Geek Trivia

The Standard Galactic Alphabet From Commander Keen Also Appears In Which Of These Games?

Insects Don't Have Blood, But Instead Have A Substance Called?
Screenshot of the Enchanting Table in Minecraft Java Edition

Answer: Minecraft

Commander Keen is a series of side-scrolling video games released by id Software between 1990 and 2001. The games follow the adventures of an eight-year-old genius, Billy Blaze, and his defense of Earth against alien threats.

As a game series that involves aliens and space travel, naturally, it needed an alien-looking writing system. The games featured a simple substitution cipher alphabet called the Galactic Alphabet that appeared in numerous puzzles over the years and was the key to ferreting out secret areas in the game.

Years later in the indie-hit game Minecraft, the Galactic Alphabet makes a reappearance as a very subtle Easter egg homage. Modern Minecraft players (many of them the age of Billy Blaze, boy genius) may not recognize the symbols that float around the game’s enchanting table or appear on the table’s menu interface when creating enchanted items, but the floating and written glyphs are none other than the letters of the Galactic Alphabet from Commander Keen—as seen in the screenshot here.

Alas, even though the Galactic Alphabet is a one-to-one substitution for the Latin alphabet, you won’t have much luck translating what you see on the Minecraft enchanting table into actual in-game enchantments like Looting, Thorns, or Unbreaking. The enchanting table’s output is random and the glyphs found therein are random too. What you see on the pages of the book when you attempt an enchantment amounts to gibberish created from a list of a few dozen words randomly arranged.