Dopefish Dopefish

The Well of Wishes @
The Official Dopefish Home Page

The history of the Dopefish by Joe Siegler
with help from Lee Jackson & Sam Stoddard's Apogee FAQ

[ Dopefish Fan Pages | Well Wishers ]

Tom Hall

Visit Tom's Home Page!

About Dopefish

What is Dopefish? Dopefish was one of the characters that appeared in Commander Keen, Episode IV back in 1991. That's it. All the rest of this "Dopefish mania" came later. You can read about it here at, the definitive source of info on everyone's favourite fish!

Dopefish is the product of the fertile mind of Tom Hall. It was one of 24 drawings he did of ideas for characters for Commander Keen: Goodbye, Galaxy! while part of id Software. Dopefish was one of the characters from these drawings that made the cut. According to Tom, "I just drew this stupid little fish," and the rest is history. Want to see Tom's original sketches for Dopefish he did in late 1990? Click Here!

It was pointed out to me recently that the Dopefish can predict the future.  How?   Well, the original Dopefish sketch referenced above was drawn back in 1990.  Dopefish theologists point out that when the Dopefish was called into being by Tom, it made Tom have a foreshadowing of a future id release, Quake.  You want proof?  Look at this cutout from the picture.  See the Quake logo there?    Makes you think, doesn't it?  Especially when Tom was no longer with id Software when they began work on Quake.

Keen4 Credit ScreenDopefish is described in the cast of characters for Secret of the Oracle as the second dumbest creature inthe universe. His thought patterns go, "swim swim hungry, swim swim hungry." Dopefish "will eat anything alive and moving near them, though they prefer heroes." (What's the most dumbest creature in the universe? Why, of course, the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal. It's so stupid that it thinks if you can't see it, it can't see you. One way to avoid the BugBlatter Beast is to throw a towel over your head.) Dopefish was "adopted" by the Tech Support staff at Apogee soon after I came on board. Then Steve Quarrella came onboard and it balooned from there. Dopefish was my favorite character, and Steve was the resident Keen expert -- Lee provided a few vocal effects and some art. We got hold of some screen capture software and went to town.

Dopefish reproduction?!?  One thing that's never really been covered before is how Dopefish reproduce.  I got a letter from a guy who did not include his name, but did give me the nickname "Altruismisdead".  In it he asks this (food for thought).. 

I was curious as to how the dope fish mates? With its thought patterns just being "swim swim hungry, swim swim hungry" it seems like it doesn't have any time for procreation. And if it does ever mate, how come we have never seen a "female" Dopefish? I have devised a sketch composite of what I believe may be a female Dopefish. Please correct me if I am wrong.  

Well, Altruis has some interesting theories, but this female Dopefish looks like she's going through PMS or something.

Click the fish, please.

Dopefish in Games

Dopefish in Commander KeenTo date, Dopefish has been involved in three Apogee games: Commander Keen: Goodbye, Galaxy! (as a character), Wacky Wheels (making a secret cameo appearance - See picture below), and Rise of the Triad (as a command line parameter and a secret message).  Beyond the appearance of Dopefish in Commander Keen, most everything else Dopefish has appeared in has been a cameo.  As I loved Dopefish, when I started working at Apogee, I was always talking about sticking Dopefish in our other games as a gag.  As time has gone on and folks who used to work here, and folks who are friends of mine have gone on to other companies, the "joke" of using Dopefish as a gag cameo character has lived on.  This section details appearances of the Dopefish in known games and addons.  Some are user created, some are actual industry creations.

Commander Keen  This one doesn't require much explanation, as it's the only "legitimate character use" of Dopefish.  If you play Keen 4, you'll find this one.  :)   Basically, just play the game, and get to the level "The Well of Wishes".  Keen will be underwater, and his job is to avoid several Dopefi in that level, and make it to the end.  That's pretty much it.   Dopefish really doesn't do anything in the game other than swim, and try and eat you.  But the Burping RULES!  :)   Dopefish could be hard though as this quote by Keen fan Averos goes in a story about Keen on Slashdot in 1993..  "God, I hated that Dopefish. Probably the single most terrible creature in the Commander Keen universe, bar none. Not even the Vorticons had anything on this green aquatic moron. My very dreams were haunted by that fish as I paddled in vain to keep ahead of that buck-toothed mouth. I lost more lives on that damn overgrown fscking tuna than anywhere else in the game. *Shudder*. "

Dopefish in Wacky WheelsWacky Fish?  Back when we were working on Wacky Wheels, I was talking with Andy Edwardson about Dopefish, and he thought it was a funny gag.  So he programmed in a cameo for Dopefish in Wacky Wheels.  It's pretty obscure, and neither of us could figure out why anyone would find this legitimately, but here's how to get Dopefish in Wacky Wheels.  When a race starts, you need to hold down the brake, and spin your animal in a circle to the right two complete turns (keep spinning and braking).  The Dopefish will then appear.  Don't let your animal disappear off the screen, or the gag won't work right.   Someone (We have no idea who did this) took the time to capture a whole lot of frames from Dopefish's appearance in Wacky Wheels, and turn them into an animated GIF file. If you'd like to see that, click here. (The image is about 690k, it can take a long time on a slow modem).

