Commander Keen: Goodbye, Galaxy!
Commander Keen: Goodbye, Galaxy!, also known as Keen 4, is perhaps the best and most known episode of the series. The visuals and gameplay are noticeably higher res than those of the trilogy that came before, while the game features the same platforming action, sound effects and clever level design that made the original a classic.
Following the Invasion of the Vorticons, the story of Goodbye, Galaxy! takes Commander Keen to a planet to rescue the Keepers of the Secret of the Oracle, which know the location of the Shikadi’s doomsday device, The Armageddon Machine. These guys are locked in dungeons spread throughout the game world, and it’s up to you, as Keen, to find the keys and save ’em.
There’s something that you might call ‘free roaming’ in Commander Keen, as you travel through the map in search of levels to complete. The order in which you complete these levels are completely up to you. Once you succeed in completing a level, a flag will appear next to it signalling that you’ve finished it (you can replay completed levels any time). You unlock new parts of the main map, giving you access to new levels, where you will face new monsters and more dangerous platforming puzzles.
The difficulty of Commander Keen 4 is quite reasonable. You can save any time when on the main map, and the levels themselves have a logical difficulty curve that initially pits you against very easy enemies. There’s a nice help file that you can read through anytime by pressing F1, and also an in-built PONG machine (called PaddleWar) that helps remind you how far computer games have evolved since the early 70s.
System Requirements: 80286 CPU, 640 KB RAM, DOS