Bean-with-Bacon Megarocket

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The Bean-with-Bacon Megarocket from Keen 4

The Bean-with-Bacon Megarocket (BwB) is a spaceship built by Keen, and his primary method of transportation. According to the games, it was made from "common household objects" and "old soup cans, rubber cement and plastic tubing".[1]

Four of the most important parts are:

Joystick.png
Joystick (from Keen's brother's Nintendo video game) for manual flight control[1]
Car battery.png
Car Battery (from Keen's mom's car) for electrical systems power[1]
Vacuum cleaner.png
Vacuum Cleaner reworked as an ion propulsion unit[1]
Everclear.png
Everclear (from Keen's father's liquor cabinet) alcohol for fuel[1]

The ship was so named precisely because it was primarily constructed out of the aforementioned soup cans. According to 3D Realms' site, the name was a reference to a George Carlin skit which suggested placing bay leaves under your arms instead of deodorant, creating a soup aroma; he mentions the soup "Bean-with-Bacon". (Keen's developers admit this is an obscure reference.)[2]

Appearances in games

BwB from Keen 1
BwB from Keen GBC

In Keen 1, Vorticons from the planet Vorticon VI steal four crucial parts from the ship while Keen has it parked on Mars, and scatter them around the planet in the hope that Keen will not be able to find them again.[3] The parts are the four mentioned above: the joystick, the car battery, the vacuum cleaner and the everclear.[1]

In all the Keen games (except for Keen Dreams) the BwB can be seen in the overhead world map. In Keen 1 and Keen 3, you can try to "enter" the ship, which prompts different messages. In Keen 1, it shows a list of the parts that are still missing. In Keen 3, it shows four different messages randomly:

  • "Into the ship your journey, lie about a bit, then resume your quest for the Grand Intellect!"
  • "Entering the ship might be a fun thing to do, but right now you need to find the Grand Intellect and vanquish him!"
  • "You enter your ship, sit around for a while, get bored, then remember that you have to find the Grand Intellect! "
  • "You feel like entering the ship and taking a rest, but the mystery of the Grand Intellect's identity changes your mind."

The BwB is level 18 in Keen 4 and level 17 in Keen 6. There is also a secret in the Keen 6 version of the level, clearly visible in the map image. If you are running low on ammo, you can return to this level to pick up a few more shots (a raygun appears when you have four or fewer shots remaining.) Entering the level twice (shooting once before you exit the first time) means you can return to a total of nine shots by using this method.


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Keen 1 Help Text
  2. 3D Realms: A Look Back At Commander Keen – Recollections
  3. Keen 1 Story