How did you find Keen?

Here, you can get help with anything or just chat about the original Commander Keen games.
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Post by Mr. 314 »

Shame! I've never played keen on anything but hard! Of course, it has had certain...side effects shall I say? :crazy
time's wasting and evil doesn't thwart itself

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Old days..

Post by thehackercat »

I wish I could have been around in the good old days of PC gaming and BBSes.. They sound like they have more charisma than these times.

Though I SURE wouldn't trade my Nelhalem processor for a 386. :)

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Post by Spatula »

My dad got the first three back when they came out, and we were both hooked.

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Post by XkyRauh »

My dad subscribed to a service called the "Software of the Month Club." It was essentially a BBS for people without an Internet connection. Every month we'd get a thick cardboard envelope in the mail with 2-3 floppy disks and a sheet of paper explaining what was on each disk.

Everything was shareware, and most of it was crap, but it was awesome for me as a little 8 year old, to get a new set of games to play every month!

I got the demo for Crystal Caves and absolutely fell in love, so my dad got me the full version for my birthday--and in those days, the full registered version of an Apogee title included the first episode of another Apogee published game as Shareware. The game that came with CC1 as KEEN1. :)

At first, I was really turned off by Keen! He doesn't control very well compared to Milo Steamwitz, and so I dismissed the game as another unfortunate demo... until Christmas when my dad got me Keen6. WOW! :D Keen6 totally captivated my interest, and I played the snot out of it. Later I got Keen4+5, and thought they were pretty great (though not as great as 6), and I went back and tried Keen1 again. Got 2&3 later in the year, and that's that.

I heard rumors about Keen Dreams in 4th grade, and I thought the kid was pulling my leg. I mean, if all you knew was Keen1-6, and suddenly there's a kid telling you about Boobus Bombs and pajamas and Tuber Troopers, it sounds a little far fetched! Wasn't until I got online years later that I found out (gasp) that he was telling the truth! Sorry, Jesse. :)

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Post by Ceilick »

I heard rumors about Keen Dreams in 4th grade, and I thought the kid was pulling my leg. I mean, if all you knew was Keen1-6, and suddenly there's a kid telling you about Boobus Bombs and pajamas and Tuber Troopers, it sounds a little far fetched!
Dude, no way, I had practically the same experience. In elementary, around 4th grade, my friend was telling me about "the lost keen" and how you fight potatoes. I was skeptical but oh too curious and interrogated my friend. He said he had only played the first level because there was a potato on a log he couldn't get past. My imagination went wild.

Later he told me how to download it (which was my first Internet experience) and i was too excited to play a new keen (at the time, I still hadn't played keen 6). Wasn't quite the way I had imagined it though :p

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Post by Levellass »

I remember Keen 3 at a cousin's house, and for years all I remembered was him saying 'The bubble is God and you're going around murdering their families.'

Then I was introduced to Keen 4 and 6 (CGA) At the same cousin's house I saw EGA for the first time and was amazed. Then followed a familiar experience (Keen Dreams? What's it about.) Finally I went online and got everything sorted out. (Wait... this game... I played it almost before I could walk! My Lord! I played Keen 3!)
What you really need, not what you think you ought to want.

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Post by mortimer »

Hmm, a tricky question.. I have just grown up with keen really; Well, with keens 1 and 4. It is only in very recent years that I downloaded the lot. Yeah. Not very interesting, but you asked! :p
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Post by wolfcub7 »

Well, I was a little kid into video games and PC games at the turn of the decade when they were released, so I just found them by my brother getting them for us.

I'm not sure if we got them immediately or a couple of year later, but anyway. :)

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Post by Bernie »

i have/had an incredibley dim memory of playing the very first keen game on my grandmother's computer when i was freaken young. then when i was around 8 or so i bought that first keen game/episode (on those big black disks) and tried to install it on my XT computer but it didnt have the power :( so i had to play it on my dad's computer. the end.

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Post by DoomJedi »

My first Keen was Keen 1 (and then Keen 4, as those were free).
I think the first time was when I was visiting in Yotvata Kibbutz - playing this with my nephews...we just couldn't get enough of it. Well...of "Golden Axe" and it. But I really fell in love with this game, that never passed. I was one of the craziest Keen fans for so many years, immersed into it, I even paid money to my school pal Stas to copy me Keen to diskettes. I still have those 1.2 diskettes BTW.

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Post by Benvolio »

Ah I love this thread... and it looks like it fizzled out prior to my PCKF days so let me just add that, as mentioned before, my dad handed me this fateful 5 1/4 disk to stick in my Amstrad PC 1640, from the cover of WHAT! personal computer, containing "two fabulous, fully playable games". Damn right! The one was Keen1 v1.0. The other was Pango. I've always wanted to scan this disk in to show the gang here, but alas I am perpetually bewildered as to where it went!

Oh and welcome, Wolfcub7!

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Post by Paramultart »

Most of my family's computers and games were handed down by my uncle, who I believe worked for IBM. My sister had a Sega Genesis, but I never cared much for consoles, because the games I saw on the computer were vastly more interesting.
When I play these games I am immediately brought back to being a kid, watching my dad and my uncle play them in his office. I had only seen him once since my family's move in 2000, but I kept him informed of my modding endeavors through e-mail, and he sent me a lot of games over the years. He was one of the coolest and most generous people you would ever meet. I admired him greatly. My uncle died last year, just a few months shy of my trip to California to visit him.
When I play Keen, or Monster Bash, or Doom, I don't just see pixels and hear digitized sound; I am taken to a different time and place in my life. The strange, welcoming smell of my grandma's house and my uncle's cologne, the sounds of holidays passing by from the other room, the food, and all the warm, fuzzy feelings that go along with those things. I happily drown in a most intoxicating nostalgia.
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Post by Benvolio »

That's a wonderful anecdote, Para. Sorry to hear about your uncle. I can only imagine that the majority of the PCKF is packed with intense nostalgia and a myriad of associations with long-lost chapters of all our lives. Smells, tastes, soundtracks (both in-game music and the listening choices of the day) - youthful excitement related to both the games themselves and to life in general during these formative times.

I know that my associations - though not as poignant as yours - bring much warmth to the digital worlds of those classics - in my case Keen, Cosmo and DN1 - whenever I play them. It is a different warmth to that brought by the Keen community to the games - but both are equally important reasons why I am typing here rather than doing the many things I could/should be doing this evening!

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Post by szemi »

I remember when I was 8, Keen 4 was the first I've played with, then I met Keen 6, then Keen 5, then the others.
Yeah, piece of cake!

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Post by StupidBunny »

szemi wrote:I remember when I was 8, Keen 4 was the first I've played with, then I met Keen 6, then Keen 5, then the others.
Sorry Para. szemi's story was much more heartwarming than yours.

In all seriousness, I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your uncle. I can totally understand what you mean. It's one of the reasons I miss my grandparents' old house so much...there will be nothing like the perfect silence of their computer room downstairs, playing Rogue on a little CRT monitor. It's also why I keep my old laptop around. I hope that thing never dies.

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