5727 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Commander Koenig (Martin Landau) (Space 1999) using his weapon

Commander Koenig


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Explore worlds beyond belief.


Context

Space 1999 was a 1975-1977 science-fiction TV show. It was thus just pre-Star Wars – an important landmark in terms of genre credibility. It was British, though it headlined US actors for the American market.

Said actors were from the then-hot Mission Impossible series, and the showrunners were the Andersons, who made most sci-fi shows in the UK that weren’t Doctor Who (for instance, Thunderbirds). Despite that the series didn’t fare well – but there still exists significant nostalgia about it.

The Background is intentionally vague in places. I have yet to collect all the episode novelizations.


Background

  • Real Name: Commander John Robert Koenig.
  • Marital Status: Widowed.
  • Known Relatives: Unnamed parents (deceased), Jean Koenig (Wife; deceased).
  • Group Affiliation: None (Although, the inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha have taken to calling themselves “Alphans”).
  • Base Of Operations: Moonbase Alpha, crater Plato, Luna.
  • Height: 6’2” Weight: 185lbs Age: Early to mid 40’s.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Commander John Robert Koenig is a physically fit 40 year old adult male. He is an expert Eagle pilot and astronaut, perhaps second only to Chief of Reconnaissance Alan Carter.

He is proficient in the use of the various weapons at his disposal on Alpha from the hand held to Stun Gun Model 1 and 2 up through the laser cannon batteries installed after Luna’s “breakaway” from Earth.

Koenig’s main strength, however, lies in his intelligent mind and phenomenal willpower. He is one of America’s leading astrophysicists, a veteran of many space missions, and one of the designers of Moonbase Alpha itself.

His willpower and sense of self is truly extraordinary. When some alien force seeks to subvert the Alphans’ wills or cloud their perceptions, it is, invariably, Commander Koenig who retains his freedom or sees through the deception.

Koenig, the man who must make the difficult, sometimes painful, decisions is also the glue that holds the Alphans together.


Video

The super-dated theme, intro, snippets… summarising the show, in 1080p.


History

What follows is information that can be verified by official sources.

He was born March 17, 1957 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. As a schoolboy in the 1960s, Koenig’s interest in the space program was ignited when he watched the televised images of Neil Armstrong’s moon landing. Imagining his own “giant leap for mankind”, Koenig vowed that he would one day reach the stars.

He was orphaned at a young age, perhaps in his early teens, and was forced to fight both intellectually and physically to see his dream come true.

Even when John Koenig reached his dream, his life was filled with tragedy. While still an astronaut cadet, Koenig was forced to abandon his friends, Sam and Tessa, behind on an ill-fated Venus expedition when the pair had contracted a fatal disease.

In an attempt to bury the guilt he felt over the death of his friends, he launched himself into his work planning and executing many successful space missions both as astronaut and ground control.

The Moonbase Alpha Project

In the early 80’s, Koenig was asked to contribute on the design of Moonbase Alpha. While he was busy working on the development of Alpha, tragedy once more came calling. A nuclear device of unknown origin destroyed Switzerland. Koenig’s wife Jean, vacationing there, was killed in the explosion.

Koenig, never an easy going man, became positively driven as the Earth’s nuclear powers ordered the dismantling of all weapons of mass destruction and their burial on the far side of the moon. He spent much of his time on Luna helping to complete Alpha and tailoring it to its newest function as custodian of Earth’s nuclear arsenal.

Sometime after the completion of Moonbase Alpha in February of 1997, Koenig returned to Earth. On September 9, 1999 he once more found himself on Alpha. The International Lunar Finance Commission had become worried about the fate of their newest project, the exploration of the mysterious wandering planet Meta.

Koenig was made commander of Alpha and given the task of discovering why 9 Meta Probe astronauts had died of a strange illness.

Koenig’s appointment fulfilled to purposes for the ILFC. On the one hand, Koenig was one of America’s leading astrophysicists and the perfect man for the job of getting the Meta Probe launched on time. On the other hand, a new commander would make a perfect scapegoat should the expedition fail to come about as planned.

Nuclear disposal

Meta Probe crewmen continued to get ill and Commander Koenig discovered the reason; a massive buildup of quasi-magnetic energy which the astronauts were exposed to while flying over Nuclear Waste Disposal Area One. Before Koenig could act to remedy this situation, Nuclear Waste Disposal Area One exploded in a huge subsurface firestorm.

Realizing that Disposal Area Two contains 140 times the amount of nuclear waste as Area One, Koenig put a plan into action to avert disaster by ordering the dispersal of the waste in Area Two over a wider area. September 13, 1999 the Eagle Transporters began the operation.

Initially, Koenig’s plan seemed to work. But then an enormous magnetic energy surge detonated Area Two, tearing the moon from its orbit. Nuclear Waste Disposal Area Two acting as a huge rocket engine, the moon was propelled further and further away from Earth.

With Alpha’s central computer dismissing the likelihood of returning to Earth in Alpha’s sizable Eagle fleet, Koenig was forced to make the crucial decision to stay on Alpha.

