Issue 23, "The Christmas Issue!"

[1.0] Articles
 [1.1] Gingerbread Cookies
 [1.2] DosBox - maybe it's your solution
[2.0] ReviewCorner
 [2.1] Pac-Keen Review
[3.0] KeenFiction
 [3.1] Coming Soon
[4.0] Keen news
 [4.1] Lego Keen released!
 [4.2] A new mod (started)
 [4.3] Pac-Keen released!
 [4.4] Fun fan games
 [4.5] Fresh mods
 [4.6] Keen bugs
 [4.7] Drawing Keen art
 [4.8] Good reading material
 [4.9] Small Keen 5 level pack! Funny!
 [4.10] Billy Blaze turns years
 [4.11] Beyond the Pogo news
 [4.12] New Fangame
[5.0] Miscellaneous
 [5.1] Announcements
 [5.2] Credits

>> [1.0] Articles <<

---- [1.1] Gingerbread Cookies

Wanna learn a valuable X-mas skill? Now you can boost your ego with a simple procedure of making gingerbread cookies.

4 dl dark, semithick syrup
2,5 dl sugar
1-2 sp cinnamon
1 sp cardamom
1 sp seville orange
1-2 tsp clove
2 tsp ginger
250 g margarine
2 eggs
1 sp baking soda (Obs! not baking powder)
10 dl wheat

First of all, if you are experiencing hair loss, be sure to cover your head with something. You dont want your family members choking on hairballs, eh? Pour all the syrup, sugar and spices in a saucepan (you can also add a pinch of additional clove). Heat up the mixture and place in the margarine to melt in. Remove the pan from the heater, and let it cool down for a while. Now add the eggs and mix well. Once cooled down, pour in the baking soda and mix it thoroughly. And now, pour in the wheat slowly, mixing the dough (at some stage it gets pretty hard. Place the tools aside and switch to your own hands). Once the mixture has clearly gotten solid, place it in a container, and put it in your fridge overnight.

Divide the mixture into 5-6 equal pieces, and one by one run them down with a rolling pin. Once the thickness is around ˝ cm, you can start carving out your cookies (the easiest way is to use existing shape tools). If you feel like expressing your fanatic behaviour towards your almighty idol, Billy Blaze, dont hesitate shaping out some of your favourite characters, such as the dopefish, yorpy, garg... Add a pinch of sugar on top of the cookies, place them over a baking paper into the oven for 6-9 minutes (200 degrees Celsius.. you do the unit conversion =P). And voilá! You have just prepared a dishful of nice, mouthwatering gingerbread cookies.

Wanna impress your sweetheart? Make a large heart-shaped cookie with a sugary glazing decoration on top of it. Mix 100 grams of dust sugar with a teaspoon of lemon / orange juice. Squeeze the hard stuff over the cookie in the shape of a smaller heart and your name printed on it. Wrap the finished cookie in a neat, clean plastic bag and tie the head with a red ribbon. He/she'll love it!

---- [1.2] DosBox - maybe it's your solution

Want to experience it all again? The forests of Shadowlands? Deserts (and desserts) of Fribbulus Xax? Maybe you want to be marooned on Mars? Or perhaps don't want to eat your vegetables... Yes, you would like to do that all again, but can't. You have a computer made with the parts of latest technology, and you can't run good "old" Commander Keen on it. :( One solution to your problem can be DosBox.

DosBox? What is it? Well, it is a program that let's you run olde DOS games on Windows, and even in other, better, operating systems! First of all, I suggest you to check out its official site. You can find it here: Click yourself to Information page to read more about it. The main thing is, that "You can "re-live" the good old days with the help of DOSBox, it can run plenty of the old classics that don't run on your new computer!" It should run Keens pretty well, and has got positive feedback from the Keen community.

After browsing the page and reading stuff, you may want to get started. Go to downloads section, and download it there. Select Windows if you have it, and so on.

Then, install it. That goes nice and quickly. :) There comes some manuals with is, and I suggest you to read them. I read those, but I can't remember almost anything... Well, this is simple example and only tells how to get started simple way. And you probably won't ever need more instructions than these.

Keen runs pretty well on it, and you probably love to get playing your favourite classics on your desktop. ;) Though, too bad, it runs pretty slowly if you don't have very powerful computer. Slowly, but very smoothly. But how then? I'm not expert on it, and don't know about any super stuff on it, but here are the basic instructions how you can get your Keens running. By the way, this considers mods too, so this can be good-bye to "Unload your TSRs!" messages, if you get them, as I do.

Anyways, here's what to do... Start the program. :) Then... You have to do something called mounting. I can't explain what it does, but it's needed that DosBox can access to your game files, or something like that. Well, I suggest you to make a backup of the game to some place and mount as few stuff as possible, just to make sure anyting odd doesn't happen. I'm quite sure anything odd wouldn't happen, but just to be sure... Well, let's say you have taken copy of your Keen 1 folder, and would like to play it. You have placed your Keen 1 backup to drive D and to folder KEEN1. In the DosBox program (that looks like DOS), you can do the mounting and that way get to play it, quite easily. Write "mount D D:\KEEN1". Then, you can type like in DOS, "d:". It should go to that "folder". Then write "keen1", and it should start your KEEN1.EXE! :) Have fun! (By the way, that "D" there means the drive letter. It could also be some other, like E or C or whatever. And then you need to write the path, including drive letter. The path could also look like this; "C:\stuff\Keens\KEEN5"...)

When you have finished playing, you can quit DosBox by typing "exit".

