The story revolves around an eight-year-old prodigy named Billy Blaze, better known as Commander Keen. Billy is no ordinary child; he’s an inventor and adventurer, and his latest project is the Photachyon Transceiver.
This remarkable device is essentially a radio capable of intercepting transmissions from anywhere in the galaxy.
A Galaxy in Peril
But one day, the device crackles to life, and Billy deciphers a dire message – the galaxy is once again under threat.
The culprits are none other than the enigmatic Shikadi, an alien race with nefarious intentions. Determined to unravel this mystery and thwart the impending danger, Billy sets his sights on a vital source of information – the Oracle.
A Hero’s Quest
Yet, nothing worth attaining comes without challenges. In his pursuit of knowledge and salvation, Billy discovers that the Shikadi have abducted the eight Council Members, essential for awakening the Oracle.
These esteemed figures are imprisoned within the perilous Shadowlands, their fate hanging in the balance. Commander Keen takes it upon himself to rescue them and unveil the truth.
Navigating the Enigmatic Shadowlands
The game kicks off with a top-down map of the Shadowlands, a crucial hub for your adventures. It’s here that you, as Billy, can chart your course, exploring various levels and choosing your next destination.
Some of these levels are even located on islands in the middle of a lake, adding an extra layer of complexity to your journey.
A Universe Full of Challenges
Each level is a perilous odyssey, teeming with enemy creatures such as venomous slugs, deadly mosquitoes, and eccentric, bouncing mushrooms.
Hazards are abundant – treacherous pits, menacing cannons, and lethal spears await the unsuspecting hero.
The stakes are high, for if Billy falls prey to an enemy or misfortune, he forfeits a life.
Tools of the Trade
Commander Keen isn’t defenseless. Armed with his trusty raygun, he can incapacitate most foes, although some remain impervious to his attacks. Additionally, Keen wields a pogo stick, granting him incredible leaping abilities.
Throughout his adventures, he’ll stumble upon valuable items like ammo, gems acting as keys to locked doors, score-boosting bonus items, raindrops (collecting 100 grants an extra life), and the rare but coveted Lifewater Flask.
The Legacy of Commander Keen
Commander Keen 4: Secret of the Oracle has left an indelible mark in the gaming world. Although this marked the end of id Software‘s contributions to the Commander Keen series, it wasn’t the last adventure for the beloved protagonist. An interesting fact is that the series was almost slated to continue with “The Universe Is Toast,” a trilogy of episodes scheduled for December 1992.
But the legacy persisted.
Play Commander Keen 4: Secret of the Oracle online
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