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A very nearly complete clone of classic DOS game Commander Keen, written in C/C++
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A very nearly complete clone of one of the classic DOS game, Commander Keen: Invasion of the Vorticons by ID. The game is written in pure C, uses SDL, and is generally very easy to compile on most platforms. The original author is Caitlin Shaw. For more info see

How to Play

Find pre-packaged, downloadable copies of clonekeen under Releases below. Simply extract and play


  • Arrows - Move Keen around
  • Ctrl - Jump
  • Alt- Use Pogo/Stop Pogo (if you have one)
  • Ctrl AND Alt - Fire raygun (if it has charges)


Downloadable game packages available in Releases. All versions come packaged as zip files with game data. Just extract and run. On Linux, you'll need the SDL 1.2 runtime installed. Other versions come pre-packaged with SDL


You can clone or download the chocolatekeen repo and build it yourself


For Linux builds you'll need a C compiler (e.g. gcc) and toolchain. The setup varies between distros. For Ubuntu you can install the build-essential package via sudo apt-get install build-essential. Once you have that setup:

  1. Install the SDL 1.2.15 development libraries. This varies between Linux distros. For Ubuntu it's sudo apt-get install libsdl1.2-dev
  2. Launch a shell
  3. Navigate to /build/linux
  4. Run ./

Windows (MinGW)

This is a Makefile project. To build for Windows you'll need something like MSYS2 and a gcc toolchain

CloneKeen uses a legacy version of SDL (1.2). At the time of writing there are no 64-bit development libraries available for Windows. You'll need to use a 32-bit gcc toolchain. Find setup instructions here

  1. Download and unzip SDL 1.2.15 development libraries:
  2. Launch a UNIX shell
  3. Navigate to /build/MingGW
  4. Run ./ /path/to/SDL2 e.g. ./ /d/Development/SDL-1.2.15

Game data is automatically copied to the build Directory before compilation

Windows (Visual Studio)

Build and Debug with Microsoft Visual Studio / Visual C++

  1. Navigate to /build/Visual C++
  2. Open Solution file (clonekeen.sln) in Visual Studio
  3. Restore NuGet dependencies (Project -> Manage NuGet Dependencies > Restore)
  4. Build (Build > Build Solution)
  5. Run (Debug > Start Without Debugging) or Debug (Debug > Start Debugging)

Game data is automatically copied to the Target Directory as part of build - so everything should "just run"


The original author of clonekeen is Caitlin Shaw. For more info see

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