How to play Commander Keen on Windows
Commander Keen: defender of the Earth!
Billy Blaze, eight year old genius, has created an interstellar spaceship from old soup cans and transforms into Commander Keen, defender of the Earth! Classic side scroller, developed by John Carmack and John Romero, also known for Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake. Their developing adventure started with Commander Keen, which should have been a PC port of Super Mario Bros 3. Thank heavens Nintendo said "no". If you have the game, you can of course play it with DOSBox. If you don't have it, you can download it from Steam. Or you can read on.
Play Commander Keen games with Commander Genius
Commander Genius, also known as Clone Keen Plus, is a open source port which allows you to play Commander Keen games on Windows 11, Windows 10 and other platforms. Shareware Keen games are included, others you must add yourself. Commander Genius also supports a high quality pack, which includes high colour tilesets and updated music.
Download and install Commander Genius
- Download Commander Genius 2.x (1.9.x beta ZIP package)
- Copy the contents of the downloaded ZIP file into a folder of choice, for example d:\games. You'll end up with d:\games\CGenius--\.
- Please note Commander Genius only includes the shareware episodes of Commander Keen (Commander Keen 1: Marooned on Mars, Commander Keen: Keen Dreams and Commander Keen 4: Secret of the Oracle) and some mods (Commander Keen 7 and 8)
Start and configure Commander Genius
- Start the game by double clicking CGenius.exe, in this example it's located at d:\games\CGenius--\CGenius.exe
- Select a game you want to play. Please note that the mouse pointer could have an erroneous vertical offset, but you can also use the keyboard to select a game.
- Select Configure in the main menu
- Select Video
- For a retro feel, make sure Filter is set to none and OGL Filter is set to Nearest
- Apply changes and exit the menu by pressing Esc twice
- Start a new game by selecting New Game
Install the High Quality Pack
Commander Genius supports high coloured tilesets and nice music. It's good to download these packs, as the folder needed for commercial episodes of Commander Keen will be automatically created.
- Download the High Quality Pack ZIP file
- Copy the contents of the downloaded ZIP file into the Commander Genius folder, in this example d:\games\CGenius--\. Allow files to be overwritten.
- Please note that folders for commercial episodes have been created in the games folder, like keen2, keen3, keen5 and keen6. These folders only contains high quality music and/or tilesets
Install other episodes for Commander Genius
Only shareware episodes and mods have been included with Commander Genius. If you'd like to play commercial episodes, like Commander Keen 2: The Earth Explodes! or Commander Keen 3: Keen Must Die!, do the following:
- Make sure you've installed the High Quality Pack. If not, create the following folders:
- For Commander Keen 2: The Earth Explodes, create a keen2 folder in the games folder, in this example d:\games\CGenius--\games\keen2.
- For Commander Keen 3: Keen Must Die!, create a keen3 folder in the games folder, in this example d:\games\CGenius--\games\keen3.
- For Commander Keen 5: The Armageddon Machine, create a keen5 folder in the games folder, in this example d:\games\CGenius--\games\keen5.
- For Commander Keen 6: Aliens Ate My Baby Sitter!, create a keen6 folder in the games folder, in this example d:\games\CGenius--\games\keen6.
- Go to the games folder of Commander Genius, in this example d:\games\CGenius--\games
- To install Commander Keen 2: The Earth Explodes, download Keen 2 and copy all Keen 2 game files into the keen2 folder
- To install Commander Keen 3: Keen Must Die!, download Keen 3 and copy all Keen 3 game files into the keen3 folder
- To install Commander Keen 5: The Armageddon Machine, download Keen 5 and copy all Keen 5 game files into the keen5 folder
- To install Commander Keen 6: Aliens Ate My Baby Sitter!, download Keen 6 and copy all Keen 6 game files into the keen6 folder