SieglerROTT Fish? In addition to what's mentioned in the last paragraph for ROTT, the first level in the rejected ROTT level set is called "Use the Fish." If you load this level up, use the map cheat, and look at the map, you'll see that the entire level is essentially the Dopefish -- you're playing inside. The title "Use the Fish" comes from the fax that Jay Wilbur (then of id Software) sent Apogee when he granted us permission to use the Dopefish as a cameo character. If you want to see a picture of what Dopefish looked like in Ted, (Apogee's ROTT Level editor) as designed by Joe Selinske, click here. In the registered version of Rise of the Triad, there was a level I did called Eight Ways to Hell.  In it a little over halfway through the level, are a group of walls in a hidden area that are shaped very strangely. When you're playing the game, you won't notice it, but if you look at this section of the game in the automap, the walls are shown to be in Galactic Alphabet, which is an alphabet that Tom Hall had created for the Commander Keen games. These walls spell out the message "Dopefish Lives". There is a screen capture of this section of the map below this paragraph, should you care to translate it for yourself. :)  (You can see this image below) Yet another Siegler incarnation of the Dopefish in ROTT is only in version 1.3 of the game -- when you complete it, there's a picture of a bucked tooth version of my character (Heinrich Krist - teeth compliments of artist Stephen Hornback) with a Dopefish pillow (again, made by Lee Jackson's wife Brenda) in my lap.  Also, in Feburary of 1998, I released what is probably the final patch of any kind for Rise of the Triad, the long-awaited "ROTT Dopefish" patch.   What this patch does is add Chuck Jones' rendered Dopefish into v1.3 of Rise of the Triad.  If you'd like to download this, click here.   Please note that this is not an official Apogee patch, it's released strictly as a gag by myself; don't ask Apogee about this.

ROTT Secret MessageIn addition, I've had several messages from people asking me about this possible Dopefish cameo in Rise of the Triad.  A user writes.. "When you're playing a Multi-player game in ROTT, you can see your mugshot up in one of the corners, which is next to your score. If you kill yourself, say by standing next to and facing a wall and firing an explosive weapon, you die (duh), but in addition to dying, your mugshot gets bucktoothed. If you still aren't sure what I'm referring to, just go into a multiplayer game, kill yourself and look around. So, is this a dopefish reference?".   The answer is no, it is not.   I asked Tom Hall about this, and this is what he said.. "That is not an intentional dopefish reference, but made by Dopefish's dad, so I guess you can see my themes recurring...or my material running dry. ;^)   One of the five [ROTT characters] goes bucktoothed when their kills go negative."

Dopefish gag in Duke Nukem 3DDuke Fish? One planned cameo appearance of Dopefish that will not come to the light of day was one planned for Duke Nukem 3D (more precisely it was ordered removed by George Broussard). Early in development, there was a shark as a character in Duke3D that would appear when Duke was underwater. What was to happen was that when you'd start the game with a DOPEFISH command line parameter, the sharks were to be replaced with Dopefish. However, the sharks got cut from the game, and alas, the Dopefish appearance in Duke Nukem 3D went with it. (At the last second before the game was released, the sharks were reinstated to the game, but Dopefish was not.) However, the work done for this does survive. Later on this page, Dopefish music is talked about, and a song written for Dopefish's appearance is downloadable from there. Also, Chuck Jones, the 3D modeler for Duke Nukem 3D created an animaton file for Duke, and if you want to see what Dopefish would have looked like in Duke3D, you can download this file. Also, around the same time, Chuck created a much larger FLI file of his first attempt at a 3D rendered Dopefish just spinning in place. If you want that, you can download this file. The released version of Duke Nukem 3D did have one single Dopefish reference, that being this picture you see to your left.  It's a hidden message deep in Level 5 (The Abyss) of the shareware episode of Duke Nukem 3D. In June of 1996, Dopefish has been put pack into Duke 3D! Well, not by 3D Realms, but someone by the name of Roland made a file that you can use in the registered version of Duke3D that will turn the drones (the flying things) into Dopefish! It's pretty funny! Want it? Click here.

Quake PictureShadow Warrior Fish? No, Dopefish didn't make an appearance in 3D Realms' Shadow Warrior game, but there is a connection! During the production of the game, the hero of Shadow Warrior (Lo Wang) was interviewed, and in the interview he was asked about Dopefish. Here is what Lo Wang had to say about Dopefish: [ 34k .wav file ]

Quake fish? Dopefish cameos in games has come full circle(sort of). With id Software's 1996 release of Quake, Dopefish makes yet another appearance!  Dopefish appears in the registered version of Quake. There is a "hint" of Dopefish's appearance in the shareware episode, however. If you take the path that leads to the Nightmare difficulty level selection, and shoot the square on the wall at the end of the stairwell, you'll get a cryptic message that says "The Well of Wishes awaits in the Crypt of Decay". In the Crypt of Decay (Episode 2 Level 3 of Quake), towards the end of the level you'll come across a pathway that has lots of nails being shot out a few directions. That hallways leads to a big open area (see picture to right). If you go into the corridor that is shown in the picture to the right, and turn around, you will see a very thin walkway that leads to the area marked "In Here" in the picture. If you follow this pathway and jump into the "In Here" archway, you'll be led to the Dopefish (see other picture below).

Dopefish in QuakeIn the summer of 1998, I was alerted to the existance of a Dopefish trading card.  It's actually part of a set of Quake based trading cards, of which Dopefish has a card.  I've never physically seen these cards (has anyone?), and I don't know if they're an official id Software product or not, but if you want to check 'em out, go here.

Quake II - Is Dopefish Dead?The Death of the Dopefish in Quake II? I think not, although someone over at id Software might think so. :) Remember what id did to Commander Keen in Doom (had several dead Keens hanging dead in a secret room in Level 32)? Well, they're at it again. In Quake II, Dopefish makes an "appearance". In the "Cooling Facility" level of Quake II, Dopefish is in there. But, in similar form to Keen's apperance in Doom, Dopefish appears to be dead. Is Dopefish really dead? You can judge for yourself by finding him in this level. After you the reactor is destroyed, come back to this level before going to the Big Gun. Go all the way to the outdoor pools near the end. In one of the pools a new door has opened leading to a new area with a large post, which of course has a crack in it. Meet our weird friend inside. If you have Quake II, you can download this save game file to make it more easy on yourself to see it. :)  (I've been sent an additional save game that works with Quake II v3.20)   Also in January of 1998, some proof turned up that Dopefish did not die in Quake II. Want to see the proof?   Click here (picture by Carsten Witte)  Thanks to Brandon Fish (no relation to Dope) for the pictures of Dopefish in Quake II, as well as the description for how to find him. Slightly more detailed info on this is available here.

