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Commander Keen PC Beta Recovered

If you’re somewhere on the cusp of thirty like me (dear god), and have been playing games since your youth, then you probally have fond memories of Commander Keen like myself.

Aside from being fun, the game is notable as one of the first DOS games to successfully replicate the side-scrolling action of the original NES Super Mario Bros. The series was some of the first games by id Software, which you may remember went on to produce semi popular games such as Doom and Quake.

Anyways, a pre-release copy of Commander Keen: Invasion of the Vorticons was discovered on a 20 year old floppy disk, and can be downloaded or played online at RGB Classic Games.

The amazing discovery came when a forum member posted a disk image of a Gamer’s Edge Sampler of Dangerous Dave and Catacomb in this forum thread and noted that a hex editor had apparently discovered some source code from Keen 1 in it. A member of the Public Commander Keen Forum scanned the image with an undelete program and discovered the disk had previously contained a copy of Commander Keen: Invasion of the Vorticons that had been erased, and the disk was reused as the master disk for a Gamer’s Edge Sampler disk. He was able to recover a complete copy of Keen 1, as well as corrupted files from Keen 2, as detailed in this thread.

The newly discovered beta is essentially complete and fully playable. There are a number of differences from the finished product, including a deleted cutscene of a Vorticon stealing parts from Commander Keen’s ship! A video of the deleted cutscene has been posted on YouTube.

Cool stuff.

Via Reddit


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