Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lets go back to how it all started

My love affair with video games is the best long term relationship I've ever had. The first tryst I had with video games was on an old school Nintendo emulator where I soaked up games like Mario, Islander, Excitebike, Ice Climber, Circus Charlie, Nuts & Milk and Mappy. A few years later when I was in grade six, my dad was an avid subscriber of Chip magazine. Each issue came with a complimentary cd which had various demo version games and hence started this fantastic journey. Another notable contributor to my passion for videogames was a Daytona display driver cd which also came with a bunch of additional dos games. One of the earliest games I remember playing is the legendary Prince Of Persia DOS version and Dangerous Dave. I was never able to finish them.

Circus Charlie

The first game that got me really interested in gaming was an amazing game called Commander Keen. This game was developed by ID software (the makers of Doom and Quake) and was about an 8 year old boy who travels through space using a spaceship called The Bean-with-Bacon Megarocket which he constructed in his backyard using old soup cans and other household objects (yeah, he was a genius with an IQ of 314 as mentioned by the game creators) Before flying out to outer space and save the world, he takes his brother's football helmet and become Commander Keen, The Defender of Earth!!!

Commander Keen

This side scrolling action game was loads of fun. And besides having a gun, Keen also had a pogo stick to jump up high! How fun is that? Well loads of fun because I was ten years old at the time when I was playing this game.

A year or so later I got my hands upon Keen4 Secret of the Oracle, which had now a slanted 3d look and everything was bigger, brighter and better. The best part of this game besides fun characters and an engrossing story was that it had loads of easter eggs and humorous references. The game also had a mini game called Paddle War which could be accessed through Keen's wrist watch.  

In the "Pyramid of the Moons" level, if Keen stands on top of one of the crescent moon symbols on the floor, after a short while he moons the player! Also, if Keen is left idle for a while, he looks at the screen with his hands on his waist, and impatiently shrugs his shoulders. After some more time he pulls out a big red book form his pocket, sits down and starts reading it, flipping pages occasionally.

Keen in Keen 4 with his Pogo Stick

Candy Bars & Cola Bottles gave you points