keen 6 and keen dreams

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Webster.Pastapali
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keen 6 and keen dreams

Post by Webster.Pastapali »

Hello, I am wanting to own keen dreams and keen 6 so that i can replay them and get keen 6 and dreams mods to work. I realize that keen 6 is not for sale anymore. What about dreams on a pc??? I bought the others on steam. Also, I know that keen 6 can be gotten somehow. Could someone PM me the best place to look?
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Re: keen 6 and keen dreams

Post by DarkAle »

Hey there,
If you want I can give you my copy of Keen 6
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Re: keen 6 and keen dreams

Post by Benvolio »

Back in the day, Keen Dreams was pretty much ubiquitously shared for download along with Keen1 and Keen4. Has this changed over the years?
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Re: keen 6 and keen dreams

Post by Roobar »

There was one good website (bipship) that hosted all the Keens, but it's gone. That sucks. Unfortunately, I don't know any other websites that hosts all the Keens and all the versions...

Keen Dreams is no longer on Steam (everyone knows that). Perhaps you may need to ask Lone Wolf Technology LLC to get a version for PC.

And to recap the current rights situation: Technically, I think Atari owns the rights of Keen 6. But they don't list it on their licensed IPs. I don't think they care about it. And I think they even don't know they own it or they don't want others to know they own it. So I think it's safe to say you can download it from wherever you can find it since nobody is selling it (digitally). And you can even share it without any consequences because nobody cares.

Keen Dreams is owned by Lone Wolf Technology LLC. The author, which name I shall not say, acquired the license for $1500 and made over 80k+ sales on Steam before it went down. Now it can be obtained on Switch and it's the only one of the original Keen games that has seen some active development (improvements/changes to the original) ever since the original was released.

Keen 1-3 and Keen 4-5 are owned by Bethesda, which is now owned by Microsoft. During the Bethesda ownership, they only cared about their upcoming Keen mobile reboot (now canceled) and didn't cared about the classics. After Microsoft took them, looks like nothing will change in the observable future.
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Re: keen 6 and keen dreams

Post by K1n9_Duk3 »

Bethesda doesn't own Keen, but Bethesda Softworks might have been the "official" publisher for the last 10 years or so. Technically it's ZeniMax Media who owns id Software. And ZeniMax also owns Bethesda (both the publisher "Bethesda Softworks" and the dev team "Bethesda Game Studios"), among other studios. ZeniMax itself is now owned by Microsoft.

As for Keen Dreams, you don't actually need to buy that game. Keen Dreams was released as shareware at one point and you can still find downloads for the shareware version online. The shareware version is the full game. The only difference between the shareware version and the registered version is a slightly different startup screen. The registered version (or at least v1.93) also had "Game Solutions" as an option on the startup menu, which was basically a strategy guide for the game.

As far as I can tell, all Keen Dreams mods are based on the shareware version 1.13, but you don't even need to worry about that. All Keen Dreams mods (that I've seen so far) come bundled with all the necessary files, so you can play them right away without having to copy any additional files into the mod's folder.
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Webster.Pastapali
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Re: keen 6 and keen dreams

Post by Webster.Pastapali »

All of this information was great! Thank you. I think the Commander Keen community is probably the friendliest online community that exists.
Thanks and, as they say, "This is neat".
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Re: keen 6 and keen dreams

Post by IceDuck347 »

The keen 6 legality thing is pretty dumb for me. The games are still being sold because of contracts and licences, and it's ok to buy them, I mean, why not they're there and super cheap btw. But I still don't get why this community has the obsession with getting legal copies of keen 6 even though the game no longer belongs technically to Id software and all the other companies involved I'm pretty sure they don't really care about the game.
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Re: keen 6 and keen dreams

Post by RoboBlue »

IceDuck347 wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 16:37 The keen 6 legality thing is pretty dumb for me. The games are still being sold because of contracts and licences, and it's ok to buy them, I mean, why not they're there and super cheap btw. But I still don't get why this community has the obsession with getting legal copies of keen 6 even though the game no longer belongs technically to Id software and all the other companies involved I'm pretty sure they don't really care about the game.
I think it's out of respect for Tom Hall and a desire to eliminate any remote chance of an IP holder attempting to shut down mods for Keen.
That concern is 20 years old though.
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Re: keen 6 and keen dreams

Post by IceDuck347 »

Then I guess it's not criminalized to get keen 6? I think we're just reviving moments or doing things for fun... companies like the ones mentioned before are not likely to release rights or even care about commander keen. I think that's not gonna change, so maybe we should care more about the community, which I find very kind. But sometimes I concern about them thinking they own the rights of saying who is a true keen fan and who isn't. Maybe it's just me with paranoia lmao. But I'm someone who drew keen since I'm 4 years old and I still make comics for myself (in spaniish) combining him with Duke nukem, cool spot and even characters from local comics, I still add new characters and recreate the whole universe of the official (and unofficial) keen universe timeline (from episode 1 to 9)
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Re: keen 6 and keen dreams

Post by Tormentor667 »

*lurks in*

...

