Great moments in PC gaming: Meeting the Dopefish

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Commander Keen in Goodbye, Galaxy

Developer: id
Year: 1991

Great moments in PC gaming are short, bite-sized celebrations of some of our favorite gaming memories. 

You never know what’s going to become A Thing. Take the Dopefish. He appears in one level during the shareware game Commander Keen: Goodbye Galaxy, which describes him as “the second dumbest creature in the universe. His thought patterns go, ‘swim swim hungry, swim swim hungry.'” And yet somehow, this chunky green wonder became something of an industry mascot in the 90s, hidden in everything from Quake to current Early Access game Dusk. Not to mention assorted callouts, including the classic bit of digital graffiti “DOPEFISH LIVES”. He even appeared on Tiny Toon Adventures, as a scientific example of zero-intelligence. Which is all the more impressive/terrifying given that the top of this specific scale was a chicken drumstick.

Over the last few years though, it has to be said there’s been a distinct absence of gaming’s favorite piscine. When people talk of True Gamers, it’s always tiresome nonsense about ‘skill’ or whatever. Clearly, the real definition should be people who encounter that gap-toothed smile deep in the bowels of some secret level and take a moment to nod in recognition at one of gaming’s furthest-traveled fishies. The Dopefish must live again! In every game! No exceptions! We want to see the Dopefish in Silent Hill! The Dopefish in Fifa ’09 The Dopefish in Dota 2!

Maybe not the Dopefish in Just Fishing though.

That would be… most unfortunate.



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