Quake III Dopefish - Although I don't think soQuake Fish Again?  I've gotten numerous emails about the "appearance" of Dopefish in Quake III.  Personally, I do not believe that it is a Dopefish.  I'm of the thinking that just because a fish is green, it doesn't automatically mean it's supposed to be Dopefish.  Two inquiries to id Software about this were not replied to.  Until I hear otherwise, I don't personally believe that it's Dopefish in Quake III.  It could be, but my gut feeling says it's not.  If I'm proven wrong otherwise by id Software, I'll change this.

Update 6/22/00: I got an email from John Romero telling me that he had spoken with id Software, and they intend it to be a Dopefish.  Quite frankly, I'm disappointed by that.  The thing doesn't even look like Dopefish, the features aren't the same at all - if there's going to be a Dopefish cameo in a game, it should at least look like the thing!

Dopefish reference in Jazz Jackrabbit IIJazz Fish? In late spring of 1998 Epic released Jazz Jackrabbit 2.  There is a Dopefish reference in Jazz Jackrabbit II by Epic Megagames.  At some point in the game, you will see the message "Spaz ate the Dopefish".  If you click on the thumbnail to your right here, you will see the message.  Here's how to get it in the game (thanks to Nicholas Killewald for the details):

  1. Work your way to "A Diamondus Forever" as either character, any difficulty.
  2. From the start of the level, work your way to the point where there are blocks with the blue bouncy bullet symbol on them (Two spheres together, you'll know it if you play the game).
  3. Keep going through that path, through a couple springs, to the tall tree. Shoot it and walk over it.
  4. Next, you should see two blocks with stars on 'em, tucked up at the top of a passage. Shoot 'em and get up there.
  5. See the passage directly below? There's a fall-through-the-floor to it.
  6. Go to the springs on the right. Make sure you hold left when you spring after you go through the ceiling, else you'll shoot past the crate you need to smash. Might take you a couple tries.
  7. Smash the metal crate.
  8. Now, hit the blue spring below you and shoot up through the small log above you. (Translation: hit the spring and shoot straight up)
  9. Those three green-and-blue blocks you see will lead you up to another platform. Go to the left, kill a turtle, and find the sign.

It's actually easier than it sounds. Just remember to take the high road. 

There's actually a "sort of" Dopefish appearance in Jazz Jackrabbit 2.  If you start the game in easy mode, you see this picture.  It's not quite Dopefish, but it kinda looks like 'em.  :)

Dopefish gag in DescentDescent Fish?  In June of 1999, we were told of an appearance of Dopefish in Descent 3.  Before the game was released, the folks who made the game were running a "contest" where you could send in a picture and a character name, and they'd put it in there as a default character in the game.  Well, the guy above who did the Dopefish Halloween costume above sent in the picture of himself in the halloween garb, and the Descent folks put it in the game!  Here's some details from mscooper about how to get Dopefish in the game:  "Make a pilot called "Dopefish" and you can choose a pilot picture, which automatically comes up as me in my dopefish Halloween getup."

Dopefish gag in BattlezoneBattle Fish?  In 1999, we were informed by Robert E. Wareing about an appearance of Dopefish in the game Battlezone.  Well, it's "The Red Odyssey" add-on for Battlezone.   Click on the small thumbnail to your left and you'll see what shows up in the game.  :)  Robert tells us how to get it... 

You type DOPEFISH in at any success screen in Red Odyssey, and a little picture of him pops up with a small bio of his history.  There's also a Duke Nukem reference in the game, too.  At the end of The Red Odyssey, they decide to Nuke the emeny, so this big ass Nuke comes screaming across the landscape, slowing rotating as it hurls towards impact - and on it's side it's name is painted as Duke.  Get it?  We nuke'd 'em with a nuke named Duke".

Dopefish in Kingpin?  I had a skin screenshot submitted to me by someone from the game Kingpin.  Unfortunately, I don't have any info on how to download this or how to make it appear in the game.  If you do, please let me know.   If you want to see what it looks like, you can click here for a shot.

Dopefish in Daikatana!  Once again, I've gotten some cool stuff from John Romero about an appearance of Dopefish in one of his games.  A couple of years ago, he was cool enough to send me some info about Dopefish in Quake.  Recently, his long awaited Daikatana was released - and John sent over some screenshots and detailed information on how to get to all of them.  

Dopefish from DaikatanaOK Joe, here's your Dopefish info:  The Dopefish is hidden in four places in Daikatana, one location per episode. Here's the list of places:

E1: In the Sewer System, part 2, there's a secret area that contains the Shotcycler-6 and a bunch of Sludge Minions. In the screenshot (dopefish_e1_1.jpg) you can see one of the four corner lights in the room. Shoot each one until they descend into the floor. When all four have been shot, you'll hear a strange sound and at the bottom of the pool in the center of the room, a grating will slide open and reveal the first Dopefish's lair (dopefish_e1_2.jpg).

E2: In the Acropolis, part 1, the first major structure that you enter will have a huge water fountain in it (dopefish_e2_1.jpg). Jump into the water in the fountain, find the open spot and swim into it. You have to break the wall under here (dopefish_e2_2.jpg) to gain access to the second Dopefish's lair (dopefish_e2_3.jpg).

E3: In the Plague Village, part 1, near the very end of the level is a final bridge that you must cross (dopefish_e3_1.jpg). Under this bridge is a boarded-up well (dopefish_e3_2.jpg) -- break off the wood and swim down into the well, moving around the protruding rocks the whole way until you find the third Dopefish's lair (dopefish_e3_3.jpg).

