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:

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Exquisite.

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.

 

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

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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?

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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.

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

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