FAQ/Walkthrough by kurrupt

Version: 1.2.1 | Updated: 12/04/03 | Printable Version

                           /////FAQ Info///////////////////////////
                         /////Author: kurrupt////////////////////
                       /////Date: 01/09/02 -> 04/12/03/////////
                      /////Game: Commander Keen 1/////////////
                     /////FAQ Type: Ship Parts FAQ///////////
                    /////Version: 1.2.1/////////////////////

1 Table of Contents

1 - Contents
2 - Intro
3 - Legal Stuff
4 - Version History
5 - What's Going On?
6 - The Guide
7 - Cheats and Tips
8 - Closing

2 - Intro

I have written this guide because I feel that I have a good knowlege of Keen 1
and I wanted to share it with the world.

3 Legal Stuff

This document is copyright 2002 kurrupt and may not be sold or
copied in part or in full without my permission. If you want to put the guide
on your site or in a magazine or whatever, just e-mail me, I'm a reasonable
guy, I'll probably say yes.

WebSites that this guide is allowed to be on are,


4 Version History

Version 1.0 - The first version of this FAQ includes everything,
for now.

Version 1.1 - I have just updated the Tips section, added some Thank Yous and
sorted some spelling errors.

Version 1.2 - I have sorted some spelling, updated the Thank-Yous and updated
the Legal section as well

Version 1.2.1 - Just some mistakes I noticed that I had to sort.

5 What's Going On?

I figured that since most people that are using this guide will
not have their game manual so I'm going to put the story and the
controls. Here's the story............


~            COMMANDER KEEN
~                 in
~     "Invasion of the Vorticons"

Billy Blaze, eight year-old genius, working diligently in his backyard
clubhouse has created an interstellar starship from old soup cans, rubber
cement and plastic tubing.  While his folks are out on the town and the
babysitter has fallen asleep, Billy travels into his backyard workshop, dons
his brother's football helmet, and transforms into...

  COMMANDER KEEN--defender of Earth!

In his ship, the Bean-with-Bacon Megarocket, Keen dispenses galactic justice
with an iron hand!

~   Episode One: Marooned on Mars

In this episode, aliens from the planet Vorticon VI find out about the eight
year-old genius and plan his destruction.  While Keen is out exploring the
mountains of Mars, the Vorticons steal vital parts of his ship and take
them to distant Martian cities!  Can Keen recover all the pieces of his
ship and repel the Vorticon invasion?  Will he make it back before his
parents get home?  Stay tuned!


The Bean-with-Bacon Megarocket was constructed from objects around the house
that you have "modified" into starship parts:

	 JOYSTICK (from your brother's video game) Manual flight control.

	 CAR BATTERY (from your Mom's car) Electrical systems power.

	 VACUUM CLEANER (from the kitchen, heavily modified) Ion propulsion
unit (with carpet height adjustment).

	 EVERCLEAR (from your Dad's liquor cabinet) Fuel.

The Vorticons have taken these pieces to the far reaches of Mars and are
guarding them.  You must find the members of this Vorticon outpost and wrest
the parts back from their wicked, clawed hands!


Unbeknownst to NASA, when the Viking Lander settled to the surface of
Mars, it caused a major political upheaval.  Viking actually landed on the
despotic Martian king!  The Yorps (the extremely friendly one-eyed
Martians) were free from enslavement, and the Gargs (the vicious, aggressive
Martians) were angry.

The Martians created robots for menial work and guard duties.  Beware of the
tank-like Guard Robots--they are VERY good at what they do.

Martians have been visiting Earth in UFOs for decades.  Why?  They come to
Earth for one reason--THEY WANT OUR TOYS.  Hula hoops and skateboards are
holy objects to them!  Who knows...you may find some toys useful!

There are signs everywhere.  You haven't been able to decipher them yet....


Your task is before you.  Go get 'em, Commander Keen!


Here's the controls..........