E4: In the Tower of Crime, part 2, there's an elevator shaft that has a little secret under the water at the bottom. You need to climb the ladder in the shaft and go all the way down to the floor where your feet will be barely covered in water and you cannot duck under it to see where the secret is located... you must simply shoot at the ground until it breaks out from under you (dopefish_e4_1.jpg). When you go down into the new opening, you'll find a Vitality powerup (dopefish_e4_2.jpg). To the right of the Vitality is a wall that is breakable and behind that wall is the fourth and final Dopefish's lair (dopefish_e4_3.jpg).

In each Dopefish's lair there's a Manaskull invulnerability artifact -- it will allow you to either look at the Dopefish for a while, or allow you to try to completely destroy the Dopefish, which takes a LOT or work to do.

Baby Dopefish in AnachronoxA special thanks goes out to John Romero for getting this information together and over to me.  :) 

Anachronofish! - Well, as Tom Hall's Anachonox is about to hit the shelves, speculation has run rampant that Dopefish would make an appearance in the game.  I can now announce that not only is there a Dopefish - there are three baby Dopefish in the game as cameo characters.  Yours truly has done the voice for the Dopefish again.  :)

After Anachronox was released, Tom sent me some info on the various appearances of Dopefish in Anachronox.  Here's the info he sent me:

Here you go!

1. In Rho's lab, in a tank to the side. (MAP LABBUILDING)

2. In Moon Burger on Hephaestus, occasionally jumping out of the ball pit. (MAP MBURGER)

3. In the Krapton Ship, in a tank in the room with the Orange Roughy monsters. (MAP KRAPTONMAZE)

Tom also sent along several screen shots of Dopefish's appearances in the game.   Here they are - you can click on any of them to have a larger version open up in another window:

Krapton Maze 1
Krapton Maze 2
Lab Building 1
Lab Building 2
Lab Building 3
Lab Building 4 Moon Burger 1 Moon Burger 2 Moon Burger 3  

Special thanks to Tom Hall for sending me over this information on Anachronox.

Dopefish in Keen Gameboy ColorDopefish in Keen Gameboy ColorKeen & Dopefish return! - Sort of.  In 2001, id licensed someone else (David Palmer productions) to make a new Keen game for the Gameboy Color.  Tom Hall wasn't involved, so my personal expectations were pretty low for the game.  I played the game a little bit, but quite frankly, it's crap.  That's not surprising, since Tom wasn't involved.  Plus it's insaneo hard.  Even if I liked it for Tom not being involved, it's almost unplayable.  Dopefish does make a cameo in the game.   He's not a full fledged character as such, just kind of the level of usage he had in Keen 4.   First, some dopefish art is on a wall in the game.  Check out the screen captures here from the Gameboy Color Keen game for shots of the Dopefish appearances.

Later on in the game, the Dopefish does make an appearance as a game character.  He's jumping in and out of the water, and you have to jump over him to progress in the level.  You don't actually get eaten, but if you're touched by the Dopefish, you will die.

Dopefish cameo in Max PayneMax Dopefish - The plan to get Dopefish into as many games as possible continues with the apperance of Dopefish in Max Payne.   It started about 5 weeks before the game went gold - I was contacted by Petri of Remedy asking if any "hi res art existed for Dopefish".  I chuckled, and said no, of course it didn't - the only art was the 10 year old EGA art, as well as anything you might see on  He ended up whipping up some art on his own, and that art has been on ever since - although no one has said anything about it during the time it was here and Max Payne was not out.  If you want to see that art, click here.

Dopefish cameo in Hyperspace Delivery BoyAnyway, check out this screen capture above from Max Payne - you can click on the thumbnail for a larger version.  The hidden room happens in Chapter 1 Level 7.  It's the one where you're chasing Gognitti over the rooftops.  When you get to the point where Gognitti tries to go through a door, and it's locked, there's an area where you can go into battle at the bottom of the stairs.  Don't go down there, turn around, and head back towards the basketball court.  From there you can jump down to this secret area (behind a fence).  However, if you're too lazy to do the work yourself, you can download this save game and use it.  :)

In Jan of 2004, we were sent this file from Jeff Stein.  It's an update of the Dopefish art in Max Payne, Jeff wanted to share, so here it is. :)

Hyperspace Delivery Fish - The spread of Dopefish cameos to more games continues unabated into 2002.  Late in December of 2001, Tom Hall & John Romero's new company, Monkeystone Games released their first game, "Hyperspace Delivery Boy".

In this game, another Dopefish cameo makes it's appearance - see the graphic to your right.  As I don't have a Pocket PC (which is what this game is available for), I can't tell you first hand how to see this, but I did ask Tom Hall how to get to the Dopefish in Hyperspace Delivery Boy, and he told me...  "You must collect at least 21 Monkeystones to get access to that area."   Hope that's useful information for those of you who have the game!  Later in 2002, a version of this game was released for the PC as well, and yours truly provided a voice for the "Worker Siegler" character saying "It is the Dopefish - behold!"  :)

Dopefish user mod for Wolfenstein 3DWolfenstein Fish - In September of 2002, I was sent a screenshot which the sender (whose name and email I have since lost) says is from the recent game "Return to Castle Wolfenstein".  It shows a stairwell which has "Dopefish" in grating at the top.  The Dopefish itself doesn't appear there, but these words do.  Can someone get back to me with info on how to find this in the game?  Thanks.  I was also told that this was part of a user map, and not actually part of the main game - I can't confirm that.

Dopefish cameo in Hitman 2I also have a file that you can use if you have the registered 6 episode version of the original Wolfenstein 3D.  This modification comes from Steven Pappas, and it changes Episode 1 Level 10 (the secret level) to be "The Well of Wishes".  Some of the characters are replaced with a Dopefish (which appears to be a boss character transplant, as it's rather lethal).  You can download the file here - unpack to your registered Wolf3D directory and enjoy.   You can also check out a screen capture of this modification on this page, and a few others here, here, here, & here.

