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Release date2011-02-20 (first release)
2013-03-26 (latest version)
Discussion(s)PCKF: NetKeen
NetKeen: Vorticons
Secret levels0

This article refers to the 2011 fangame NetKeen. For the 1997 fangame of the same name, see NetKeen (1997).

NetKeen is a multiplayer fangame created by Lemm by reverse engineering the Keen Galaxy/Wolf3D code and combining it with the Doom IPX network code. The game supports LAN play and Internet play using DOSBox IPX tunneling for up to 4 players.

In 2022-04-25, John314 released Link-Keen, a heavily minimized Game Boy Advance version of NetKeen.

Game Modes

Deathmatch: 2-4 players compete for a specified number of kills.

Team Deathmatch: 3-4 players compete as a team for a specified number of kills. Teams can be either 2v2, 1v2, or 1v3.

Treasure Race: Players compete to collect the highest point value first. Players can still kill each other, but these do not count directly toward winning. Currently only 8 maps (Icing Shelf in Keen 4, Candy Dash in Keen 5, Vertical Landing in Keen 6, Toxin Tubes, Capital City, Candy Climb, Sugar Storage, and Hal's Kitchen in Keen Vorticons) have point items for this type of game.

Team Treausre Race: 3-4 Players compete as a team to collect a set amount of points first. Players can still kill each other, but it does not count directly toward winning. Teams can be either 2v2, 1v2, or 1v3. See above for info on which maps have point items.


Players can choose between 8 different characters. Due to strict memory constraints, additional characters cannot be introduced.

Commander Keen
NK Princess Lindsey.png
Princess Lindsey
NK Spot.png
NK Mortimer McMire.png
Mortimer McMire
NK lt Barker.png
Lt. Barker
NK Council Member.png
Council Member
NK Council Page.png
Council Page
Pajama Keen

Netkeen Vorticons Characters

In episodes 1-3, the characters Mortimer McMire, the Council Page, the Council Member, and Pajama Keen are swapped out for the following characters:

NK Android Dummy.png
Android Dummy
NK Vorticon Elite.png
Vorticon Elite
NK Vorticon Ninja.png
NK Vorticon Woman.png
Vorticon Woman


NK Guns.png
Gun – Gives five shots dealing 40 points of damage each. Spawns every 30 seconds. Players start with 5 and max out at 99. The Neural Stunner is featured in episodes 4-6 and Dreams. The Raygun, Vorticon HyperPistol, and Vorticon Pistol are featured in episodes 1-3.
Boobus Bomb.pngNK Foob.png
Bomb – Gives three bombs dealing 50 points of damge each. Spawns every 30 seconds. Players start with 0 and max out at 9. The Boobus Bomb is featured in episodes 4-6 and Dreams. The Foobus Bomb is featured in episodes 1-3.
NK Life Items.png
Life Item – Restore 5 hit points each. Spawns every minute. Players start with 100 hit points and max out at 200. Each episode has a unique life item.
Gems.pngNKV Key Items.png
Key Item – Can be used to open certain doors for 5 seconds. The color of the key item must correspond to the gem holder in episodes 4-6 or the door itself in episodes 1-3. Spawns every minute. The gems are featured in episodes 4-6, while the keycards are featured in episodes 1-3. Although gems can be inserted into maps in Dreams, no doors that can be opened by them are available.

In addition to the items above, point items from episodes 1-6 and Dreams can be found (although no Dreams maps use point items yet). Only useful in treasure races as they give out score when collected. Spawns every minute.


Hazards or bottomless pits will kill players immediately. By default this results in -1 to the player's kill count. This can be toggled off through the game setup's extra options.

Gun Turret shots deal 60 points of damage.

List of Maps

Keen 4 maps

  1. The Tar Pit by Ceilick
  2. Pyramid of Peril by Ceilick
  3. Mirage by Ceilick
  4. Crescent Cave by Ceilick
  5. Gnosticene Brawl by Ceilick
  6. Sand Yego Arena by Ceilick
  7. Suburbs by Ceilick
  8. Azure Cave by Ceilick
  9. Bubble Dome by Ceilick
  10. Tropica by Ceilick
  11. Sluggy Arena by Ceilick
  12. Madness Mountain by Ceilick
  13. Four Corners by Ceilick
  14. Tiki Tower by Ceilick
  15. Domefucl by Commander Spleen
  16. Icing Shelf by Commander Spleen
  17. FigurativeSpeakn by Commander Spleen
  18. Tube Story by Commander Spleen
  19. Twin Towers by Pellaeon
  20. Limbalja by LTCP
  21. Crystal Mine by Pellaeon
  22. Forrestal Pit by Pellaeon
  23. Pub Fight by Pellaeon
  24. Frungyville by LTCP
  25. Sandswept by Ceilick
  26. Pell's Resort by Pellaeon
  27. Jungle Gym by Ceilick