Left or 4 on the numeric keypad = Go Left
Right or 6 on the numeric keypad = Go Right
Alt = Toggle Pogo Stick
Ctrl = Jump
Ctrl+Alt = Shoot Raygun


Spacebar = Status Screen / Pause
F1 = Help
F2 = Toggle Sound
F3 = Configure Keyboard Controls
F4 = Set Up Joystick
F5 = Save game (at level select screen only)


Up or 8 on the numeric keypad = Up
Down or 2 on the numeric keypad = Down
Left or 4 on the numeric keypad = Left
Right or 6 on the numeric keypad = Right
Home or 7 on the numeric keypad = Top-Left
Page Up or 9 on the numeric keypad = Top-Right
End or 1 on the numeric keypad = Bottom-Left
Page Down or 3 on the numeric keypad = Bottom-Right
Ctrl or Alt = Enter level
Spacebar = Status Screen / Pause

6 The Guide

*** If you are having trouble finding any of the levels, try my Ship Part
Map on GameFAQs.com ***

The Pogo Stick

The Pogo Stick is a really useful, yet almost non-essential item. I recently
played through the game and found out that you only need to use the pogo stick
once. You need it in the last level to get to the Vorticon's lair. But even
though it is only necessary once in the game I tend to use it quite a lot in
my strategies for the levels, so it may be a good idea to pick it up sooner
rather than later.

The Pogo Stick is in a dome shaped level just to the North-East of the level
where you will find the battery. For more help finding it check out my map on
GameFAQs.com. This level is a really huge non-event, and if you need help
completing it, you need help. As you will see when you enter, the layout for
this level is basically a giant pyramid, made up of silver cylindrical blocks,
simply climb to the top of the pyramid, grab the Pogo Stick and head out of
the door on your right.


The first level that you will encounter a vorticon in is in the level with
the joystick. The level looks like the first level, and is directly north
of a small dome shaped level.

This level is relatively easy to find the ship part in. From the start begin
to jump up the giant stairs collecting the lollys as you go. Then jump across
to the second highest platform and run along, jumping over the gaps and grab
the yellow keycard. Now go through the yellow door above it and run along
and jump down the large stairs. At the bottom jump the gap to dodge the
monster. You should now see an open area which is divided  by a platform,
go on to of the platform and dodge the traps to get the red keycard. Go
back and then go right along to the screen boundary. Now jump up and keep
going left until you reach the vorticon boss.

This Vorticon is simple, just jump over to the first step of the pyramid and
dispatch 4 shots into the vorticon, you must do it quickly or it will
kill you. Now walk forward, through the red door, grab the Joystick and
get the hell outa there.

***Note*** I was recently playing this level and I noticed something odd, the
Vorticon will rarely, if ever (I can't recall it ever doing it) jump up above
the first step in the pyramid. It is therefor possible to simply stand on the
second step of the pyramid and fire shots at the vorticon every time it jumps.
Just remember that to use this safer method, you will need a lot of charges as
it can be hard to time your shots to hit the Vorticon.


The battery is found in the level directly west of the last level (the one
with) the Joystick in it. To me, the level looks like a big silver robot.

In comparison to the last level, this is a reasonably complex level. in this
level I recommend that you go and kill the Vorticon straight away, this means
that you won't complete the rest of the level and then run out of charge for
your Raygun, to kill the Vorticon with. To get to the Vorticon, simply walk
right from the start of the level, jump over the green spiked pit and jump up
the red steps on your right. As you go up the steps, you will see a large
stack of golden cylindrical blocks, begin to jump or pogo stick up them until
you reach the top. Jump through the purple bar and continue to ascend the maze
-like structure, remember that you can only jump through the long rectangular
purple blocks, and not the square shaped ones. When you reach the top, on the
right of the screen you should see some green cylinders jump onto them and
continue to do so until you reach a large red block, jump up onto this, and in
the usual way, just put four shots into your vorticon friend.

As you will no doubt notice, the battery is behind a red-keycard door, but
never fear, as I will lead you to this keycard. Use your pogo stick to jump up
onto the purple cylinders that are above your head. Now just carefully jump
between all the purple cylinders, until you reach the very left of the screen,
now drop down and collect the yellow keycard. Just so you know, im not
colourblind, but you need the yellow card to get the red one.

Fall to the right of the platform you are on and after a brief fall, you will
land on yet more cylindrical blocks, although this time they are red. Now fall
STRAIGHT down to your left, do not hold left in the air or you will die. When
you land you should be on two more red cylinders, fall off to the right and
this time keep holding right, the more perceptive of you will notice that you
are right back at th start of the level. Continue on in the same way as you
did to get to the Vorticon, only this time continue to head right after you
see the gold cylinders. Continue walking right until you hit the yellow door.
Jump up and unlock the door. You should now see a two-eyed monster, drop down
and quickly kill it (wait until it is on the right hand side of its'
'enclosure' before you drop in). Jump up, grab the red keycard and re-trace
your steps up to the golden cylinders.

Once you arrive at the golden cylinders climb up them, and then up the purple
maze thing, and then finally jump up onto the green cylinders, just as you did
at the start. Since the Vorticon has been killed, just jump up to where it was
and stroll through the red door, grabbing the battery and exiting the level.


