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.
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.
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:
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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
Keen 5 Maps
Keen 6 maps
Keen Dreams maps
Keen Vorticons maps
Gargapplesauce 5 Maps
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.
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 http://www.portforward.com/.
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 http://www.whatismyip.com/.
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
For Lan games, port forwarding is not necessary. The server will enter the same text at the Dosbox command line, excluding the port number:
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.
Netkeen is started from the command line by typing:
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.
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.
- Download NetKeen: Vorticons (2013/03/26)
- Noldor Ranzou's Netkeen Level Packs
- Quillax's NetKeen Levels
- Netkeen Homepage Archived on the Wayback Machine
- Netkeen IRC Channel Play matches with other Keeners online
- NKLaunch is a tool made for launching Netkeen without command lines.