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Forum Index >> Commander Keen >> The Universe is Toast.Post Reply

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apocalypse gohan
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Posts: 18
2006-10-01 07:40:56 - The Universe is Toast.
The Universe is Toast. That was the name of the third Keen trilogy that was to be released around Christmas of 1992. However, as is known by now, that was never released. Why? Well, quite simply put, the direction and focus of id Software changed away from Keen. id had massive popularity with games such as Wolfenstein 3D & Doom; thus abandoning the pursuit of new Keen games.

What had happened was that the final screen at the end of Keen 6 referred to the pending return of Commander Keen. It was also referenced in the last screen of Keen 5. The intent was to set up a showdown between Commander Keen & Mortimer McMire for control over the universe. The new series was to be titled "The Universe is Toast". Here’s a bit of what Tom Hall had planned for Keens 7-9:


"Well, I don't want to talk too much about it, as I may do it someday, but as you know from the end of Keen 6, Mortimer McMire is back, and he has big, bad plans for the end of the Universe as we know it...

If I can ever get the rights back to Keen, or if I can strike a deal with id so I have creative control of him forever, then you'll see Keen again. I don't want to start Keen back up, only to have him taken away again if he's successful. That just wouldn't seem fair.

I would love to do another Keen. My last idea for Keen 7-9 was a game world was 3D, and at certain places the camera rotated with you for different games. It was halfway between Super Mario 64 and Pandemonium. This was two years before those games came out. I wish I'd been in a place where I could've made that happen back then.

I do miss the good ol' days of Keen. I love the universe and the gameplay, and I'd love to make another chapter in the saga. We will see how the future unfolds.."

Joe Siegler also had this to say about Keen 7...

"When Tom Hall was working here at Apogee, I used to pester him about Keen, because quite frankly, I was a customer of Apogee's before I started working here. I used to ask him a lot about what he had planned for Keen 7, and I remember him being really annoyed when Super Mario 64 came out, because Tom said that was exactly what he had planned for Keen 7 - he wanted to be first to market with that kind of game concept.

When I asked which characters he said would be back from the original Keen games, he replied "All of them - a level Idea I had was that in the first level, you'd have every single character from all of the previous Keen games in there all at once - sort of a Galactic Zoo type of thing. Then I'd start introducing new stuff after that." Whether or not Tom actually uses this idea or not, you can tell he was thinking on a grand scale."


Will there ever been more Keen? Probably. When will it be? Who knows? There are no plans on the books for anything official at this point. id Software still owns the rights to Commander Keen, and given the direction and focus their company has now, you can bet they wouldn't be likely to do more Keen on their own. And without Tom Hall, another Keen game just can't be done right.

To quote John Romero, "Will there be more Keen? Yes, but you never know when that future is going to happen."


Finally, four Keens made an appearance in a secret level of id's Doom II. You can kill the Keens - in fact, you have to in order to get out of the level. Some have said this was id's final statement on Keen - that they never intend on doing anything with it ever again.

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