Billy "Commander Keen" Blaze, an eight-year-old genius, has flied to Mars in his Bean-with-Bacon
Megarocket build out of common household objects. But while Keen was exploring Mars, the
alien Vorticons stole vital parts from his ship and hid them in the Martian cities. Now Keen must
find the stolen parts if he wants to return to Earth.
Commander Keen 1: Marooned on Mars
is the first in a series of platform games. Your objective is to find the 4 missing parts to your ship.
The game begins with a top-down map of Mars. This is the level select screen, where you can
walk around and choose the next level you want to enter. On each level, you have to find the exit,
and possibly grab a missing rocket part which may be on the level. Once you reach the exit, you're
back on the map of Mars.
The levels are typically full of enemy creatures. Most numerous are Yorps, which are mostly
harmless, if annoying, but other creatures are a genuine danger. If Keen gets shot or touched, or
falls into a pit or some hazardous object, he dies, and you're booted out of the level back to the
map of Mars and lose one of the lives.
Thankfully, Keen can defeat some of the enemies with his raygun. He can also find a pogo stick
which allows him to jump very high. Other items to find include keycards that open locked doors
and bonus items which give score (Keen gets an extra life if he collects enough score).
Maybe it was the story that sucked us in?
Here was a kid, much like we were then, who had an IQ in the upper limits and a cool secret
identity. Barry Blaze, ordinary schoolkid, by day, Commander Keen, intergalactic superhero, by
In this, the first story, Billy gets stuck on Mars when the evil Vorticons steal his space ship pieces
and has to travel around the whole planet looking for them so he can get back and stop the
Vorticons from blowing up earth.
Riveting storyline right? Well... ok, so maybe it wasn't brilliant but to give it some cre…