The following description is extracted from the Apogee catalog and other documentation that comes with the Commander Keen games. "Commander Keen is the alter ego of Billy Blaze, eight year-old kid genius who builds an interstellar ship when not working at home on his college fast-track degree. Among other household objects, Billy uses his Nintendo joystick for flight control and his mom's vacuum cleaner (heavily modified) for his ship's ion propulsion system (with pile height adjustment).
At the hint of galactic trouble, Billy dons his brother's football helmet and becomes "Commander Keen defender of Earth! Ever on the side of justice, fairness, and high calorie junk food, Keen dispenses justice with an iron hand."
INVASION OF THE VORTICONS:
"Keen's first adventure takes you to Mars, where the Vorticon invasion force is planning their conquest of Earth. While Keen is exploring Mars the Vorticons steal pieces of his ship and hide them within their cities. Can Keen recover all the pieces and repel the Vorticon invasion? You'll explore many dangerous cities, packed with diabolical traps and hideous creatures, both of Martian and Vorticon origin. Use your pogo stick to reach high ledges and jump deadly pits, and use your ray gun to stun the Vorticon invaders. Can you find the secret city?
Episode one is located on the planet mars. Episode
two takes place on the immense Vorticon mothership, where you'll need to stop the
destruction of Earth by disabling the eight deadly ray cannons aimed at Earth's greatest
cities and wonders. Episode three takes Keen to the dangerous Vorticon home planet, where
you'll explore huge caves, battle the top Vorticon ninja fighters and discover the secret
of the Grand Intellect."
"In episode one, "Secret of the Oracle," Commander Keen rockets to an alien planet to rescue the Keepers of the Oracle, who are the only ones capable of helping Keen finding out more about the Shikadi. Who are the Shikadi and why are they planning to use our galaxy as target practice!" After completing the mission in episode one, Keen learns of the Shikadi's enormous ship, which doubles as the latest weapon ever built. So in episode two, titled "The Armageddon Machine," Keen faces his greatest challenge yet--to save the Galaxy!"
ALIENS ATE MY BABYSITTER:
"In this episode, Billy is out in his clubhouse, busily working on his handy new ComputerWrist wrist computer. He hears Molly, his baby sitter, calling him to supper but he keeps on working. He hears a strange noise in the backyard and decides to investigate. On a patch of scorched grass he finds a note: 'Keen -- Thanks for dinner. -- The Bloogs of Fribbulus Xax. P.S. Next time get one with more meat, please.' He puzzles over this for a moment, then notices the baby sitter has stopped calling. Suddenly, he realizes that aliens are having her over for supper - and when they say 'for supper' they mean 'FOR SUPPER'! If he doesn't save her, his parents will be furious. They'll never believe that 'Aliens Ate My Baby Sitter!' 'This is a job for commander Keen!' he declares. Once again, he dons his brother's football helmet, hops into the trusty Bean-with-Bacon Megarocket and starts the launch sequence for Fribbulus Xax. He's got to save Molly from becoming a snack for creatures from another planet!"
"Only you can help Commander Keen overcome the killer vegetables which have conspired to "clean his plate" in KEEN DREAMS, the "lost episode" developed for GAMER'S EDGE by Keen's award-winning creators, ID Software. King Boobus Tuber and his Tater Troopers are ready to take you on in this choice Keen adventure!"
Joe Siegler (email@example.com) of Apogee Software answered this question some time ago as follows: "Here. Read this. It's for people who get confused about the relationship between Apogee and Id Software. Apogee and Id Software are two completely different companies. Here is an explanation as to the two of them. Apogee Software writes and distributes software. We have published a total of 28 games over our history up until the writing of this text, and of those, only 4 have not actually been written by Apogee. Three are Id games (Keen Vorticons, Keen Galaxy, & Wolf3D). The other is the current Halloween Harry by SubZero Software in Australia. Id Software writes software, and up until Doom, has never published anything themselves. Id has published through a few companies, and Apogee is one of them. They wrote the Keen Vorticons and Keen Galaxy series as well as Wolfenstein 3-D. These are distributed by Apogee. Some earlier Id efforts such as Catacombs Abyss are distributed through Softdisk. Id's two commercial games, Aliens Ate My Babysitter (Keen6), and Spear of Destiny are published through FormGen. These two are quite frequently assumed to be Apogee games, but they are not. Check them, the name Apogee does not appear in there. More confusion gets added when I say that Apogee RESELLS Keen6 and Spear, but they aren't our games. We only sell them. Now, with Doom, Id is going to be publishing on their own from now on. Apogee and Id are two completely separate entities. Apogee doesn't own Id, nor does Id own Apogee or anything like that. There has also been no "big divorce", or "big feud" or something along those lines. The Id guys and the Apogee guys are all really good friends, and in fact, we all get together for lunch, and shoot pool up at the Id offices. There is no big fallout, or anything of the sort. In fact, 3 games that Apogee is currently working on have some sort of Id Software code in them, so there is no real big 'breakup'. (These games won't all be released until the fall of 1994)."
The readme documentation that comes with the games provides details for registering the game.
The simplest way is to call Apogee at 1-800-GAME-123 (1-800-426-3123) to order any of their games.
Apogee used to maintain a help line for registered players. With the establishment of their Bulletin Board System (BBS), this requirement is no longer as critical. As of December 1993, the Apogee BBS had 83 nodes, with plans to increase the number of lines to over 100! They are running PCBOARD 15 over a Novell v4.0 10 base T network. Storage capacity is 8GB. Contact them by modem as follows:
508-365-2359 (2400 baud)
508-368-7036 (V.32bis or 9600-14.4K)
508-368-4137 (HST/DS or 14.4K-16.8K)
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