat keys, we have ways of finding that out).'
I"'m glad Epic removed this since I never had any prize planned. In fact, I had completely forgotten about it. I'm sure if this made it into Epic's hint manual, I would have remembered! Instead, it quietly slipped out in 1999. For the curious, the globe is still there on Episode 3, Level 8 (Map 28).
"You could imagine my surprise when a fan by the name of Travis Rezka sent me his saved game on April 12, 2003 to claim his prize. At first, I had no idea what he was talking about - afterall, this was 10 years later! Because Travis was the first person to find the globe and point it out to me, he gets to have his name forever listed here on the official Ken's Labyrinth page. Yes folks, that's his prize. :) Nice job, Travis!"
DevelopmentThe following is from Silverman's page:
Note: Since all keyboards are different, some keyboard combinations may not work. I apologize in advance for this. Also, when I originally programmed Ken's Labyrinth (way back in 1992-1993), computers were a lot slower. I never bothered to check for the condition that a key could be held down too long. Good luck pecking at those keys!
Freeware releaseOn November 16, 1999, Ken Silverman, with permission from Epic MegaGames, decided to release the full version of Ken's Labyrinth for free. As of that date, Epic was no longer selling it, and some of their other old games as well. On March 17th 2004, a software development kit for Ken's Labyrinth was released and can be found on Ken Silverman's website
Future GroupFuture Crew is credited for doing some artwork for the game. Sceners may recall the they're also responsible for creating the first major demo for the 386, Second Reality.
InspirationThe inspiration for the dog Sparky came from a wooden dog Ken had in his house.
LegacySilverman went on to create the Build engine, which was used in Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, and other titles. Ken's Labrynth, however, doesn't look anything at all like Build engine games--it was his first game and first engine.
TitleIt's development title, WALKEN, was created as a concatenation of walk and Ken (Silverman that is).
Version differencesBelieve it or not, there are actually three different Ken games. The first was called Walken. It's a precursor to Ken's Labyrinth. The second was called Ken's Labyrinth, and had nothing to do with Epic Megagames". It was actually released by Ken Silverman and his friend Andrew Cotter under the name of Advanced Systems. The third and final was a redone version of the Advanced Systems Ken released by Epic MegaGames.
Information also contributed by Adam Baratz, Andy Voss, Maw and Mullet of Death
Related Web Sites
- Download Ken's Labyrinth (Free, legal download of Ken's Labyrinth -- look for $KEN.ZIP)
- Ken's "Ken's Labyrinth" Page (Ken Silverman has a section on his personal site devoted to this game. Besides downloading the full registered version, you can also download BUILD versions of the levels, early versions of the program, and source code, including an early version written for QuickBasic 4.5.)
- LAB3D/SDL (LAB3D/SDL is a port of Ken's Labyrinth (using OpenGL and the SDL library) which runs on Windows, Linux and most other modern systems.)