If you will face problems, try to look at the manuals, search the internet or visit Public Commander Keen Forum and search or ask some help... :)

>> [2.0] Review Corner <<

---- [2.1] Pac-Keen Review (game created by Keengamer)

Download here


Quality: 7/10
Originality: 7/10
Keenishness: 6/10
Overall: 7/10

This is an interesting spin on the original Pac-Man game, put to a Keen style. Each level features a blocky level with a scene from one of the original games in the background. The ghosts were well picked in my opinion; they are replaced with the Foobs from Keen 3. Each level features some snazzy upbeat techno music which although is enjoyable, I can’t say it is very Keenish.

Unlike most fangames released (especially those made in game creators), this was able to keep my attention enough to finish the game. In fact, I found it addicting to continue to play a few more times.

In overview, this is a pretty good game, well worth your time in downloading. Despite a few bugs that weaken the game play, it is fun, captivating, and a great way to eat up an empty afternoon.

>> [3.0] Keen Fiction <<

There will be a new chapter of Ilsoap's fanfiction next month.

>> [4.0] Keen News <<

Finally, my favourite time of the year! Hopefully I get some nice presents, though the birth of Christ means most to me, not gifts or stuff like that. Plus, there's that nice X-Mas holiday... I'm really going to play some Keen then and do all kinds of Keen related stuff. Well, what can I say? It has been nice a year, hopefully the next one will be as good as this one. :) Thank you for this year, see you next year. Stay tuned for some Keen news. ;)

---- [4.1] Lego Keen released!

Pretty cool news, a new modification for Commander Keen 1 is released! It's called Lego Keen, and made by the famous author of Shadowland animated series, Ilsoap. Be sure to play it, it has unique story, graphics and level design. If you like legos and Keen, you will love this one! Here's the topic.

---- [4.2] A new mod (started)

A new member Victor4k, friend of CommanderSpleen (who is making pretty good looking mod), has also started to work on a mod. It's called Snow Worries. Well, it features snow... Here's a bit from it's site: "This mod is moderately insane, to say the least. Basically, it stars Keen... crashlanded on some snow planet. Featuring blue Yorps and a ... snowman?" Well, you can check it's site out right here.

---- [4.3] Pac-Keen released!

Here's quite a nice fan game, made by Keengamer. It has been under work some years, and he finally got it finished. Good job, I enjoyed it pretty much! :) Check out the topic here and take a look at the game.

---- [4.4] Fun fan games

Here are some news about some fan games. Hmmm, those I haven't told about for a while... Or have I? Can't remember, anyways, here we go!

Keen fan called pacdan729 has started to work on a Keen game. It will be remake of Commander Keen 2000, called Commander Keen 2004. Though, that's not sure yet, quoting the author: "Heh, the more I work on this the more it sounds like a totally new game instead of a remake. Maybe I'll add a new story and stuff and make it a new game using some of the better ideas of Commander Keen 2000." He has planned some nice mini-games to it also, read more here.

Keen 4 3D is still being under work. It isn't stopped, but it's on somekind of break because the main author is pretty busy with some stuff. Many Keeners are really waiting it and offering their help. Check out it's already 20 pages long topic, there are some pretty cool pictures of 3D models they have done. Here.

Here's something game xtraverse noticed in the web.

That's enough for me, make more mods instead of games! :) Though, it's good to have fan games too - though I'm not the biggest friend of them.

---- [4.5] Fresh mods

Author of the famous Norp the Yorp trilogy, xtraverse, has started to make a new mod! Can't wait to see it whenever it will be ready. Here's what xtra said when I asked him about more details in Keen: Modding board: "This project = completely secret. Maybe I'll release some screenies when I get that far, but all I've done so far is one frame of one sprite and 10 or so tiles." That secret thing makes it sound pretty mysterious. :)

On a side note, Grelphy has started to make a new mod too! His mod will actually be trilogy, so that's even more fun... :) Vox, it's called. You can read more about it on his site.

CommanderSpleen has also released quite a nice bunch of delicious mod screens. Go to take a look at them on his site.

---- [4.6] Keen bugs

I love bug-hunting in Keen, so I really like this new small site Spleen opened.

Read more about it on this topic.

---- [4.7] Drawing Keen art

Xky has done a tutorial that helps you to create Keenish art. It's pretty useful to read for all of you who are making mods or fan games. Check it out here.

---- [4.8] Good reading material

NephariteofIlian has started making pretty interesting Commander Keen (and Mortimer McMire) related fan fiction. You can read parts of it in this topic.

Go to read it, it is excellent! :)

---- [4.9] Small Keen 5 level pack! Funny!

Wow, you can download another great level pack for Keen 5 from Commander Keendom. The pack is called "Funny". And that it really is; it has pretty good use of tiles and awesome stuff done with Keen engine. I suggest you to play it, it is something never-seen-before! ;) Plus, it's fun!

---- [4.10] Billy Blaze turns years

Or however you say it... Good "old" Commander Keen had birthday this month! That's right, originally 14th December 1990 Commander Keen 1 was released first time! Now years have passed, and the game turned 13 years, and Billy is 21 years old. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, COMMANDER KEEN!! You can check out this topic if you like. And the game still has kick.

---- [4.11] Beyond the Pogo news

Probably everyone knows this site, filled with Keen goodies (downloads). Well, as last minute news, xtra told that he is making a major update to Beyond the Pogo! Can't wait to see it! :) Well, you can visit the site here.

---- [4.12] New Fangame

Keener memsys has released a new fangame called Commander Keen and the Mythical Stones Volume One: The End of Mortimer's Story. You can download the game here.

>> [5.0] Miscellaneous <<

---- [5.1] Announcements

We hope you enjoyed our special Christmas Issue!

---- [5.2] Credits

Yorpy - newsletter composition
Marky - gingerbread recipe and pictures
KeenRush - news, article
xtraverse - game review, hosting