In October 1995, longtime Dopefish fan Joe Siegler of Apogee made a Dopefish
web page which was based on a modified version of text that originally
appeared here in the FAQ. The Dopefish web site blossomed with information,
pictures, sounds, music, and so forth; it is no longer practical to duplicate
it all here any longer. The URL for the web site is http://www.dopefish.com/.
An abridged version of the Dopefish history follows:
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.
Dopefish is described in the cast of characters for "Commander Keen: Secret
of the Oracle" (Keen 4, the shareware episode of "Commander Keen: Goodbye
Galaxy!") as the second dumbest creature in the universe (the number one
ranking is anyone's guess). His thought patterns go, "swim swim hungry, swim
swim hungry." Dopefish "will eat anything alive and moving near them, though
they prefer heroes." Dopefish appears in the level of Keen 4 entitled "The
Well of Wishes."
Dopefish was "adopted" by the Tech Support staff at Apogee soon after Joe
Siegler was hired. When Steve Quarrella and Lee Jackson joined the company,
it ballooned from there. Ever since, Dopefish has had a huge cult following,
and its weird popularity shows no signs of slowing.
Countless artwork of the Dopefish has been made: ASCII art to animated
graphics, icons, logos, backgrounds, etc. Frequent in-house Christmas
presents at Apogee have been mugs, dolls, ornaments, etc, featuring Dopefish.
(These items were never made for retail sale, however, so please don't ask
Apogee how to buy them.)
Another unlikely method of celebrating the Dopefish has been in music. Bobby
Prince's piece "Eat Your Veggies" was originally intended for the Softdisk
game "Keen Dreams" (see the section on the history of Commander Keen for
further information) but Softdisk insisted that the game fit on a 360K disk,
which meant the music had to go. Instead, the music was used in "Commander
Keen: Goodbye Galaxy!" and happened to be the tune that plays in the level
where Dopefish appears. Ever since, the music has been inextricably tied
to Dopefish. Other music has been composed with Dopefish in mind, including
Lee Jackson's "Fish Polka" from Rise of the Triad.
Even though the Dopefish 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.
Again, visit the Dopefish page, http://www.dopefish.com/, for more information.
Also note the "Cameos" section of this FAQ.