The Origin of the Keen: Vorticons Death Animation

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proYorp
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The Origin of the Keen: Vorticons Death Animation

Post by proYorp » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:08

This thing: :dead2

It was never really clear to me what that was supposed to be. That is, until I watched this.

I'd heard that in the development of the Keen universe, Tom Hall took some inspiration from the old 1953 short film "Duck Dodgers in the 24th and a Half Century". So I watched it. You know, for nerd research. 8) I was not disappointed.


Check out this little segment, starting just after the 5 minute mark. :disguised
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1ym9b7?start=314


The world makes so much more sense now.

I've previously tried to rationalise everything in the Keen games to fit into the "lore". To absurd levels sometimes. Including the whole "extra lives" situation.

To that end, what seems to be going on with that is those "cartoon deaths" where, although being horribly injured, you're still perfectly fine. I guess Keen just gets whacked right back to the start of the level or something. :lol Commander Keen has always seemed so cartoony, it just fits so well. My best theory on this before was that Keen had his own android dummies or something, but this works a lot better.

It all makes sense. I am happy.
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Re: The Origin of the Keen: Vorticons Death Animation

Post by troublesomekeen » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:38

Top shelf research. 8)

https://youtu.be/FR16jUX-3uE
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Re: The Origin of the Keen: Vorticons Death Animation

Post by Plasma Captain » Mon Apr 01, 2019 22:36

I'd always assumed that he'd been reduced to a head and feet, but I had just thought it was because the first trilogy was a bit darker (lots of death)... I never would have imagined it could be a reference to a cartoon. I like this theory.

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Re: The Origin of the Keen: Vorticons Death Animation

Post by Keening_Product » Tue Apr 30, 2019 18:00

Only just got around to watching this and wrote wow, yep, a few notables! Not least the death animation you mentioned (see also 1:40 for a lesser example), but also phaser design. Thank you for this post :)

I'm not sure I'm disappointed or glad that Keen never got a cartoon. I mean, it could have been fun, or it could have been like KeenGBC on TV. (By which I mean not quite right.)

On another note, that ending was very cold war/mutually assured destruction, hey haha
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Re: The Origin of the Keen: Vorticons Death Animation

Post by KeenRush » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:16

tried to rationalise everything in the Keen games
There's your problem right there. :dopekeen Anyway, it's a nice theory and I think it has credibility. For some reason I never made the connection with this type of cartoony 'damage' even if at the same time I did feel the sprite was sort of cartoony and exaggerated (like the Galaxy death sprite with the bulging eyes). Now that I try to remember, probably something similar happend to Wile E. Coyote in those cartoons -- being hit by a mallet or something?
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Re: The Origin of the Keen: Vorticons Death Animation

Post by Quillax » Sat Jun 15, 2019 23:00

Oh wow, I would've never thought of making this kind of connection for the death sprite! :eek I too thought he was just reduced to a head and feet, but I like this theory more (in fact, I think it's very likely). When I was a kid, I thought he turned into a puppy head with bat wings. :dopekeen

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