Commander Keen: Invasion of the Vorticons

You play the role 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, Keen dispenses justice with an iron hand.

"Marooned on Mars" is episode one of the Commander Keen trilogy. Only part one is available via shareware distribution, the other two episodes ("The Earth Explodes" and "Keen Must Die!") may only be purchased from Apogee.


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.

Don't forget to check out our 10th Anniversary Look back at Commander Keen!

Originally released December 14, 1990.

Image Gallery

Click on any of these screenshot thumbnails for a larger image.




  1. - Invasion of the Vorticons v1.31 shareware episode (238k)
  2. - Commander Keen "Standard Galactic Alphabet" TrueType font (27k)
  3. - Maps for all the levels of all the episodes of Keen (4.85 Mb)

System Requirements


  • XT Computer (286 or higher recommended)
  • 565k of conventional memory
  • 1 meg of Hard Drive Space (for shareware)
  • 3 meg of Hard Drive Space (for registered)

Registered Download Information

Format: Registered Download - File size: 568Kb

Estimated Download Times:
28.8 Modem - 2 Minutes, 41 Seconds
56k Modem - 1 Minutes, 23 Seconds
128K ISDN - 36 Seconds
T1 - 2 Seconds