Keen 5 Maps

  1. QED Arena by Mink
  2. Korath Towers by Mink
  3. Backdoor by Ceilick
  4. Goplat Zone by Lemm
  5. Juggernaut by Ceilick
  6. Green Machine by Ceilick
  7. Hazardous by Ceilick
  8. Goplat Horizon 2 by Ceilick
  9. Gravity Well by Ceilick
  10. Robo Red Arena by Ceilick
  11. Candy Dash by Ceilick
  12. Red Machine by Ceilick
  13. Bridge Drop by Ceilick
  14. Pole Palace by Shikadi
  15. Tech Center by Pellaeon
  16. Inverted S by Shikadi
  17. Omegamatrix by Ceilick
  18. Scout Vessel by Pellaeon
  19. Synergy by Ceilick
  20. Forever Doors by GargApplesauce
  21. Freak Out by Ceilick
  22. Gemini by Ceilick
  23. Shivonia Isle by Shikadi
  24. Shikkers by Ceilick
  25. Shikadi Gunship by Pellaeon
  26. Captain's Office by Pellaeon
  27. Energy Motivator by Pellaeon
  28. Police Station by Ceilick

Keen 6 maps

  1. Bloog Dome by Ceilick
  2. Fribbulus Forest by Ceilick
  3. Guard Post 9001 by Ceilick
  4. Fleex Network by Ceilick
  5. Rec Arena by Ceilick
  6. Tunnels Royale by Ceilick
  7. Doom Pit by Ceilick
  8. Vertical Landing by BBalazs
  9. Storage Bay 84 by Pellaeon
  10. Space Base by Ceilick
  11. Trash Compactor by Ceilick
  12. Bips Ahoy by Ceilick
  13. Training Arena by Pellaeon
  14. Starbase Hub by Pellaeon
  15. Siege by Pellaeon
  16. Fribbs River by BBalazs
  17. Radioactive by Ceilick
  18. Dome of Disaster by Ceilick

Keen Dreams maps

  1. Keen Dreams Isle by Ceilick
  2. Bridge Battle by Ceilick
  3. Swamp Romp by Ceilick
  4. Tuberia Tower by Ceilick
  5. Apple Core by Ceilick
  6. Melon Rind by Ceilick
  7. Forts by Ceilick
  8. River Ride by Ceilick
  9. Isle in the Sky by Ceilick
  10. Mosquito Pit by Ceilick
  11. Bombardiers by Ceilick
  12. Lumberjacks by Ceilick
  13. Onion Outpost by Ceilick

Keen Vorticons maps

  1. Border Town by Ceilick
  2. Red Rock Shrine by Ceilick
  3. Martian Rumble by Ceilick
  4. Ice Rink by Ceilick
  5. Vort Command by Ceilick
  6. Cosmic Cavern by Ceilick
  7. Bottom Galley by Ceilick
  8. Cairo by Ceilick
  9. London by Ceilick
  10. Reactor Core by Ceilick
  11. Paris by Ceilick
  12. Sydney by Ceilick
  13. Washington DC by Ceilick
  14. Vortiville by Ceilick
  15. Mangling Machine by Ceilick
  16. Lower Vortiville by Ceilick
  17. Canavorta by Ceilick
  18. Schoolhouse Rock by Ceilick
  19. Fort Cavort by Ceilick
  20. Mirror Lair by Gridlock
  21. Toxin Tubes by Gridlock
  22. Capital City by Gridlock
  23. Candy Climb by Gridlock
  24. Sugar Storage by Gridlock
  25. Melty Mountainspt by Gridlock
  26. Weaponry B by Gridlock
  27. Engine Room by Gridlock
  28. Grand Intellect by Gridlock
  29. Control District by Ceilick
  30. Nature by Gridlock
  31. High Noon by Ceilick
  32. Lost Tantalus by Ceilick
  33. Vorticon Oil Rig by Ceilick
  34. Vorticon Bowl by Ceilick
  35. Cargo Pit by Ceilick
  36. Emerald Arena by Ceilick
  37. Vorti Valley by Ceilick
  38. Vorticon Mansion by Ceilick
  39. Hal's Kitchen by Gridlock
  40. Staggered Eight by Lemm
  41. Fork by Lemm
  42. Vortitemple by Mink
  43. Pyrene by Lemm

Gargapplesauce 5 Maps

  1. The GARG Zone by GargApplesauce
  2. Forever Doors by GargApplesauce
  3. Air Conditioning by GargApplesauce
  4. Battle Stations by GargApplesauce
  5. Box Arena by GargApplesauce
  6. Lock and Key by GargApplesauce
  7. Forever Doors 2 by GargApplesauce

How to use Netkeen

There are three steps for starting Netkeen: A) Enabling IPX networking in DosBox; B) Connecting the DosBoxen; and, C) Starting NetKeen

Enabling IPX Networking

In Windows, go to your DosBox installation folder (default Program Files\DosBox v x.xx) and look for a file named DosBox x.xx Options.bat (where x.xx is the version number). Running this batch file opens the dosbox configuration file. Find "ipx" and change ipx=false to ipx=true, then save and exit the text editor. You only need to perform this steps once.