[link removed -Fleexy]

...

*lurks out*
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Re: keen 6 and keen dreams

Post by IceDuck347 »

Indeed, I've been playing keen 6 and enjoying its wholesome mods with this. Also, is there any way to get the version which asked you to introduce a creature's name before playing? Why did that version ask for that, anyway?
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Re: keen 6 and keen dreams

Post by Lower IQ than 314 »

IceDuck347 wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 15:55 Why did that version ask for that, anyway?
Copy protection. The enemy names in Keen6 were probably not widely known back when the game was first released, and a lot of them sound very nonsensical, even for this series (Bip, Babobba, Blorb, Gik, Fleex, and so on), so the names would be impossible to guess unless you either owned the game legitimately and had whatever instructions that came with it, or knew someone else who did.

At least, that's what I got from it. Who knows, I could be totally wrong. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Re: keen 6 and keen dreams

Post by K1n9_Duk3 »

Yep, it's an ancient form of "copy protection". This was relatively common in the 80's and early 90's. The games ask the user for some information that can only be found in the game's manual or other physical items that came in the game box (code wheels and such). If the user does not provide the correct information, the game usually quits to DOS or it refuses to let the player make any progress at a certain point.

Id's next commercial release after Keen 6, Spear of Destiny, had a similar mechanism where the game would ask about stuff that you would have found in the game's manual. Keen 6 only asks for the names of the creatures, but Spear of Destiny would also ask for the names of certain members of the dev team and other very specific information about the manual ("How many bullets does B.J. have on the screen-shot in the middle of page 9?" and such).

The Wolf3D/Spear source code refers to this as "COPY PROTECTION FOR FormGen", so these checks might have been requested by the publisher. That would explain why Keen 6 and Spear have such a check, but Keen 5 and the registered version of Wolf3D don't.
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Re: keen 6 and keen dreams

Post by proYorp »

Tormentor667 wrote: *lurks in*
*posts link*
*lurks out*
Heh, well. As you can see, some of us have no problem at all with using pirated copies.

I don't think I've ever seen any obsession over only using legal copies of Keen 6. In fact the general sentiment I've seen is that it's so ambiguous what the law is in that particular case that nobody really cares about that. A lot of Keen 6 mods just contain the executable, primarily because it is so hard to acquire (if I understand correctly). I think the main reason anyone would spend several hundred on a legit copy of Keen 6 is because it's a rare collectible and fans like to collect things, not because of anything to do with legality.

I think the reason we don't post direct links to pirated copies is because we don't want to risk that someone with some kind of legal power sees it and tries to shut down this forum for illegal distribution (at least, that's how I understand it). It's a very, very, very small chance, and it might even be "paranoid" lol. But PCKF is about so much more than that. :) We don't want our whole community shut down because of a few questionable links. That's what the abandonware sites are for. :p People can and will pirate the games... just not from here. (And that's coming from someone who has shamelessly pirated all the games lol. They aren't hard to find, especially if you know where to look.)


I also have never seen any elitism about "who is a true Keen fan." In fact we recently welcomed someone to our forum who said themselves that they are more a fan of other DOS games than of Keen. And that's fine. We're all just here to have a good time. As you said, IceDuck347, this is a very kind community. :) We don't reject someone for petty reasons like that.
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Re: keen 6 and keen dreams

Post by IceDuck347 »

Obviously that is not the whole community... but I've been widely criticized and threatened with being banned for innocently posting a link to the whole collection of keen games. Plus, I've seen how they emphasize the legal status of keen 6 in the shikadi.net and the info of the fan games, and I remember having seen some comments from people I don't remember the names like five years ago or so saying things that were pretty obsessive about certain aspects of the fandom. Anyway, don't worry, I wouldn't be here if I thought the community is bad. On the contrary, I'd like to expand it via other media or making some keen fan game not necessarily with the old classic engine.
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