If Commander Keen Were Around Today

I miss Commander Keen. Early PC platforming at its best, this 1991 Id Software game was about an 8-year-old boy who fought evil aliens. If he was starring in games today, he might look something like this.

Just imagine if Id Software were to bring Keen back to us in a modern platforming game. Sidescrollers are still a blast, and today’s technology has vastly improved what they’re capable of (not to mention how gorgeous they look). On a whim, I ran an online search for Commander Keen and was surprised to find a number of enthusiast groups still going strong. Everyone who ever played this PC game back in the early 90s has fond memories of it. Id is sitting on a gold mine and they don’t even seem to know it!

So I wondered what young Billy Blaze would look like in a modern game, and turned this up. The image above is by a character artist named Emil Mujanovic, and it just makes me want an modern Keen game all the more. How about you?

Here are a few more I found.

DeviantArt user “peimei” (no real name given) created this interpretation, which is an actual screenshot of a mod created for Fallout 3. I think it’s pretty darn good. Incidentally, if you’re interested in downloading the mod, you can grab it here.

Lastly, there’s this one, by artist Andy Zatorski. Obviously, this version of Billy skews a little older, but it’s still cool. I love the scorch mark and the dents in the helmet.

So what about you? Would you play a modern Commander Keen game?

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Robin Parrish
@robinparrish

Unathletic, uncoordinated tall man with endless creativity stampeding through his overactive brain. Comes with beard, wife, and two miniature humans. Novelist. General blogger and main Gaming Geek for ForeverGeek. Lead Blogger, Apple Gazette.

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