Commander Keen, Please Come Back!

One of my favorite games of all time!

Commander Keen is a series of video games developed by id Software. The first of the six video game episodes was released in 1990 and the last one in 1991. It is a side-scroller game and was distributed through floppy disks, CD-ROMs, download, and cartridge. The episode I will be focusing on is Commander Keen Goodbye Galaxy: Secret of the Oracle

Goodbye Galaxy: Secret of the Oracle

The game was released on December 15, 1991—I was a 9-month-old baby. So, how did I acquire this game?  Well, it was my dad's. He had the game on a floppy disk and when I was old enough to play it , I did! And I loved it!

In the story, Billy is working on a new invention called the Photachycon Tranciever, which is a radio that receives signals from anywhere in the galaxy. As he tests his invention, he hears this message:

"brrzzz ... giggg ... oment of great triumph ... frzzt ... ast the Milky Way will be ... huzzzzz ... terly destroyed ... pyuneeeeeeg ... can stop us now. We will remake the galaxy in the name of the Gannalech. Power to our race! Power to the Shikadi!"


Billy heads to where the Oracle of Gnosticus IV is, so that he can help him with his mission. However, when he arrives he realizes that the Shikadi have already been there and they have kidnapped the members of the council and taken them to the Shadowlands, which is located on the west side of the planet. His new mission is to rescue the eight elders.

This screenshot shows where you first begin. In order to enter to different locations within the planet, you must pass the levels. Each level becomes harder and harder to pass.

The slug is one of the alien creatures on the planet. Your job is to not touch them or the trail of slime they leave behind. At the top you will see how many points you have obtained in each level, in this case there are 400 points. The icon next to the helmet is a gun, the numbers next to it  show you how much ammo you have left. You need this to shoot the alien creatures you come across. 

The red ball is named Blounder. He can't kill you, but can be annoying sometimes. You will need him for hard-to-reach places, because you can jump on him and he will bounce you up higher. The blue ball, however, is named Lick. He is deadly and can kill you by breathing fire on you. 

The game is really cool, because there are secret entrances to obtain higher points and material such as ammo.  As shown in this screenshot, Billy is in one of the secret places. On the left side you will notice a big blue mushroom. These mushrooms can kill you by a single touch, so be careful of them! You will also notice in this screenshot that Billy is on a pogo stick. In Commander Keen, you have the ability to walk, jump, and then jump higher on a pogo stick. If you want to jump even higher you can jump on Blounder and then use your pogo stick on top of him!

The fun thing about this game is that not all of the level are on land. This screenshot shows an underwater level.

One of my favorite places to go to on the planet, is the frozen fortress. This is because there is so much you can do and it looks appealing from the outside when you first go in, because it disappears and reappears as if it were a mirage. 

I haven't played this game in years now, but and I am hoping to find it somewhere online, since my floppy disk won't work on any of the computers. How many of you remember, this game or have recently played it somewhere?

Share your response or thoughts in the comment box below!

Our Rating
One of my favorite games of all time!
Published Aug. 20th 2013
  • Emilee_9246
    I loved commander keen! I used to play it at night while listening to our local college radio station that played alternative music. Such great memories associated whenever I hear 90s alt music. Would love to play it again.
  • Kerri_8498
    Please tell me where I can get a CD-ROM or a download!! I feel like I've tried to D/L off many sites and i have to uninstall a bunch of crap and don't even get the chance to avoid those horrid little slugs!!
  • Stealthy_5702
    That last picture - the frozen fortress - is not actually from Keen 4, but from a level pack for it. I believe it's Mr. Black's pack. It's very good and I highly recommend it.

    There's a whole community that plays and mods Commander Keen. Some of our mods are even better than the originals! Come visit us at (pckf stands for Public Commander Keen Forum)
  • Ste Grainer
    Featured Correspondent
    There was a Kickstarter project several months ago from the original developer of Commander Keen for a game development toolkit where you could build your own games similar to Commander Keen. It was unfortunately not successfully funded, but they are supposedly still working on the project in their spare time.

    Here's a link to the Kickstarter:
  • Alexa Serrano
    Interesting...I'll be sure to check it out! Thanks!
  • KAS_2006
    This game was the highlight of my childhood!
  • Alexa Serrano
    I know, haha mine too! I also liked playing the paddle wars at the start screen, ahaha!

New Cache - article_comments_article_7612
More Commander Keen Content