Under Linux, the DosBox configuration file is found in ~/.dosbox/

Connecting the DosBoxes

For network play, one person must start an IPX server with dosbox. Other players will be clients that connect to the server.

Online Games

For online games the server must first forward a UDP port that is to be used for DosBox. On a home network, this is accomplished by logging into the router control panel and forwarding a UDP port between 1024 and 65536 (3140 in this example). For more information on port forwarding for your router, please visit

Once you have forwarded UDP port 3140, mount your Netkeen folder in Dosbox. An easy way to do this is to drag and drop a file from your Netkeen folder onto the dosbox icon (do not drag and drop Netkeen.exe, use another file such as egagraph.ck5).

Once dosbox loads, enter at the command line:

ipxnet startserver 3140

Other players can connect to the server by typing at the DosBox command line (after mounting their Netkeen folder):

ipxnet connect <host ip address> 3140

The host can find their ip address on websites such as

In choosing a server for a 3 or 4 player internet game, the computer which is geographically central is usually the best choice. Server choice can have a dramatic impact on lag, so make sure to try all possibilities.

Visit the DosBox Wiki for more information on IPX networking

Lan Setup

For Lan games, port forwarding is not necessary. The server will enter the same text at the Dosbox command line, excluding the port number:

ipxnet startserver

Other players can connect to the server by typing at the Dosbox command line:

ipxnet connect <host ip address>

In windows, the host's ip address can be found by running a command prompt and typing "ipconfig". The host's ip will be the IPv4 Address in the Local Area Connection section.

Starting Netkeen

Netkeen is started from the command line by typing:

netkeen <switches>

There are several switches required for operation:

-server : Tells the dosbox to act as a game host. ONE, and ONLY ONE player MUST specify this switch! The game host starts the games from the lobby and controls all of the game settings such as victory conditions and levels.

-nodes <number of nodes> : Signifies that you want to play a network game where the number of nodes equals the number of players. By default, a 2 player game is started if the number of nodes is left out.

-ext <game extension> : The extension of the game data (i.e. which episode) you want to play. All parties must use the same extension, or the game will not start. By default, CK5 is used as the extension. Extensions are: CK4, CK5, CK6, KDR, CKV, and GA5.

Example: play a local game (no opponents) using episode keen 4 files:

netkeen -ext ck4

Example: host a 3 player game for keen 6:

netkeen -server -ext ck6 -nodes 3

Example: join a 3 player game for keen 5:

netkeen -ext ck5 -nodes 3

Creating your own levels

Due to strict memory constraints, levels over 70x70 or containing too many different tiles will not be playable in 4 player games in which each player uses a unique character.

Download the Netkeen Modding and Levelling Package. Then use The Omegamatic to open the gamemaps file and the corresponding tilesets for the episode you wish to mod.

You will notice that despite the folder names, all files use the .ck5 extension. This is because Netkeen uses the Keen 5 engine and file information. Later, when you're ready to test your level, you will change the extension to correspond with the correct episode. For level editing purposes, always make sure the files have the .ck5 extension.

Level editing is basically the same as creating a level in Keen Galaxy. Enemies cannot be placed except for gun turrets, and spawn points can be placed with the numbered helmet sprites (for team 1 and team 2, which act as normal spawners if not a team game).

Important! When you complete your level and want to test it, you will need to combine the tileinfo with the mapfile. Make sure both your maphead.ck5 and keen5-nkX.tli file are in the same folder, where X is the episode number you are using. If you are using Windows, you can combine the files by navigating to your folder in a command prompt and typing:

type maphead.ck5 Keen5-nkX.tli > maphead2.ck5 

Then copy the "gamemaps.ck5" and the "maphead2.ck5" to another location to rename. Rename "gamemaps.ck5" to "gamemaps.ckX" where X corresponds to the game episode. Then rename "mapead2.ck5" to "maphead.ckX", again, where X corresponds to the game episode. You can then move these two files to your netkeen game folder to test your levels. All players who wish to test your level will need the gamemaps and maphead files.

For assigning songs to levels, open episode.ckX in a hex editor. The value of the n'th byte will set that song number to the n'th level. Use the music table provided with the editing package to find which values correlate with which song.



A few NetKeen levelpacks have been released over the years, with download links found in the downloads section below.

  • Noldor Ranzou released three levelpacks on June 20, 2015. Named Noldor Ranzou's Netkeen Level Packs, each pack has four new levels. The first is for Keen 5, the second is for Keen 4, and the third is for Keen 6. While they are graphically unchanged, they have new music taken from various sources.
  • Quillax released a levelpack on March 14, 2017, named Quillax's NetKeen Levels. It was regularly updated to fix issues and add more levels until May 5, when the final update was released. The levelpack has a total of 33 levels: 7 for Vorticons, 15 for Keen Dreams, 1 for Keen 4, and 10 for Keen 6.


External Links

  • NKLaunch is a tool made for launching Netkeen without command lines.
  • For usage on the Pandora handheld, read this (instructions also work, for the most part, if you're on any other computer using the DOSBox frontend DBoxFE - just ignore the parts about mapping controls, and ignore the Pandora-specific directories)