Did anyone else play Commander Keen?

Specifically Commander Keen 4: The Secret of the Oracle? I was OBSESSED with that game as a kid. And by as a kid, I mean that I still regularly play Commander Keen when I am totally overwhelmed by New York City. It goes without saying that I can beat the game and also locate the secret level, because that is what doing something for almost 30 years will gift a person.

The artwork in Commander Keen: Secrets of the Oracle is basically MoMa-level work, if not better than that. If I wasn’t married, I would have totally used my book advance to commission a house’s worth of Commander Keen art, and my house would look like this:



Last night I was drinking wine and playing through some of the cave levels, because let’s face it, if you’re going to veer over the pyramids, that’s a commitment. (And if you don’t know how to get to the secret pyramid, check out the video below.) Anyway, when I was a kid, I wanted to decorate my house like the Crystal Cave. It’s basically an incredibly spiritual, pricey take on modernism: lots of Saarinen-looking ice-glass, scant objects scattered about, lots of windows, etc.



If you have any rich friends, their house may look a little bit like that. Without the 5,000 point ice cream cones.


And lo, the gems! Is there any better feeling than inserting a gem into its rightful home? nor any more maddening feeling than stumbling upon the wrong home for the particular gem in your coffer?


As an opposite to the glory of The Crystal Cave, Commander Keen’s creators gifted us Hillville. TERRIFYING. Remember that movie from a few years ago where the little girl is dragged into the underground bunker to live out the rest of her days with a murderer? That’s basically Hillville.


Every year I consider becoming this mushroom for Halloween. I just want to see if anyone in New York City understands me.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s