Moon adrift

Over the following years, Koenig led the Alphans against bizarre and terrible threats in their quest for a new home. During the course of these adventures, he established a romantic relationship with Alpha’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Helena Russell, who had also lost a spouse.

When a mysterious energy effect appeared in space emitting the psychic power endowing “lambda variant”, Koenig was tormented by visions of Sam and Tessa.

This nightmarish episode allowed the Commander to finally rid himself of his guilt regarding his dead friends and left him more at peace with his past. The incredible experiences of Moonbase Alpha and its inhabitants have convinced John Koenig of man’s place in the cosmos.

As he explains to one alien threat, something or someone is watching over the wandering moon.


Description

Commander John Robert Koenig is a tall Caucasian man in his 40’s with a lanky build. He has a long, dour face with an aquiline nose, high forehead, short hair that he parts on the left, and piercing eyes. His Alphan duty uniform consists of khaki shoes and slacks.

The khaki tunics of Moonbase personnel have colored left sleeves and collars indicating the individual’s assignment on Alpha. Koenig’s tunic sports a black sleeve and collar (only the Commander gets to wear the black!).

In addition, Koenig’s tunic has a black stripe down the right sleeve further distinguishing him from the rank and file Alphan. Like all Alphans, he wears an I.D. badge over his left breast and a thick, khaki belt which his Commlock clips onto and which can support a Stun Gun holster.


Personality

In a word : intense. To say that Commander John Koenig is a serious man is an understatement of rare proportions ; his countenance is almost invariably grim. Even on the rare occasions when he makes a joke it is usually a dark one.

Koenig is well aware of the importance of every decision he makes and he strives in all things to be fair-minded.

He regularly asks for input from Main Mission Controller Paul Morrow, Technical Section Head David Kano, and, especially, his friend and mentor Professor Victor Bergman. Ultimately though, the tough choices regarding the allocation of Alpha’s slim resources or its response to the latest alien threat are his and his alone.

It is a responsibility that weighs heavily on him; a responsibility he would gladly relinquish. But Commander Koenig is a good man who knows that Alpha needs a strong leader. So, he perseveres, giving the Alphans a stoic father-figure to look up to.

Under this businesslike exterior beats the heart of a philosopher. He has become convinced that the Alphans’ interstellar travels have some meaning. Perhaps this small pocket of humanity is being tested. Evolve or die. Ascension or oblivion.

Whichever the path Alpha finds itself on, Commander Koenig will be there making the tough choices.


Quotes

“Ever since we blasted away from Earth, we have been fighting for survival. We have survived. How, I don’t know. There’s no rational explanation. What I do have is an absolute faith in the strength of the human spirit, and a belief that something or someone is looking after us.”


DC Universe History

Obviously, for the events of September 13, 1999 to occur as depicted in Space: 1999, it is necessary to make wholesale changes in current DC continuity. A better tack, perhaps, is to use Moonbase Alpha and its inhabitants in an alternate reality story.

The player characters, on their way to the JLA Watchtower, experience a teleporter tube malfunction and find themselves on a very different moonbase.

If the PCs are low to mid powered heroes without the means to travel in space, a GM could have them materialize on Alpha just as Koenig and his staff are beginning to piece together what is occurring out in Nuclear Waste Disposal Areas One and Two.

Since Alpha is home to many of Earth’s best and brightest, it might be interesting to station “Elseworlds” versions of established DC characters there for the PCs to interact with.

For instance, Chief of Reconnaissance and top Eagle jockey Alan Carter might have a rival in Hal Jordan or Larry Trainor, Bruce Wayne or Lex Luthor might be ILFC board members visiting the troubled base, and Maya of Psychon could be M’aya, the last Martian.

The story itself could revolve around the PCs growing certainty that something very bad and beyond their control is going to occur. Alternately, the players could arrive on Alpha post-breakaway. A sufficiently large PC group could tax Alpha’s already scarce resources to the limit.

PCs who regularly risk death at the hands of murderous villains might not be so brave in the face of slow starvation. Or, for a more slam bang adventure, have the players arrive just as the insanely powerful Balor awakens. Brrrr.


Sharing

The links to follow us and/or subscribe to our monthly newsletter are at the bottom of this page.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Commander Koenig

Dex: 04 Str: 02 Bod: 04 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 06 Wil: 08 Min: 06 Occupation: Commander, Moonbase Alpha
Inf: 05 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 08 (See Below)
Init: 015 HP: 050

Skills:
Scientist: 07, Vehicles (Land, Air, Space): 05, Weaponry (Firearms, Heavy Weapons, Melee): 05

Advantages:
Iron Nerves, Leadership, Scholar (Astrophysics). Security Clearance (High).

Connections:
ILFC – International Lunar Finance Commission (Low).

Drawbacks:
Forced Exile, Guilt (Until the events of “The Lambda Factor”, 2308 days after leaving Earth orbit).

Equipment:

  • Stun Gun Model 2 [BODY 04, Energy Blast: 08, Heat Vision: 08, Power Reserve: 04, R#: 02. Power Reserve can augment both Energy Blast and Heat Vision. Limitations:
    • Energy Blast and Heat Vision use the wielder’s Weaponry (Firearms) Skill as AV.
    • Energy Blast has a maximum Range of 4 APs.
    • Heat Vision has a maximum Range of 1 AP.
    • when augmenting Energy Blast with Power Reserve the wielder automatically enters Killing Combat.
    • use of Heat Vision on a living target is always considered Killing Combat].

