Submission #3467: turska's DOS Commander Keen: Episode 4 - Secret of the Oracle in 10:28.28

(Link to video)
(Submitted: Commander Keen 4: Secret of the Oracle)
JPC-rr 10
Submitted by turska on 2/19/2012 10:12:22 PM
Submission Comments
This is an any% tool-assisted speedrun of Commander Keen 4: Secret of the Oracle.

Grab the encodes: primary 10bit444

  • Plays on the hardest difficulty
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Uses death to save time
  • Abuses programming errors
  • Manipulates luck
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Genre: Platform

Movie information

JPC-RR v11.6 was used to make the movie.
This TAS uses v1.0 of the game. You can locate a copy of it here.
Here is JPC-RR's ImageMaker's report on the disk image used:
Type               : HDD
Tracks             : 16
Sides              : 16
Sectors            : 63
Total sectors      : 16128
Primary extent size: 2544
Storage Method     : 3
Sectors present    : 1514
Calculated Disk ID : FF45457A0E2AE9A817B95EB2A44269EF
Claimed Disk ID    : ff45457a0e2ae9a817b95eb2a44269ef
Comments section:
Entry: N/A            N/A                                       7 /
Vname: 19900101000000 N/A                                       0 c
Entry: 19900101000000 125c93a549a3e5b2ab4c6c6ec1ad3e7d      33325 /AUDIO.CK4
Entry: 19900101000000 82fa7b42df7da01d802ed7f72c11ca04      24507 /CATALOG.EXE
Entry: 19900101000000 f730032798569853a2c9132e1d890623     487332 /EGAGRAPH.CK4
Entry: 19900101000000 9e1811deb429f7edc6bffa5bb786ebb4      99040 /GAMEMAPS.CK4
Entry: 19900101000000 fed774926e64d10fa0cf7704313f4013     102355 /KEEN4E.EXE
Entry: 19900101000000 df62dc64c0873b510a983e52776d8833       2346 /ORDER.FRM
Entry: 19900101000000 d73b76127b79fc88735300cfee1a3780       1590 /README.DOC

Tricks used

Impossible Pogo Trick

Tapping ALT and CTRL near-simultaneously while holding Left or Right allows Keen to perform a higher-than-normal pogo jump.

Continuous Vertical Pogo

When approaching a static soft platform from below under certain conditions, Keen can land on it without having to wait for gravity to deplete her vertical momentum.


Landing on corners and hitting them in midair can slightly boost Keen forward.

Slope mechanics

Keen moves forward 7/6 times faster when traversing a downward slope. When traversing a sharply downward slope, she moves forward 1/3 times faster. Conversely, she moves forward 5/6 times slower when traversing an upward slope and 2/3 times slower when traversing a sharply upward slope.

Death flag glitch

Saving and reloading a game causes the "you are dying" flag to be reset while still leaving Keen in the dying animation, allowing her to clip through walls. This is beneficial when done near the vertical edge of a level, as touching one will complete the level. Oracles and swimming gear cannot be touched with this glitch.

Midair Pogo

Pogo activation and deactivation in midair allows for greater control over jump height. Keen's pogo hitbox is shorter than her jumping one, which can enable her to jump farther and higher in constrained spaces.

Stage by stage commentary


Cornerboosting is possible even on the world map.

Border Village

Optimal bounder positioning is accomplished with luck manipulation. Bounder speed is equal to that of Keen, but walking on top of the two Bounders is still faster than pogoing and walking through the level.

Slug Village

Jumping allows Keen to reach a better subpixel position. The save glitch is used to skip nearly all of the level.


The CVP and the Midair Pogo are featured on this level.

Lifewater Oasis

This level is unique in that it has significant in-level lag. For unknown reasons, this run avoids most of it. Near-optimal oracle positioning is attained.

Pyramid of the Gnosticene Ancients

The shortcut used was discovered by Cosmo. Moving platforms are deterministic; therefore, less than optimal movement does not cause time loss.

Pyramid of Darkness

This level features tons of snails that will cost time if badly positioned in addition to the volatile Oracle. Spike hazards and laser cannons have highly misleading sprites; their hitboxes are massive, which is why some parts may seem unoptimal to the untrained eye.


This is the highlight of the run; it features extensive CVP usage and a zip that only has useful application in this level.

Cave of the Descendents (sic)

Much like its kin, this shaft looks good. Unfortunately, the rest of the level is very dull.

The Perilous Pit

A level design error allows Keen to reach the top of the level in just a single elevator cycle, saving gobs of time.

Isle of Fire

The Berkeloid in the middle is manipulated to behave optimally in record time while also having excellent Oracle positioning.

Well of Wishes

Dopefish placement and movement patterns are constant. The second Dopefish is manipulated to turn around two frames earlier; all other Dopefish will gladly have Keen for breakfast while ignoring appeals.


The ending is reached before the 10-minute mark, but input is required in order for it to complete. Input is ended on the high score screen.

Special thanks to

  • Ilari: for making this run possible, writing the fabulous script, providing advice on JPC-RR usage, and following progress with devotion.
  • Cosmo: for discovering the PoGA shortcut and providing insightful feedback.

Suggested screenshots

[dead links removed]
I like Dopefish. Also, getting decent screenshots of Keen 4 is surprisingly difficult.

Nach: Great run, great audience response! Accepting for first run of this game.
Nahoc: Processing!
Last Edited by adelikat on 9/24/2023 6:12 PM
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