Wednesday, September 29, 2004

foo_wmaenc v1.2 for Foobar2000

Here is a diskwriter plugin I wrote for foobar2000 v0.8.2 that writes WMA (Windows Media Audio) files.

foo_wmaenc v1.2
Source Code

Saturday, September 11, 2004


CoreFLAC ACM v0.1
An ACM codec for FLAC. Using libflac 1.1.0. Compression level is set to the default -5 level. This codec is more or less a hack as the ACM API doesn't provide good support for VBR audio codecs.

flac2wav2flac v0.1
A command-line program to convert .wav files compression with the FLAC ACM to .flac and convert .flac to FLAC .wav's.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Commander Keen Hints and Cheats

Here are some hints and tips for the Commander Keen series of games I've gathered from the Internet.

Hints & Tips

Episode 1: "Marooned on Mars"
In keen 1, the hidden bricks are all in dark areas - look for a gray square in the upper left corner (this tip comes from a Yorp statue as well).
To get to the Secret City in Keen 1, go to the city on the "east" (dark side) of Mars that's about at the planet's Equator. If you go to the dark area at the bottom of that city and head right, you'll find a teleporter. (You have to jump on a hidden brick, over a ledge, then get yourself caught in an ice-launching machine which will propel you over the next wall) This takes you to the hidden city.
Also, if you go to the green city just before the teleporter on the light side of Mars ("left" side, "west" side) and go to the Garg in the yellow tube, and get him to chase you, you can make him "jump" in midair by running left and letting him follow you at his highest speed. It's not really useful but it looks neat :)
If you hit the function keys really fast, it fargles the screen something weird! Walk around... pressing the fire button warps you at random sometimes (and makes another way to "clip" on the Mars map.) Don't do it on a level or you die -- do it on the map. :)

Episode 2: "The Earth Explodes"
The signs near the Tantalus Rays read "TANTALUS ". If you can't find the Standard Galactic Alphabet, you can translate a lot of the cities. Write down the symbols, then when you leave the level, see what city you saved and match them up.
When you are standing by the Tantalus Rays in CK2, do NOT pull the switch !! It zaps earth1 (The sign over it in the Standard Galactic Alphabet reads "ON").

Episode 3: "Keen must Die"
The Mangling Machine - First wait for the left laser. Then jump to the platform it hit and take out the top 2 marks. Then drop to the bottom left corner. Pogo up when the Green Glob isn't shooting left and take out the bottom left mark. (It's hard to not hit the machine but it can be done). Then work your way to the right using the spots you won't get crushed (there are 3 and you have to use them ALL one at a time). Then do the bottom right one like you did the bottom left. Then pogo up high and take out the top 2. This breaks the outer legs. Then shoot on level with the heart to destroy the machine entirely.