Hitman 2 Fish - During my layoff of 2003, I was notified (by several people) that a Dopefish appearance happened in Hitman 2.   In the level "Jacuzzi Job", Dopefish appears as a fish bobbing up and down (kinda like a bobblehead) on a desk in a room where your target is.  I was sent many shots of this appearance.  Other than the one shown here, you can click on a few more for various looks of the Hitman 2 Dopefish appearance.
[ Link | Link | Link | Link | Link | Link | Link ]

N-Fish - Shortly before Tom Hall & John Romero moved to San Diego in 2003 to go work for Midway, they released the game Red Faction on the N-Gage through their company Monkeystone that has Dopefish in it.   John showed it to me while they were working on it, and he told me he was going to get some screenshots of it, and some info on how to find the Dopefish in the game.  Once I get that info from Romero, I'll post it here.

Dopefish Music

Click here for info on the Dopefish Theme Lyrics!Dopefish music has been ongoing for a few years now. The original music was done by Bobby Prince sometime in 1990, and is called "Eat Your Veggies". As Bobby tells it, this song was originally intended for the Softdisk title, Keen Dreams, but since Softdisk insisted that the game fit on a 360k disk, music had to be left out. However, the song survived, and was used in Commander Keen IV: Secret of the Oracle. The music itself appears in more than one level, but to Keen (and Dopefish) purists, the song has been dubbed "Dopefish Level Music". If you'd like to download a MIDI file created by Bobby Prince in 1993 of this music, click here. Also in there was a joke we did sometime in 1994, where we turned the MIDI file around backwards. :) The universe notwithstanding, Dopefish music continued unabated.  In 1994, Lee Jackson composed a very silly song called Fish Polka. This song only appears in the level warp cheat mode of Rise of the Triad. And, in 1995, Lee Jackson took Bobby's original veggies song, and made it a bit more sinister. This version of the song was originally intended for Dopefish's aborted cameo in Duke Nukem 3D. That one is called "DopeJaws", and it can be downloaded here. In the last paragraph, a Quake Clan for Dopefish was mentioned. These folks created their own variant of the Dopefish song called "Kill Your Veggies".  You can download that here.   In this zip file there is another variant of the theme that I'm at a loss to explain the origin of.

In early 1998, Dopefish music has come alive!  I was sent a new version of the Dopefish theme called "Swing Your Veggies".  This is an it v2.14 file, and can only be played with something like ModPlug or Impulse Tracker.  Swing your Veggies can be downloaded here, and was created by Dave Hilling.  If you stick Swing Your Veggies on a repeating loop in your player, it sounds really cool!   Who knows where the future will take Dopefish in the realm of music? Thanks to Bobby Prince & Lee Jackson for granting their permission to allow these songs to be on this web page. Bobby Prince has a web page with samples of lots of his music, and it can be reached at

Speaking of Bobby Prince.. If you click on the picture of Bobby above, you'll be taken to a page about the lyrics to the Dopefish Theme Song (which is actually called Eat your Veggies.  As of July 1998, you can also download a video of Bobby singing the lyrics!

Dopefish "Merchandise" & Fan Items

Please note that the Dopefish merchandise mentioned is not, and was not ever, for sale to the general public.
They were all strictly in-house gags, so please don't ask us how to get any of these items, you can't. However, if you're a Dopefish fan yourself, and have created some goofy Dopefish items yourself, I would like to hear about them.

Dopefish ANSIThe Dopefish "product line" started with an ANSI screen which Lee and myself did -- I converted a screen capture to raw ANSI, and Lee cleaned it up and made it presentable. You used to be able to see the results by logging into Software Creations and typing DOPEFISH (or just DO for short) at the menu prompt. Of course, Software Creations doesn't exist anymore - If you want to download a file containing this ANSI, as well as a CGA ANSI of Dopefish, and 6 ASCII representatons of Dopefish (one is at the bottom of this page), click here.  (In Feb of 1999, we were sent some more ASCII dopefi by Sander Romeijn.  If you want to see them, click here.   And in Feb of 2004, I got a new ASCII contribution from Christian Jensen - it has a dopefish and the Standard Galactic Alphabet.  You can check out that ASCII here.)

After this, we convinced Jay Wilbur (formerly of id Software) to have some Dopefish polo shirts made from an EPS file of the front facing burping Dopefish (a.k.a. "Burpfish"). When Christmas rolled around, Lee's wife decided we needed to bring Dopefish into the real world, so she made 20 or so stuffed Dopefish dolls (mostly side view, with a couple of Burpfish for good measure). These were done in both EGA (green) and CGA (purple) versions and were given out at the Apogee Christmas party that year. When Jay Wilbur heard of this, his first thought was that we needed to get a life. On Christmas 1993, Brenda Jackson (Lee's wife) took a printed enlargement of a screen capture and did a pixel-for-pixel-accurate needlepoint tree ornaments, and I had coffee cups made (out of my own pocket) with a Burpfish on them. Below the Burpfish on the mugs is the caption, "Eat Your Veggies!", which is the title of the music for the level that Dopefish appears in, composed by Bobby Prince. Brenda also made a mobile of Dopefish for Christmas 1994, but due to extreme delays in getting it done, it was never delivered until July 1995. You can see a picture of one of the Xmas tree ornaments here.   This is a picture of my (now late) cat Flash trying to knock the ornament off my 1997 Xmas Tree.

