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Keen Dreams

From The Cutting Room Floor
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Title Screen

Keen Dreams

Also known as: Commander Keen in Keen Dreams
Developers: id Software (DOS),
Lone Wolf Technology (Switch)
Publishers: Softdisk (DOS),
Lone Wolf Technology (Switch)
Platforms: DOS, Nintendo Switch
Released internationally: 1991 (DOS),
February 7, 2019 (Switch)


AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.


Commander Keen in Keen Dreams, sometimes referred as The Lost Episode, is a rather odd game. The game takes place in Keen's dreams, where he is bombarded with enemies resembling a certain type of food he doesn't like. Quite a bit of the game appears to have been cut due to Softdisk's demand to put the game on a 360KB floppy disk. The 2019 port to the Nintendo Switch had no such limits, clocking in at 45 MB in size.

Unused Graphics

Cutscene Graphic

Keen Dreams nightmare unused.gif

Part of the ending sequence, presumably. In the final game, the ending only has text, either due to the aforementioned space limit or time issues.

Metallic Tiles

Keen dreams metallictile.png

These two tiles for exit sign have a metallic pattern on the bottom. No level has a metallic scheme and this appears to be all that remains of the scheme.

(Source: KeenWiki)

Unused Levels

Keen Dreams Level 6

The game contains a level which is not accessible through normal gameplay, and can only be accessed by warping to it. Oddly the same level is accessible as levels 6, 8, 11 and 13.

(Source: KeenWiki)

Revisional Differences

1.0

Just a taste of things to come.
  • The original release of the game had a much more simplistic title screen.
  • Featured only the 16-color EGA graphics, meaning that it could not be played on 4-color CGA systems.

1.05 REV 1

  • The first and only version to feature just the 4-color CGA graphics.
  • The first version to feature the otherwise-unused debug levels mentioned above.
  • Removed the mention of a potential sequel, Keen Meets the Meats.

1.13

  • Made mention of the missing music, though it did not remove the option to turn it off.

1.92 REV 0

  • Updated the title screen with fancier graphics and a Broccolash.
    • It also appears that someone tried to turn King Tuber into a scary-looking Tater Trooper, but the overall effect just looks rushed.
  • Renamed all debug levels from "Cheat Level" to simple numbers, as well as redesigning some of them.
(Source: KeenWiki)

Nintendo Switch Version

In 2019, a company called Lone Wolf Technologies LLC obtained the rights to the game and ported the whole shebang to the Nintendo Switch with a couple of enhancements and changes:

  • A completely new soundtrack was added to the game.
  • Remastered sound effects were added alongside the ability to use the PC (AdLib) sound effects.
  • References to controls were changed for the new system ("Arrow Keys" to "Left Stick or Directional Buttons," and so forth).

Other than that, it seems like the port was based on v1.92 REV 0, right down to the 1993 copyright (which still reads "Softdisk Publishing") and final title screen.