Players who have played through the last, sixth episode of Commander Keen should remember that at the end of the game you could see Keen wearing a Santa hat, promising “the best of all Commander’s adventures” for Christmas 1992. The seventh part id Software was going to release it under the name The Universe is Toast! and it was supposed to consist of three separate games.
However, soon the studio employees were so fired up with the idea of creating a three-dimensional Wolfenstein (in fact, conditionally three-dimensional), and they forgot to think about the new Commander Keen. Subsequently, Tom Hall, Carmack, and Romero said more than once that they were not averse to doing the seventh part of the game. Romero, even with his studio, even took on the reissue of the entire series, reworked for Windows. But things are not going further than talk.
In Tom’s own words:
“Well, I don’t want to talk too much about it, as I may do it someday, but as you know from the end of Keen 6, Mortimer McMire is back, and he has big, bad plans for the end of the Universe as we know it…
If I can ever get the rights back to Keen, or if I can strike a deal with id so I have creative control of him forever, then you’ll see Keen again. I don’t want to start Keen back up, only to have him taken away again if he’s successful. That just wouldn’t seem fair.
I would love to do another Keen. My last idea for Keen 7-9 was a game world [that] was 3D, and at certain places the camera rotated with you for different games. It was halfway between Super Mario 64 and Pandemonium. This was two years before those games came out. I wish I’d been in a place where I could’ve made that happen back then.
I do miss the good ol’ days of Keen. I love the universe and the gameplay, and I’d love to make another chapter in the saga. We will see how the future unfolds..”
Joe Siegler recalls what else Tom Hall said about Keen 7…
“When Tom Hall was working here at Apogee, I used to pester him about Keen, because quite frankly, I was a customer of Apogee’s before I started working here. I used to ask him a lot about what he had planned for Keen 7, and I remember him being really annoyed when Super Mario 64 came out, because Tom said that was exactly what he had planned for Keen 7 – he wanted to be first to market with that kind of game concept.
When I asked which characters he said would be back from the original Keen games, he replied “All of them – a level Idea I had was that in the first level, you’d have every single character from all of the previous Keen games in there all at once – sort of a Galactic Zoo type of thing. Then I’d start introducing new stuff after that.” Whether or not Tom actually uses this idea or not, you can tell he was thinking on a grand scale.”
On December 14th, 2015 (25th Anniversary of Commander Keen’s initial release) John Romero posted a prototype of “Keen 7” that was, according to him, created in Madison, Wisconsin.
Some information is taken from «Игромания» magazine, 03 (114) 2007