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Initial release
Latest update2024-03-14
Development statusFinished
PlatformWindows XP, 7-10, Linux via Wine
Tool TypeLevel Viewer
Discussion(s)PCKF Discussion Thread
DownloadVorticonView v.1.6 newest

VorticonView is a Level Viewer for Keen Vorticons created by K1n9 Duk3 in 2011.

The tool is able to read each game's graphics files and load the tile images from those files to display the levels. Additionally it can export all graphics (tiles, pictures & sprites) PNG's for each of the level planes, it can display in-game sprites instead of icons, export "maps" as PNG images, read data from the game's EXE if necessary.

It was written to create map graphics for this very KeenWiki.

Furthermore it has been reported that recent versions run in Linux under the WINE compatibility layer with no major issues.

Featured games

VorticonView can export "maps" as PNG images from the following games:

  • Commander Keen 1-3
  • Dangerous Dave in Copyright Infringement
  • Dangerous Dave in the Haunted Mansion
  • Hovertank
  • Shadow Knights
  • Slordax


To use VorticonView extract all files from the archive and run the VorticonView.exe to start the program. You will the be asked to open a LEVEL??.CKx file. The program will try to load it.


ARROW KEYS scroll through the level.
PAGE UP / DOWN changes the level number.
P changes the level number.
1 - 2 toggles plane visibility (Tiles, Info)
F1 displays the current level filename and the level size.
F2 saves the level's planes to separate PNG files.
F3 saves the level (Tiles & Sprites) to "Level?.png"
CTRL + F2 or F3 saves ALL levels.
F4 export the game's graphics as PNG images
F5 - F8 changes the zoom level (1x - 4x)
ESC / ALT+F4 terminates the program

Control notes

When you hit F2, the game will save the PNG files in the program's directory without asking you for a filename. The files will be labeled:

<FILENAME> Plane x.png

<FILENAME> is the name if the level file you opened (including it's extension). Most levels consist of two planes, except for LEVEL80.NIN (Shadow Knights' title screen) which only has one plane. In some cases the second plane will be completely empty (like in DDICI), but it will be saved anyway.

Known Issues

The levels LEVEL12.CK1 and LEVEL02.CK2 are displayed with nonsense data in the last two lines of the second plane. It is guessed that the levels weren't cleaned up before release.

See also