The Vacuum Cleaner can be found in a an Ice themed level, right beside the
warp point on the dark side of Mars. This is a reasonably easy level to find
as you will walk straight into it as soon as you warp to the dark side of the

As this is an ice themed level, you must remember that on some surfaces you
will have very little grip and on some others once you step onto the ice you
cannot change your direction with out the help of your trusty Pogo Stick.

As you start the level, jump up onto the white square on your right and then
jump up onto the platform on your left. Walk along until you see a gap in the
roof, Pogo up it to the right and then jump up again to the left. Walk left
and jump up and left again so that you are landing on an l-shaped block. Jump
up, walk along and Pogo up and to your left. Once you do this you will see a
rectangle made up of 3 blocks of ice, jump onto it, jump to a similar one on
the left, jump again to the right and once more on your left. You should now
be standing underneath a large tower of blue cylinders, jump (or Pogo) up
these and when you reach the top, walk left and fall down the small hole. You
will grab the red keycard, don't worry about the robots, they cant shoot you
unless you fall off your perch. Now jump back up the hole and run to the right
until you begin to slide on some clear ice, keep sliding right and then drop
off it and begin to slide left. Once you have done this you will be on the
same level as the Vorticon. Be careful, it is very slippery. walk right and as
soon as you see the Vorticon, fire as many shots into him as you can, if you
need to retreat, give yourself plenty of space to do so as it is slippery.
Once you have killed him, simply slide through the red locked door, grab the
penultimate ship part and exit the level.


The Everclear Fuel is found in a level to the very south of the dark side of
Mars. To locate the level simply walk south from the last level (the Vacuum
Cleaner level) until you hit a wall, then head west and you'll find it no
problem. To me, the level looks slightly like a large deckchair, but I'm sure
it is meant to be some type of castle. If you have trouble finding it you can
always check my ship part map on GameFAQs.com, and that should make things

As soon as you enter the level, walk to your right and jump up onto a white
bridge, continue along it and drop off the other side. Continue to your right
until you come to a large set of stairs, made of ice. Climb up them and then
jump onto the platform on your left. Walk left until you come to another,
smaller set of steps. Climb up them and then Pogo up to the highest platform
you can reach, walk along it to the right and jump up onto the platform above
you and go along that to your left. You will now see a single block of ice
attached to the wall, jump up onto it. you will see that there is a blue
Keycard sitting above one of the evil one-eyed robots. You cannot kill these
robots, so you will have to dodge it. You will see that it patrols its little
enclosure, going left, right, left and so on. It will occasionally fire a
shot, and after it does this it will always change direction, so wait until it
fires a shot to the right and then turns to go back to the left. This is your
best chance of getting the keycard. Run, jump and grab the Keycard, landing
behind the robot, which will be moving to the left, jump to the right again
and quickly drop down back onto the platform above the large ice stairs.

Jump up and this time to the right and carefully walk to the end of the
platform, quickly tap Ctrl to stop dead on the ice above a hole in the roof.
Pogo through it and to the right. Walk along and drop off the edge of the ice
block-platform, holding left to hug the wall. You will land on a small light
blue square. This bit can be tricky. Jump up onto another similar light blue
block to your right. Now you will see 2 light blue blocks, jump onto them and
then up to your left onto the small L-shaped block of ice. Pogo up and to the
right, through the blue keycard door, dismount your stick and walk along, now
climb up the large ice block stairs. When you reach the top, you will see a
block of clear ice and a small pushing robot on it, this robot cannot hurt you
but it can annoy very easily. To avoid this, simply wait until it is heading
away from you and jump up onto the ice and pass it, before it turns round.
Walk along until you hit a wall and you will see some blue cylinders above
you, pogo up onto them (This is the only place in the game you NEED the Pogo
Stick for).

You will now be in the boss' lair. I feel I must establish some basic things;

> The Vorticon cannot hurt you unless you jump into its enclosure.
> You cannot kill the Vorticon with your gun.
> The 'pillars' made of ice can be walked or jumped through.
> There are invisible floors inside some of the pillars.

I will now tell you the easy way to destroy the final Vorticon. You will see a
lone block with a tall pillar on top of it. Jump onto the block, and stand
still. If you look closely you may see a white pixel to the right hand side of
the pillar, this signifies an invisible block. Jump onto it, and don't worry
about falling off because it extends all the way to the wall on the right, so
it is a very easy target, once you know it is there. Jump up again to another
invisible block directly above you. Now keep jumping and moving right until
you land on a large grey rectangle, held up by a chain. Shoot the chain with
one shot and the large grey weight will fall down, crushing the vorticon. Now
just jump up to the right to where you see the door, grab the Everclear Fuel
and exit the level. Enjoy the ending sequence!