Dopefish MugNot much happened with Dopefish development until early 1996. In early 1996, some of the Apogee staff had some more items made up in the Dopefish product line. Only one of these exist, but now we have a Dopefish Baseball Cap, a T-Shirt, as well as a mouse pad, & a soda can cooler. The Baseball Cap and the T-Shirt have the Keen IV Credit Screen emblazened on them. Hopefully, we'll get some pictures of these items online shortly. In June of 1996, Andre Viens at Software Creations released his Dopefish Screen Saver for Windows. This is a freeware product that you can download. It's freeware, so if you're into Dopefish, and run Windows or Win95, then you should get this!  Andre sent us an update in Feb of 2004 not of his screen saver, but of his new cel phone - he said we had to see a picture of it, and so do you.  :)

Dopefish CartoonOther Dopefish items in the product line that have appeared over time include a Windows95 Dopefish Theme (by Ben Slinger), (if you are going to use the Win95 Dopefish Theme, make sure to read the readme.1st file inside the zip file before attempting to install it) a Windows Icon, an OS/2 Icon, an OS/2 Warp Startup Logo, an OS/2 Warp Web Explorer Animation File, and a Win95 Animated Burpfish Icon. There's also a MS Windows BMP that Tom Hall put together that, when tiled, looks great as a Windows background. More recently, a newer version of the Windows Background was created by a Dopefish fan. This new version has a color resolution of 16.7 million colours! To download the 16.7 million colour version, click here.  (In the summer of 1999, we were sent a second 16.7 million colour version which you can get here).  And to top it off in Feb 2004, we have yet another variant of the Windows background image.  :)  Shawn Swift also created a really cool Windows background image with a "Dopefish Lives" theme, and Rene Rijkhof created this Windows background image. Rene also has a rather large self extracting Photoshop file of his background image if you want that (it's about 4.5Mb)  Terry Herrin (one of the old Software Creations Chat Regulars) created an .flc animation file of Joe Siegler morphing into Dopefish. To check that out, click here. Also, I have a full-page Dopefish that will occasionally mysteriously show up in someone else's fax machine. Dopefish has also appeared in countless taglines, Internet signature files (described by Tom Hall as "Pisces Swimeatus"), and even in a reinterpretation of the birth of the universe, where the Big Bang is replaced by the Big Burp.  Steve even holds the title, granted via a mail-order ordainment service, as "Pope of the Church of the Dopey Fish." The title is legally recognized, by Texas state law. Check it out with the State of Texas if you don't believe it!  Steve also owns the Internet domain name, but as of yet hasn't actually done anything with it.  The FarSide cartoon above was given to me on November 2, 1995 by Matt Long of Software Creations. This cartoon originally said Pirahna where it says Dopefish.

DopefishVRML Fish! Back in 1995, a programmer by the name of Billy Zelznack was working with me at Apogee/3D Realms (he is now at Rebel Boat Rockers). Billy & I had started work on a VRML version of Dopefish. It was never completed (which is why it was never released here for awhile). However, in April of 1997, I decided to release it as is. If you want to see Dopefish in VRML, click here. Please note however, that this was not completed, and Dopefish doesn't look quite right, plus he's only one colour, and it's the wrong one at that. :) Perhaps one day I'll get around to finishing it.   UPDATE - In January of 1998, I was sent a second VRML Dopefish image by James ThomasCheck it out.

Tom Hall - Let there be Dopefish!Flash Fish! In April of 2003, a noted Keen aficionado Sluggy created a really cool Dopefish Flash animation called "Dopefission" - using lots of graphics from this site.  It was sort of inspired by the "All Your Base" craze.   You can view it online here, or you can download the flash animation file by clicking here.  It's quite awesome.  It takes some time to load, so be patient - but it's worth it!   It's quite silly, but is most definitely worth the time to watch.

We also got another Dopefish flash animation submission.  This time from Deacon Ross, who tells us that he had to create a flash animation as part of a school class lesson.  He created this Dopefish fishbowl animation.  Check it out here.  In addition, we got this file from Sam Hardy.  It's a program that you can load into the Flash editor (not the plugin, but the program that creates Flash files) and mess around with the Dopefish.  :)

Dopefish Graffiti on SidewalkDopefish Grafitti - In December of 1996, I received a letter from Steven Paradise.  Steven was living on a US Army Base on Kwajalein, Republic of the Marshall Islands and was going to Kwajalein High School there. Their school has a tradition where Seniors spraypaint something on the street, and guess what Steven painted? That's right. Dopefish! Dopefish has now spread to street grafitti! The picture to the left was taken shortly before the principal of the school (Dr. Sebanc) decided that he didn't like the word "dope", and had the word painted over.   However, after Dr. Sebanc had "DOPE" painted over, Steven made a little fix.  He painted "D8RE", which reads "DoPE" if you cover half of the 8 and the leg of the R.   A sad finale to this story, though...  Steven wrote me in March of 1998 and informed me that the Dopefish grafitti is no longer on the street.  The painting ritual there is an annual event, and (in Steven's words) "my Fish's time on the street ran out in October 1997".

Image by Tim Lewis <>More Dopefish Items started popping up late in 1997.  There seems to be some big spike in the fascination with Dopefish in late 1997, I'm not quite sure why.  The first that I saw was the rendered Dopefish that appears on the intro page to this site.  It was done by some cool artists over at Slipgate.  They won't tell me who actually did it, though.   November 12th saw a hack of Netscape v3 (doesn't work on Netscape 4 - I already tried) in the form of the "Dopefish Throbber" by Chris Geroux.  This will replace the pulsing "N" in the Netscape network activity window with a Dopefish!    In January of 1998, I was sent an Email by someone calling himself "Brain".   It contained two icons and a cursor file for Windows95.  You can get these files here. February of 1998 saw Benjamin Orth release his "Pac-Fish" image.  It's a Pac-Man themed Dopefish image.  Check it out, it's pretty funny! Also, in March 1998, Joe Siegler put this picture online.  It's a picture sent to him some time ago by former Apogee Beta Tester Eric Baker.  This is Eric's TI Calculator, with a Dopefish drawn on it!  The actual date of when this was done has now been lost, since Joe Siegler took so long in getting this online.  :)  In June of 1998, I was sent a program called "Dopefish Tank" by Michael Dzicek.   He says this about it.. "It is a little tank with a Dopefish swimming in it."   If you want to check this out, you can download it here.   (NOTE: When I put this online, I had not tested it to see if it had any problems - if this notice is here when you're reading this, I still haven't checked it).

