Your most memorable level or place in Keen?

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Your most memorable level or place in Keen?

Post by Hisymak »

For me, it is the Cave of the Descendents from Keen4, namely the secret area which contains two 1UPs hidden it it and which cannot be escaped in other way than dying.
As a kid, I had really plenty of time to spend playing computer games, and I was always very curious about some special corner cases in games, and wanting to see how the game would react in such case. One case would be getting more than 99 lives in Commander Keen - I was just curious how the game would react, when it can display only up to 99 lives on both the status bar and status screen.
So I figured out that the easiest way to collect infinite lives would be to go to the Cave of the Descendents, jump into the secret with two lives, kill myslef and restart level, and... repeat this process as many times in order to get more than 99 lives. And in order to speed up the process, I was playing through the level to get some Raindrops as well, which would give me some extra lives too. So I remember playing through big part of the level for many, many times, getting really familiar with each single place in that level.
In the end, I eventually collected 99 lives and even more, but the game did not react in any special way (as I probably expected, something like showing some message or animation or crashing, or this kind of thing). It just displayed 99 lives but internally was counting more lives. I remember being just a very little disappointed, but on the other hand also satisfied for managing such thing. That was before knowing about cheat codes, after knowing them, getting 99 lives was just a matter of using some cheats to get 99 lives within less than a minute. Ugh...
Still, the level Cave of the Descendents was one of my most favourite because of the mysterious feeling (I always thought it was very deep under ground) and lot of interesting secret areas in it.

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Re: Your most memorable level or place in Keen?

Post by 55Aavenue »

I think it would have to be Chasm of Chills for me. Some of my earliest Keen memories are from that level. It seemed so massive to me. I vividly remember when I found the big secret room at the bottom of the map. Then there was also the sky area too. It had a lot of big secrets which I found very cool. Before finding the lower room I knew there had to be a secret somewhere because of the door near the begining which could only be an exit door. I rememeber searching that level top to bottom looking for it. It was an optional level that I never skipped.

Also, bluebird eggs!

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Re: Your most memorable level or place in Keen?

Post by Roobar »

I don't really know. For me for Keen 4 it should be probably the first level with those trees and the slug statue and the biggest secret area with a lot of 1ups. The brown underground passages of the second level and others, inspired me to draw a few levels on paper.

From Keen 5 is probably the first level again. Seeing those engines at the bottom and the overall verticality of the level is so cool. Also, the fact that you can go outside as well.
Another level is Energy Flow Systems A red level with Robo red in it and those platforms that move in specific ways. Very memorable. I've later drawn some levels on paper inspired by those levels.

From Keen 6, aside from the first level, the Guardian Post levels with their blue-ish design and simplicity, lamps and overall design. And there's also the Bloogville More specifically I like that there are trees inside the building. I always find that fascinating and that also had inspired me several times to draw levels with trees inside structures. Also, love the world map.

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Re: Your most memorable level or place in Keen?

Post by childofhale »

Great topic!

Keen Dreams was the first Keen I played, and I have plenty of warm, nostalgic memories of it. Particularily of finding secret areas like the ones in the underground of Spud city (I never figured out how to get the magic eyeball) and the top of the castle.

In keen 6 things I remember fondly include the underground passage with doorways in Guard post three and the nice-looking sky in Bloogbase management district.

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Re: Your most memorable level or place in Keen?

Post by XkyRauh »

Guard Post One.

I got Keen1 when I bought the full trilogy of Crystal Caves (the first computer game I full-out purchased, to my knowledge) and thought Billy Blaze handled really poorly compared to Milo Steamwitz. But then I got Keen6 as a gift (I don't recall whether it was birthday or holiday) and absolutely fell in love with the aliens and the world and the music. Guard Post One's music, combined with the atmosphere really clicked in my head. Bloogfoods, Inc. immediately after with its music truly cemented Keen as my favorite video game character. :)

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Re: Your most memorable level or place in Keen?

Post by Mobiethian »

Bloogton Manufacturing Inc. is one of my favorite Keen levels. It was in the demo when that's all I had to play Keen 6 until I got the full version.

It's amazing how much a demo makes a person interested in seeing more and whatever levels that were in the demos become the most memorable.

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Re: Your most memorable level or place in Keen?

Post by Benvolio »

Yeah I too had a particular fascination with the Keen6 demo levels presumably because of the hallowed status of Keen6 as a slightly forbidden game. I was particularly fond of the Bloogton Manufacturing level and I think it inspired a lot of my long vertical levels from my mods. I also thought Guard Post One was great and was a big fan of its music. In fact, Xky, this recent thread might interest you seeing as you are a musical person: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4773&p=88606#p88606

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Re: Your most memorable level or place in Keen?

Post by keenmaster486 »

Definitely Crystalus. It took me forever, as a clueless kid, to finally figure out how to beat that level.
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Re: Your most memorable level or place in Keen?

Post by MoffD »

I would have to say Korath III from Keen 5, the unique npcs and the hilariously loud blaring bagpipes made the level very special, also the long fall and overall shape of the map (although the Bloogton Tower has a similar feel)
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Re: Your most memorable level or place in Keen?

Post by GARGapplesauce »

I think the general design and atmosphere of the Omegamatic will always stand out to me. I always thought the fact that the level completion flags were satellites floating outside was the coolest thing, along with the BWB being parked outside, and being able to see the flag for the secret level but never quite knowing how to get there... just lots of memories of Episode 5 in general, all of those design details and the perspective in the upper section made it feel like such a cool and detailed setting full of secrets to explore.
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Re: Your most memorable level or place in Keen?

Post by RoboBlue »

The Bean With Bacon Megarocket.
I don't know why, but giving Keen the ability to hang out at his ship at any time really added to the atmosphere of Keen 4 and 6.

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Re: Your most memorable level or place in Keen?

Post by Grimson »

Hard to say. Probably the Quantum Explosion Dynamo. This level has lots of unique features: Haunting music, the Shikadi Masters (telefragging and scaring the crap out of me), the spinning gas flame pipe, and the QED itself. Overall I have the fondest memories from Keen 5.
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