Blaster Keaton is an iconic American character who appears in all but one of the Aero Fighters or Sonic Wings vertical scrolling shooter video game series. He is most recognizable in the cyborg body he wears subsequent to the original game. Keaton was formerly a soldier in the United States military who fought in Operation Desert Storm. Also of note is his younger brother, who takes over Keaton's mission and who is nearly identical to Blaster in appearance. In most video game appearances, Keaton is cheerful and excitable. He has fun on his missions but also loves to fight. He can also be a bit of a flirt, although without much success. Amazingly, he loves his boxy robot bodies and doesn't mind that his only organic part is his head. Keaton gets along well with almost everyone, even the difficult characters no one else likes. The appearance of Keaton's body differs from game to game; however, he is always shown with light brown hair, vivid blue eyes, and a long, straight nose. When his hair is shown, it is worn combed back and spiky.
Aero Fighters/Sonic Wings
Although he is one of the most entertaining characters in the later Sonic Wings games, in the original, Keaton is straight-laced and almost boring. He is focused and determined to complete his mission. Keaton wears his military uniform, including a camouflage jacket. In sole player mode, Keaton is supposedly killed when his aircraft collides with Pandora after the mid-point boss battle. His identical younger brother vows to take over for Blaster and presumably becomes the playable character for the rest of the game. Fortunately, Keaton's head is salvaged, and he returns as Mecha-Keaton in Sonic Wings 2. In cooperative mode, Keaton is partnered with Keith Bishop. Keaton is definitely the straight-man of the duo; his serious statements are often met with facetious remarks from the older Keith. After the boss battle, both men survive and attempt to land on an aircraft carrier. However, Keith loses control of his plane and they both crash, ending up bobbing in the ocean.
Aero Fighters 2 (Sonic Wings 2)
Keaton returns in Aero Fighters 2, resurrected as the cyborg Mecha-Keaton after his accident with Pandora in the previous game. Keaton's head is all that remains of his human body, and his right eye has been replaced with a mechanical device. His body is boxy and silver, apparently cobbled together by Kowful from various spare parts such as an arcade machine. Keaton's attitude is vastly different as well; instead of the solemn attitude he had in Aero Fighters, he now is something of a smart aleck.
Unfortunately, Keaton's robot body gives him problems at times, as demonstrated when he ejects his head after the final boss battle in single-player mode. His head ends up stranded on the moon, which seems to be a recurring problem for him.
In cooperative mode, Keaton can be paired with any of the other pilots:
- Bobby: Bobby thinks that Keaton is a toy, though he is respectful enough to the older pilot. Keaton is not quite so enthusiastic about Arthur, but he is impressed with the one-year-old's fighting skills. After they defeat the final boss, Keaton demands that Arthur "score him a meal." At Arthur's house, they are greet by his father, William Sid Pride, and Keaton amazes them both by dumping an omelet into the chest of his mechanical body.
- Steve/Angela: At first, Keaton is skeptical of Angela's arrogant attitude, but the two quickly learn to work together as they get to know one another. After successfully defeating the final boss, Angela's Rafale M crashes. Keaton is at first sympathetic, then shocked when Angela's torn jacket falls off, revealing the corset she's wearing underneath. Poor Keaton then gets punched by the embarrassed Angela.
- Cindy and Ellen: Most of the dialogue between Keaton and the girls involves his new robotic body, particularly his need for "WD-50." In keeping with this theme, after the final boss battle, Keaton gets a tune-up from the mechanic MAsako from Lethal Crash Race, who fills him up with a can of gasoline.
- Hien: Keaton and Hien get along well enough, although Hien does seem a bit impatient with Keaton's lack of seriousness about the situation, particularly when Keaton's more interested in hula dancing in Hawaii than in defeating the boss there. Still, they work well together and shown a genuine concern for one another. After the mid-point boss battle, they both report to the Shogun, Hien's master. The Shogun is for some reason incensed that Hien received help from a robot, leaving his pupil speechless.
- Mao Mao: Keaton thinks Mao Mao's cute and tries to flirt with her, but she'll have none of it. After they defeat the final boss, Mao Mao asks Keaton to come over to her house. Keaton thinks she likes him, but when he goes home with her, she takes his head off and plays Aero Fighters/Sonic Wings on his robot body.
- Captain Silver: Keaton isn't exactly respectful to Captain Silver-- he calls him "old man" and comments on his baldness-- but Silver doesn't seem to mind too much. After the final boss battle, Keaton loses control of his plane and crashes; his body is destroyed, but Silver's parrot Polly (Flint) saves Keaton's head. Captain Silver brings Keaton to Kowful. The Viking complains that Keaton has lost his body again
- Spanky: Keaton and Spanky get along very well together since both possess a rather wacky sense of humor. After the final boss battle, Keaton decides to go swimming with the dolphin and transforms into "Aqua-Keaton," a finned version of his robot body. The two then enjoy an underwater race.
Aero Fighters 3 (Sonic WIngs 3)
Keaton appears in Aero Fighters 3 (known in Japan as Sonic Wings 3) with an upgraded body; instead of his silver, arcade-machine body from the previous installment, he is red and much more advanced. Most notable are the built-in weapons he now controls: the Keaton Drill on his left hand, sphere-shaped Keaton Hammer on his right, and the boosters on his back. Keaton's cheerful attitude remains the same, although he is more boastful of this body than his previous one.
In single-player mode, Keaton is more alert than many of the other pilots, figuring out that he is in a "fake world" where the enemy presumably the time-traveling Hildride has staged to the Second World War. After the final boss battle, he returns to headquarters where Kowful has prepared a humanoid body for him. Keaton changes into his new body, noting that a human body is ultimately better than a robot one. However, he discovers that Kowful has played a practical joke by giving Keaton's new body a giant drill in a sensitive area.
Keaton fights with the Blazers (Glen, Gill, and Glenda) in cooperative mode. They seem surprised at his appearance and aren't sure who he is at first. Keaton likes to boast that as a robot, he doesn't show the Blazers' human weaknesses; however, the trio of humans don't seem to envy his situation. After the final boss battle, Keaton's plane blows up, but he manages to escape by ejecting his head. The Blazers rescue him, but then their plane explodes too. Keaton also appears in several other characters' ending sequences.
Sonic Wings Special
Blaster Keaton returns in human form for the first time since Aero Fighters/Sonic Wings came. The player must first complete the game as human Keaton in order to unlock Mecha-Keaton. Keaton's appearance in both forms has received an upgrade in Special. In human form, he now wears a brown leather jacket with "Justice" written across the back, along with the letter K. His robot form has also gotten a few new touches such as an antennae and piping on his head which is taken from RX-78-2 Gundam. In two-player mode, Keaton is partnered with Captain Silver. Silver finds Keaton to be a bit impulsive and wild, but they do get along well. Keaton often calls Captain Silver "old man" once again like what you have red in the second installment.
Sonic Wings Unlimited
Keaton appears only as Mecha-Keaton, not in human form. However, he does have an amusing special attack in which he blasts the enemy with pink hearts. To activate it, hit B to activate "Keaton's Fury," then enter the following code: up down up up A. Otherwise, his role in the two games is identical.