Even more items!  Later in 1998, we were sent pictures of a "Stuffed Dopefish".  These were from Christian Geroux.  There's a total of three pictures.  Christian says "Got a few jpg's of a stuffed Dopefish my sister made for me."  Click here to see the various pictures: [ Stuffed 1 | Stuffed 2 | Stuffed 3 ].   In the summer of 1999, we were sent a Dopefish Windows font by someone named Justin.  I've not actually installed this font on my machine, so I don't vouch for whether it works or not.

Dopefish in 2000!  Well, there's no new Dopefish as a game, or anything like that, but I had quite a pile of user submissions that I haven't done anythiung with, and since they haven't been posted to until June of 2000, I'm counting them as "2000 Items".   Anyway, first up is a Dopefish sculpture (seen to your right).  It was sent in by Bryce Emmett - he says that his little sister made it for him in a school class.  I can just imagine what that teacher was thinking.  

Bryce also sent us this picture of a Dopefish shirt he made.   It's quite cool - wish I had one.  You can also download this user art from Nathan Davis called "The Dopefish Lives".  It's some nice hand drawn custom art.  Check it out.

Also, in a slight update to the Dopefish Throbber for Netscape 3 above, we have this file from Rob Kuebler.  It's an updated Dopefish Throbber for Netscape 6 PR1.  If you have the new Netscape, check this out.  There is a readme inside the zip archive which tells you what to do - this is not guaranteed to work on any version of Netscape other than v6PR1.  Cool!

Dopefish discovers alien life!  Well, not really, but it's a possibility.  If you're familiar with the SETI@Home project, it's where the SETI group (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) folks let you download data packets from the huge satellites that listen for such things, and process it yourself.   Anyway, in addition to doing it on your own, you can join groups of folks who share your same fascination.  That's right - there's a Dopefish group on SETI@Home.  What's really interesting is that I have the nickname "Dopefish", and by some freak I happen to discover a real transmission, the headline Dopefish discovers alien life will come true!   Click here to check out the Dopefish SETI group!  If you're doing SETI@Home and don't belong to a group, how about joining the Dopefish group?  Not doing SETI@Home?  You can download the software for free.  

DopeAMP! The net's most popular MP3 (and other) player is Winamp.  A submission came in from Elizabeth Walsh, and it's a skin plugin for Winamp.  A shot of it can be seen to your left - the program itself is free, as is this download!   You can grab the skin here, and if you don't have Winamp (why not?) - you can get that for free too by visiting the Winamp Home Page.  There's instructions inside the zip file you download for the skin on how to install it (this skin was originally created for WInamp 2).  While putting together this entry about DopeAMP - I discovered that I already had a Dopefish Winamp skin that was sent to me by Chris Ivarson.  His DopeAMP skin has a different look than the one above - his is mostly black with some Dopefish overtones.  You can download that one here, too!

Dopefish: The Game! It's been discussed, but it's never happened until now. In April 1997, Apogee was sent a program from Chris Geroux called "Dopefish Lives!". It's a short Windows game (using the Klik & Play Game Creation System) that lets you play as the Dopefish, and your goal is to swim around and eat schoolfish while avoiding being hit by mines and being shot at. Featuring music and art from this page as well as from Commander Keen Episode IV, this freeware game can be downloaded here! The file is about 373k zipped. In the summer of 1997, Chris did a sequel game called Dopefish Forever! It's got more options, and is also freeware. If you'd like that, you can download it here. If you'd like to check out Chris' page, go here.

I was also made aware of a web based tile game where you can shuffle around the pieces to unscramble a puzzle (I believe they're called slider games).  You can check that game out here.

Fishagotchi! Jared Diogo sent in this email.  Check it out: "I recently got a Tamagotchi simulator for my computer off the Internet. The webpage I got it from had some "plugins" for the Simulator, which would change some things like turning it Japanese (I really think so :) ) or changing characters. Unfortunately, none of them really seemed that appealing to me, so I made my own. So I thought, "What better to have as a Tamagotchi than a Dopefish?" I just took one of the other plugins, copied it, and changed it so it turns the Secret Character into Dopefish."  If you want to download this, you can do so here.

Ich Bin Ein Dopefish? In November of 1997, a German Magazine called "Bravo Screen Fun" Printed some dopefish! The article (in german, on Page 68 of the magazine) has some Dopefish, and a link to Andre Viens' Dopefish Screen Saver. If anyone has a copy of this magazine, and can read German, and would be willing to translate it, please contact myself or Andre Viens about it. Thanks. If you'd like to read a little more about this, go here.

Mobile Dopefish - On March 23, 1998, my newer car (a 1996 GREEN Chevy Cavalier) got a new personalized license plate from the state of Texas.  I had put that off for a long time, mainly because the state of Texas charges a lot of money for this.  However, I finally went for it in February of 1998.  I mailed in the form and waited.  On Monday March 23rd, I went over to the DMV here, and waited in line (ughh) and finally got my plate.  It reads DFISH, with a small State of Texas inbetween the D and the F.  Unfortunately, the state of Texas only allows for 6 letters on a plate, so I couldn't spell Dopefish.  I considered going with DOPFSH, but went with what you see here.  Click on the license plate picture for a much larger picture of my entire car with the plate.   The green car really fits the license plate.  However, on March 21st, 2001, the Fish mobile was no more.  I decided that I didn't want to pay the state of Texas an extra $40 a year just to have that plate, so I surrendered the plate and got a conventional state of Texas license plate.  I still have one of the plates on my desk as a memory, however (TX has plates on both the front and back of the car - I just turned in one of them).