Episode 4: "Secret of the Oracle"
There are seven free Keens on level 1.
You can get to the top of the Pyramid of the Moons. We're talking the OUTSIDE.
There is a hidden area at the top of the Cave of the Descendants.
Princess Lindsey appears twice.
In the Chasm of Chills, a slug holds a secret.
There's stuff hidden very well in Highville. All you need is a flash of insight.
There's a free Keen in Miragia.
There's a free Keen in the Pyramid of the Ancients.
There's a free Keen on the Isle of Fire.
There are at least seven free Keens in the Pyramid of the Shadows.
You can get to the secret pyramid by way of something in the Pyramid of the Moons. Reread the Cast of Characters carefully.
Dopefish also like to eat the small schoolfish that follow you.
Pressing button 1 makes you swim faster.
You can squash skypests by jumping on them with your pogo stick while they are preening,
You can only shoot mimrocks when they are jumping at you.
Mad Mushrooms leap higher on the third bounce.
I'm Still stuck!
Border Village - like on your page, but at Easy Level you can get to it WITHOUT revealing the secret passage. You just pogo off the second acid pool and turn it off and pull yourself up onto the secret ledge.
Slug Village - One of the few places I can't find a 1-UP.
The Perilous Pit - the button that activates the moving platform that goes up to the top left part of the level, this button is near a mushroom - look how the mushroom hops "into" a secret area. Two 1-UP's are here tho I don't know how to get them without God Mode.
The Isle of Tar - if you clip on the "main level" (the big one that goes underground, not the houses) on the far right, then jump and move right, you clip INTO the houses... which is kind of neat. Try it! The 1-UP is in the last house, upper left corner.
The Isle of Fire - When underground on the left, near the yellow gem and the mimrocks, you can jump up into the wall and a secret passage leads to a 1-UP. It's kind of long so you may want to F10-Y your way through it. ALSO a button activates a moving platform - look at the upper left to upper middle parts of the level. There's a secret area of platforms if you can time the jumps (or just jump cheat right up at the beginning if you're lazy).
The Well of Wishes - The 1UP is early on... No secret areas came up with F10-Y. On Hard, I can't get by the last part with the 2 dopefish without cheating though :( It's the ONLY level I can't finish on hard *snort*
The Pyramid of the Forbidden - This level is a PAIN especially at the higher levels. Two 1UP's - one at the top of the first steps you ascend, and one at the foot at the end. I warn you not to do this if you don't like anticlimactic disappointment :)
The Pyramid of Gnosticene Ancients - the red ghosts won't hurt you but they eat a lot of the items on the level (if they touch an item, it's gone - i can't figure out how to get it back). There are 2 1UPs at the first ghost (just walk right and you'll see him on a blue horizontal ledge); one at the upper left corner (which I can't seem to get without clip cheat and god mode). Also, just before the door at the bottom on EASY - there is a secret path "in" the ledge above the door that goes to a 1UP and raygun.
The Pyramid of Shadows - Lots of 1UP's. Two ways to get them. The first, by the lava pool is easy. First turn on all the blue platforms to get to the door to Room 2. Then the button in the upper left corner of room 2 opens the ledge back up so you can go back to Room 1 and get the 1UP (this took me FOREVER to figure out!) Also, in Room 3, ride the platform and then "look down" (duck) ... when you are totally to the right, jump off and there are lots of 1UP's. An alternate way is to go into room 4 and jump cheat in the chamber where the Council Member is, then walk left. Rooms 3 and 4 are part of the same map. (you can also do this with clipping).
Crystallus - can't find any 1UP's, but if you pogo on the upper left ledges and make a huge jump to the right off the last one, you can get the yellow crystal MUCH faster than if you went in their proper order.
The Chasm of Chills - Top has Princess Lindsay and some items, but I can't get out without clip cheat. Regular (where you come into) - at bottom right, above 2nd egg, a secret in right hand wall goes down. Walk left after dropping - skip the door - where the moving shovel is above, in the ledge, is a 1UP (kind of over the door). Go left more -the holes are a secret path. You can't see where you are (unless you save the game down there... hehehehe!) but a door leads to 4 ice cream cones (and comes out on ANOTHER sublevel) ... Also, on the bottom of the main level, the middle hole (it goes mushroom, platform, hole, platform...) - well on easy it's the one AFTER the one with the Slug... and a secret drop goes down... there is lots of cool stuff down there which I leave to the explorer.
The Cave of The Descendants - At the lower right, with 5 platfroms over spikes, a secret in the right wall leads to two ice cream cones. Also, the hole with the shovels has 2 1UPS in a secret at the lower right (but you can't escape wihtout God Mode and/or Jump cheap....
Hillville - 1UP way up high. Use secret bricks. (A secret brick is a line on the upper block that flashes on and off) There are 2 regions with "jets" - the platforms on top can be stood on.
Sand Yego - 1UP at top middle of first level. Use secret bricks near green gem and mimrock.
Lifewater Oasis - do you have ANY idea how to get that stuff at the very bottom in the water without clip cheat?? Otherwise, the only major secret with much in points is just before the council member - a hole you can't see the bottom of, but it's there.
Pyramid of the Moons - go right, down second pole, thru door, walk left, jump pit, and secret is after 4 arrow guns up top. Pogo, turn it off, climb pole, run right, jump. At door, jump again and go left thru next secret - when you drop to next door, go thru. IT comes out at the 1UP above the Arachnut (green thing, what's his name.)
Miragia - 1UP is on far right. Just above wetsuit, jump up and right on secret brick, then drop thru far right hole. at bottom is 1UP and platform to bring you back up. Also, you can get the three ice cream cones between the first and second bottles without cheating - from a high ledge you have to jump, lay off in midair, then push back - just jump without hitting a wall.