If for some reason you like to do things the hard way, you can always try to
beat this boss the idiot's way. It's a pretty big challenge, but with a bit of
luck you can pull it off. To do this harder route of the level, follow all of
the steps to get to the boss' lair and then once you get there follow these
directions instead.

Once you are in the boss' lair walk right up to below where the Vorticon is
and stand right against the wall, don't worry, the Vorticon cannot drop down,
But you can jump up. You need to wait until the Vorticon is on the right side
of it's enclosure before you jump up, or you will have no time to dodge it.
Once it is on the right, you must jump up and stand there waiting for it to
turn around. When he does, you need to wait until you think it is going to
make a large jump for you, and when it does, you need to make a mad dash for
the right hand side of it, passing right under it. If you timed it correctly
you will make it into the hole, where again the Vorticon cannot drop into.
Once you have done this, simply follow the tunnel around, collecting the
Teddy Bear. Once you get near to the door, jump or pogo over it to grab the
Everclear Fuel, because if you don't you will fail the game as there is no way
to go back into the level and get the Everclear Fuel once you have completed
it. If you do manage to complete the game this way, congratulations! It isn't

7 - Cheats and Tips


Hold down the buttons G-O-D for God mode, the SuperJump cheat and no clipping
in the main level. You will need to enter the cheat every time you enter/exit
a level. To use the SuperJump cheat, just take out your Pogo Stick and hold
down Ctrl to fly.

Hold down C-T-Spacebar for the Pogo Stick, all four Keycards and 100 Charges
for your Raygun. Again you will need to re-enter this cheat every time you
enter a level.

If you know of any more Cheats, or tips on hex-editing the game (I used to be
able to do this), drop me a line.


> To stop quickly on ice, tap Ctrl
> You can kill normal Vorticons with four charges
> There are lots of hidden blocks in the game, all you can see of them is
  their upper-left pixel
> You get an extra life every 20,000 points
> You Pogo Stick Higher while Holding Ctrl
> You will see lots of signs written in an 'alien' language called the
  Standard Galactican Alphabet and when translated, these can give you clues
  about the game. Here is the Standard Galactican Alphabet in (terrible) ASCII

A = _|

B = _\

C =   |

D = __

E = | '

F = -----

G = --|

H = ---


I = |

J = '

K = .|.

L = |

M = ' |

N = ||

O =   |

P = ||

Q = ___

R = ' '
    ' '

S = |

T =   |

U =  ' '

V =  _|_

W =   '
    '   '

X = '/

Y = ||

     / \
Z =  | |

Therefor, a sign reading:

|                     |
|    ____   |   | '   |
|    __         |__   |
|      --   |         |

 Would translate, DIE, meaning that there is danger nearby.

> There is a secret level in on the dark side of Mars and you can find it
  either with the clipping cheat or by finding the hidden warp point in the
  level which looks like the exactly like the level where you get the second
  ship part, only this time on the dark side.
> There is a second pogo stick located in the last level, in the most
  South-Westerly point in the level.

8 - Closing

Thank Yous

> Id Software (For making the game)
> Apogee (For publishing the game)
> Me (For writing the guide)
> All the guys in the 'Mars, I can't believe im still on Mars' topic on the
  Keen 1 Board on GameFAQs.Com:

>>>> LSDboy (The topic creator, who without knowing it, inspired me to write
     this guide)
>>>> ShadowN64 (A great guy, who has encouraged me along the way)
>>>> Scizor CT (For recommending DosBox to me, and nagging me to visit the
>>>> And everyone else who has posted on the topic

> All the guys at the PCKF (For keeping Keen alive)
> CJayC (For posting my guides on the excellent GameFAQs.Com)
> Bernd Wolffgramm (For hosting my guide on DLH.Net)
> Krushull (For hosting my guide on gamers-realm.Com)
> Stephen Ng (Of IGN for hosting my guide)
> The staff at gamenotover.com (For hosting my guide)
> Villa Software (Creators of ScreenThief)
> Vedran Gaco (For creating the exellent program, GWD Text Editor)
> You (For reading this guide and keeping Keen alive)

The Public Commander Keen Forum

I decided that I should just give the PCKF a quick plug and tell all you
Keeners to join the community. The URL is:


I think that thats all I have to type. Just keep playing Keen and I'll see you
on GameFAQs.Com or the Public Commander Keen Forum!