That wasn't the first of my cars to be "Dopefishized".  Back in early 1995, shortly after the release of Rise of the Triad, I was driving a 1989 Blue Chrysler LeBaron. I had a propensity for letting it get rather dirty, and the dust and general dirt level on the outside of the car was rather alot. Anyway, Chuck Jones, one of our artists at the time, decided to draw in the dirt on my car with his finger. What did he draw? Dopefish, of course.  There are two images on this site that show the "work" Chuck did on my old car.  Click here to see the first image, and click here to see the second.

hween1.jpg (10143 bytes)hween2.jpg (7158 bytes)Dopefish invades Halloween! On November 16, 1998, I got an Email from a user with the handle of mscooper informing me that he had gone out as Dopefish for Halloween 1998.  This is another first in the world of Dopefish lore.   A dopefish halloween costume. It's rather funny - I showed them around to a few people here at 3D Realms, and they got a big laugh.  We hope you do too - click on either of them for a larger image.  This picture also made it into Descent 3 (see below).

Steven Spielberg & Dopefish! What?  I've got to be making this up, eh?  Well, a report came in that Dopefish made a cameo appearance on "Tiny Toons Adventures", which is produced by Steven Spielberg.  The screenshot is of a device that measures Dizzy Devil's intelligence, which apparently is in-between that of the Dopefish & a chicken wing.  Thanks to Shawn Swift for the picture!

'The Dopefish before Christmas! What's this?  One of the more unique submissions I've ever gotten is this poem (in Word 97 format) from Caleb Child.  The poem is very cool - and starts off like this:

T�was the night before Christmas, and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, but me and my mouse;
I was by my computer surfing with care,
Type �dopefish-dot-com,� and soon I�d be there.
My family was sleeping, all warm in their beds,
Whilst I had insomnia inside my head.
And so now the Internet did feature

This incredibly stupid dumb creature!

More in 2004!  As I do this update, I haven't updated in ages (16 months).  Over the time since the last update, I've collected many submissions that folks have sent me, I'm going to chronicle some of them here (yeah, I know most of these weren't actually submitted in 2004).   First off is a pillow image that was sent to me by Alexander Johnson.  Alexander had this to say about the pillow, "my father's girlfriend made this dopefish pillow for christmas! Sadly my father is breaking up with her, but we will keep this sacred pillow as a memory of her, and maybe it will become a family heirloom."  Click here to see more of Alexander's Dopefish pillow.

There was a new clothing item, too.  We got a picture of this shirt from Archagon.  Also in the clothing related item section, we have this vector file image of Dopefish from Yossa.  This is a good file to use if you want to make your own clothing or hats, or something like that.  Here's what the vector fish looks like.

This next one doesn't really count as clothing, but it's close.  In the spring of 2003, Dopefish fan Jaap Laan went to a LAN party in Holland, and he said he wanted to look really cool, so he had his hairdresser doctor up his hair to have a Dopefish in it!  Check out the picture to your right or these other pictures of him [ link | link | link ].

We got a program from Klaus Breuer which he describes as "a Dopefish Easter Egg".  Seems that Klaus works for a banking company and worked in a Dopefish cameo into his software.  I don't know what the software is, and he didn't tell me (probably so that it can't be found out), but he did extract the Dopefish cameo into it's own program which you can download here (complete with Delphi source code!).

There were several more things.  We also received three "spinners" for the web browser Galeon, another animated cursor file by Alex Hartz, a spray paint of Dopefish in Counter Strike, a Milkshape Dopefish Model, a PocketPC Dopefish theme, A Windows background picture by "Speed Racer" both for regular size screens, and one designed for dual monitor computers, more fan art (by Owen Kinton), an AOL Instant Messenger Theme, more fan art (Clive Trower), Nokia Cel Phone Dopefish Logos (Ewan MacDougall), more fan art (Alex Hartz), and fan art for Worldcraft (Manuel Lorenz).

We also were sent these two screen captures from an episode of the TV series "Invader Zim".  Apparently, in the first season was an episode titled "Bad Bad, Rubber Piggy".  There is a fish in the episode on a rampage eating everything in sight while wearing a bear suit.  If anyone from the Invader Zim production reads this, and can confirm this cameo, let me know.   Thanks.   :)



Dopefish 2012

Bet you never thought you'd see another update to this, eh?  I never thought I'd be using MS Frontpage to edit a page in 2012, either!  :) Anyway, In the summer of 2012, I was sent an email from Tom Hall, saying that Dopefish had made an appearance in his newest game, a Google+ specific title called 'Pettington Park".   He enclosed a picture of it:

I wrote Tom back and asked him how this appeared in the game, and he told me this:

When you play the game, which is a weekly competition between cats and dogs (really, cat persons vs. dog persons), you shake/hammer/chop various items in the game to get resources. Occasionally collection items drop out too. Some collections are only completable by a Gift from a Friend, from the Free Gifts interface.

The Plastic Dopeyfish is one of these.

A new Dopefish reference in 2012.  Told ya "Dopefish Lives!"

Summing up Dopefish

Why Dopefish? Well, he swims, he eats, and he burps. What more can you ask for? We think that the latter reason is why I like him so much.  I'm known for a few wall rattlers and personally did the voice of Dopefish in Wacky Wheels and Rise of the Triad.  I really practiced for it, too. Sitting at my computer at four in the morning with a two liter bottle of Diet Coke, I ran through take after take, hurting myself a couple times in the process, until I came up with just the right length and resonance. Click here to download an archive of the recording session mentioned here. Watch out for the blooper.wav contained within. That's the one where I hurt himself!

Even though he Dopefish legally belongs to id Software, he is a welcome adopted member of the Apogee family.
If there are ever any new Keen games, you can wager a goodly amount that the Dopefish will be in it.

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To Be Continued.........


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�Will the Dopefish return?  Only Tom knows for sure� and I wouldn�t lose all hope��