Episode 5: "The Armageddon Machine"
There are 9 free Keens on level 1.
Hidden in two of the levels are the names of the two level designers, Creative Director Tom Hall and Software Engineer John Romero.
There are 30,000 hidden points near the start of the Defense Tunnel Sorra.
You've probably figured this out, but pogo on the fuses to break them.
The way to the secret level is the Gravitational Damping Hub. To find out how to find it, look down and translate.
You can't destroy the QED directory. Find someone (or something) that can.
You can look down and duck under nearly-invincible Slicestars and rather vincible Volte-faces, but not under Robo Red.
You can stand right next to Robo Red and not get shot, but then you are right next to Robo Red, which isn't very fun either.
Robo Red - Robo Red never becomes that big a threat. There is always a safe place to jump when you are near him. Just watch where you're going and don't mess with him and he never sees you.
QED - You use a mine to destroy the QED. (Curisouly, the Quantum Explosion Dynamo is abbreviated as 'QED,' meaning in Latin 'being that which has been required to prove' (I'm a math major, so I've seen the QED conclusion to some "technical" proofs)
The Secret Level - Just before the normal exit, underneath the arch, use the jump down command (jump + down at once) to drop to a secret area. Follow it and get to the secret Korath III base. There is a fuse up high you break though I don't know how without cheating to get up there... (A sign on the level reads 'Jump down at arch' if you translate it... But you can't see it until you have already gone to it which kind of annoys me...)
In Keen 5 some switches read ON in the Standard Galactic Alphabet when you flip them. It's a neat touch!

Episode 6: "Aliens Ate My Babysitter"
Saving Molly, Keen 6 - At entry go left. Cross chasm, below door is blue running Bloog. Shoot him for a gem. Enter door. You will be in a room with four doors. Go to the top left of the room and shoot the Bloog. He has a gem. Then return to the bottom and enter the leftmost door. It DOES NOT go back to the same room even though it goes to an identical looking room. You will see the Bloog in the upper left corner still running. Go up and shoot him for another gem. (This is 3 of the needed 4 so far) Then return to the bottom and enter the third door from the left (second one from the right) and you will be in a reddish area. Go to the top left of this area. Enter the door. You will be in a blue room. Just follow the path and shoot ALL the Bloogs since one has the 4th gem. The door is in the upper right. It takes you to the chamber Molly is in.
Generally Speaking:
The Cheat Code: If you're really stuck on a level press the letters B, A, & T all at once. You'll gets lots of shots and key gems, plus an extra Keen. This will quickly ruin the game. Try an easier mode first.
If you are getting too tense, the PAUSE key does work.
If you're play keyboard, two-button firing hampers the use of the impossible pogo trick.
If you grab onto an edge, you don't have to pull up right away.
To erase the high scores, delete the CONFIG.CK4 or CONFIG.CK5 file.
Save the game. Often. You'll be glad you did.


Commander Keen 1-3
Press C+T+SPACE to recieve the pogo stick, all the key cards, and a lot of ray gun charges.
While at the map level, press SHIFT and TAB to bypass a city.

Commander Keen 4 & 5
Press B+A+T to get all the keys, 1 life and 99 shots
Press A + 2 + [Enter] to enter debuging mode Now press [F10] along with one of these keys :
B - Set border color (1-15)
C - Number of active/inactive objects in the level
D - Record a demo
E - End or finish the current level
G - God mode (you can't die)
I - Free items (add 3000 points and 99 shots)
J - Jump mode (you can fly anywhere)
M - Memory usage display
N - No clipping (fall through ground)
S - Slow motion
T - Sprite test display
V - Add 0-8 VBLs
W - Warp to any level
Y - Reveal hidden areas (shown in normal color)

Commander Keen 6
Press [F10] along with one of these keys :
C - Number of active/inactive objects in the level
D - Record a demo
E - End or finish the current level
G - God mode (you can't die)
I - Free items (add 3000 points and 99 shots)
J - Jump mode (you can fly anywhere)
M - Memory usage display
N - No clipping (fall through ground)
S - Slow motion
T - Sprite test display
V - Add 0-8 VBLs
W - Warp to any level
Y - Reveal hidden areas (shown in normal color)

Commander Keen 7 (Keen Dreams)
Press [F10] along with one of these keys :
G - God mode (you can't die)
I - Free items (add 3000 points and 99 shots)
J - Jump mode (you can fly anywhere)
W - Warp to any level