The Shikadi are a race of translucent energy beings from another galaxy. They built the Omegamatic with the purpose of destroying the Milky Way and rebuilding it in the name of the mysterious Gannalech. They appear only in Keen 5, as the main enemies (though they are mentioned in Keen 4).
The official help text states:
These energy beings built the Omegamatic and plan to destroy the galaxy. Watch out for them near poles.
In Keen 4, the Gannalech sent the Shikadi to Gnosticus IV to capture the Council Members that protect the Oracle, in order to stop them from divulging information about the construction of the Omegamatic. The Shikadi placed the Council Members in secluded places in the Shadowlands, and left dangerous creatures and traps to protect them.
In Keen 5, the Shikadi appear as some of the most dangerous enemies aboard the Omegamatic. They can be stunned by shooting at them four times with the Neural Stunner. They can use poles to create electro shock attacks that send electricity up the pole and kill Keen, if he happens to be climbing the pole at the time.
Origins and characteristics
At some moment in time, the Shikadi began to be somehow controlled by Mortimer McMire. They called him "Gannalech", as it was their way of pronouncing "Grand Intellect". The means of this control is unclear, though it does not seem to be physical as in the case of the Vorticons. The most likely scenario is that they are political supporters, eager to benefit from the power and destruction Mortimer brings. It is believed that the Shikadi are still under the control of Mortimer McMire, as he has not specifically been beaten.
Despite the large amount of attention given to the Shikadi, little is known about their origins or homeworld. In Keen 4, the Oracle mentions that "The Shikadi are a race of shadow beings from the far side of the galaxy". In Keen 5, it is stated that the Shikadi had used an unnamed Shikadi Ship to get to Korath III, and that they use it again to escape at the end of the game. However, the game specifies that they "... hightail it back to their own galaxy", which contradicts the information given by the Oracle. This could be explained if the Oracle gave Keen just the location where the Shikadi were residing at that moment (in the "far side of the galaxy", orbiting Korath III), and not their original homeworld, which is actually in another galaxy.
The Gannalech refers to his servants as "these dumb Shikadi". It seems that he does not like them for being mentally inferior to his intellect, but it is not known whether they are actually intelligent or not. If they are, then probably their intelligence is just the average type, explaining why they are dumb to the eyes of the Gannalech, and explaining how they got to build so many sophisticated structures to destroy the whole Galaxy.
They also seem to have some kind of social hierarchy levels, as they have Masters, which might be the leaders of their attack forces.
Appearance in Keen GBC
The Shikadi return in Keen GBC, where they team up with the Droidiccus and the Bloogs to try and destroy the universe, again at Mortimer's behest. Here, they are more shadowy and solid, being bright blue and ghostly, rather like the "shadow beings" they were described as in Keen 4. They behave almost identically, but there are two new kinds, and they have more robots.
Keen meets them on their possible home world Shikadi World. However, the planet is a lush and forested place, not the location that energy beings would be expected to evolve on. There is evidence mentioned in Keen GBC that the Shikadi have travelled through several galaxies and kidnapped or switched beings from various planets therein .
The game manual uses the same description as Keen 5.
- List of Keen 5 Creatures
- Shikadi Master, one of the Shikadi leaders
- Shockshund, a Shikadi's best friend
- Shikadi Mine, a devious device
- Shikadi Soda and Shikadi Gum (and possibly Shikkers Candy Bar), a soft drink and a flavour of gum (and chocolate bar) somehow connected to the Shikadi
Keen GBC has some Shikadi not seen on the PC games:
- Shikadi Overlord, a Shikadi leader
- Shikadi Sentry, a droid