Ye Olde Pirate Modde
Described by Levellass as her swansong of Vorticon modding, Ye Olde Pirate Modde features extensive patching, introducing new features such as the ability to shoot vertically. A recoloured palette gives the impression of VGA graphics, and background music is provided courtesy of Lemm's TSR.
The original 'alpha' mod was created by Ceilick and released to the Keen community a year and a half before the final release.
An extensive musical score was composed by non-fan Barry Taylor based around traditional English folk songs, notably those relating to water and ships. The mod holds the record for most songs for a single project (35) and uses a specially modified version of Lemm's TSR due to memory restrictions.
Graphics are extensively rearranged with a new palette and extra tiles added. The ending screen was created by another fan and is of excellent quality.
The patchfile for the mod is the largest of any Keen Vorticons project. The palyer is given the ability to shoot vertically and a dozen new sprites are added with custom behaviors.
Due to pushing the memory limits of the game, the mod can only be run in Dosbox. Errors are also highly dependent on the player's computer and setup. The game can crash if the help file is called during normal gameplay. Sometimes levels on the map will not be marked as done, even when completed. Sometimes the game will crash. These errors make it difficult to play the entire mod through and are a valuable warning about leaving 'wriggle room' when designing a mod.
Having recently calculated that he had saved every planet in the universe a minimum of six times, Commander Keen had completely lost track of his adventures and decided to visit the Oracle on Gonsticus IV to settle once and for all the timeline of his exploits. Sadly however he did not arrive directly on the planet, but due to a trivial miscalculation, had managed to interpose the Oracle's spare batteries between his ship and the ground, destroying them.
Upset at this accidental vandalism the Oracle Council demanded Keen make compensation by embarking on a perilous quest. Having no other choice but to accept, Keen headed out.
Keen has been sent to tackle the Space Pirates of Vorticon V, a group of violent criminals known for their looting of local systems. (It seems that they have been cutting heavily into the Gnosticus film industry revenues.) He must also recover the treasure stolen from a thousand worlds to help pay for the damage caused to the Oracle's backup power supply and also the Council's Janitor (Who was carrying the batteries at the time.)
Spoiler Warning! This shows the complete levels. Note; sprites shown are not entirely accurate due to massive graphics patching.