    Note: The Stun Gun Model 2 is carried by security personnel and survey parties. Authorized personnel on Alpha carry Stun Gun Model 1’s which sport all the same features as the Model 2 but cannot be set to a “Kill” setting (i.e., its Energy Blast cannot be augmented by Power Reserve). Heat Vision represents a laser cutting / welding torch. Both models are compact, staple-gun looking devices with 4 extremely short barrels down their front face.
    The top barrel is for the Energy Blast while the 3 other barrels are different settings of the Heat Vision laser torch (2nd barrel: Range of Touch, 3rd barrel: Range of 0 APs and augmented by 2 APs of Power Reserve, 4th barrel: Range of 1 AP and augmented by the full 4 APs of Power Reserve).

  • Commlock [BODY 03, Detect (Radiation): 08, Radio Communications: 06, Thermal Vision: 05, R#: 03, Bonus: The Commlock’s Radio Communications Power encompasses both video and audio ; the Commlock’s Radio Communications Power can be used to access Moonbase Alpha Main Mission Computer (the Commlock then functions as a remote terminal of Computer ; Koenig’s Commlock, like those possessed by all of Alpha’s Command Staff, can switch to a Scrambled setting for official communiques and security transmissions].
    Note: The Commlock is a stubby, scepter-like device a little over 7 inches high. In addition to its communication functions, it has a number of other features. It is also a passkey of sorts. Each Commlock is programmed for an individual owner, allowing that owner access to those areas of Alpha appropriate to his/her rank, position, and security clearance.
    The Commlocks possessed by the Command and Security Staffs grant their owner’s unlimited access to all areas of Moonbase Alpha. Only Commander Koenig or Chief of Security Verdeschi have the authority to expand or limit a Commlock’s passkey function. It is also a Geiger counter, a clock, and a calculator and can measure temperature and atmospheric pressure.

  • LIFE SCAN BRACELET [BODY 02, Detect (Life Signs): 02, Radio Communications: 06. Limitation: Detect (Life Signs) can only measure the life signs of the wearer].
    Note: Each Alphan wears one of these watch-like devices which continually transmits information to the base’s Medical Center regarding its owner’s health (heart rate, respiration, brain activity, etc.).
    When in use by survey teams, this vital information is transmitted to the team’s Eagle Transporter and then relayed by the Eagle’s much more powerful Interstellar Transmitter back to Alpha.

Resources on Alpha

One of the problems that Koenig and his staff confront on a daily basis is how to allocate the Moonbase’s very limited resources. While mining and excavation of the moon produces some of the materials that the Alphans require, making a Wealth Check or finding components to build a Gadget on Alpha is never as easy as simply making a dice roll. As Commander, Koenig has the final say in the distribution and use of Alpha’s resources but the well is far from inexhaustible and the GM should feel free to assess CS penalties to Wealth Checks or even simply disallow them if appropriate.



Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Commander Koenig (Space 1999) — Averaged PL 6.4

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
0 2 1 3 2 3 3 1

Combat Advantages

Close Attack 5, Defensive Roll 2, Leadership, Second Chance (fear/intimidation).

Other Advantages

Benefit 2 (Security Clearance), Equipment 8.

Skills

Athletics 2 (+2), Deception 2 (+3), Expertise: Science 10 (+13), Insight 6 (+9), Perception 5 (+8), Persuasion 2 (+3), Ranged Combat: Firearms 4 (+7), Ranged Combat: Heavy Weapons 4 (+7), Vehicles 4 (+7)

Equipment

Stun Gun Model 2 Stun Blast: Ranged Damage 12, Diminished Range 1, AE (Laser: Ranged Damage 12, Diminished Range 3) ● 24 points
Commlock Feature (Security Pass), Radio Communications 2 (Subtle), Senses 4 (Detect Atmospheric Conditions, Detect Radiation, Infravision, Time Sense) ● 14 points
Lifescan Bracelet Senses (Radio Communication Link, Detect Life Signs) ● 2 points

Offense

Initiative +1
Unarmed +6, Close, Damage 0
Stun Gun +7, Ranged, Damage 12

Defence

Dodge 6 Fortitude 5
Parry 5 Toughness 4/2*
Will 7

* Without Defensive Roll

Complications

  • Guilt Until the events of “The Lambda Factor”, 2308 days after leaving Earth orbit, he suffers from tremendous personal guilt.
  • Sense of Responsibility As commander, he is responsible for everything that goes on at the station.

Powers Levels

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 10, Dodge/Toughness PL 5, Parry/Toughness PL 5, Fort/Will PL 6
  • Points total 83 Abilities 30, Defences 15, Skills 20, Powers 0, Devices 0, Advantages 18. Equiv. PL 6.


By Vincent Paul Bartilucci

Source of Character: Space 1999 Television Program

Writeups.org is a non-commercial, community site

We chat and work at the DC Heroes Yahoo! group .